When people think of crime in this country, they stereotypically point to the big cities such as New York, L.A., Atlanta, and Chicago as areas where crime is most rampant. What people fail to see are the forgotten industrial cities of America such as Gary, Indiana, cities once reliant on production, often of coal and, in the case of Gary, steel. With the decline on these industries, unemployment rose and with it, crime has grown out of control.
Freddie Gibbs is a living testament to this sad truth. A resident of Gary (a city that also gave birth to the Jacksons), Gibbs comments on the decay of his city on “Murder on My Mind,” rapping that “I’m fresh up outta city where most niggas broke/Sixty percent unemployment, why you think we selling dope?” Gibbs is one of the few emcees in the game today that is able to effectively convey the often overplayed and repetitive Gangster Rap genre. It is easy to see that Gibbs draws much influence from legends like 2Pac, OutKast (the title of this mixtape is a nod to their classic debut album), and Houston groups UGK and the Geto Boys. Gibbs’ voice and delivery reminds me a lot of a young Scarface and at the end of the day this mixtape reminds me a lot of Scarface’s classic 2002 album The Fix (if you don’t own a copy of The Fix do yourself a favor and cop it immediately).
As far as this mixtape is concerned, apart from the DJ Skee tags, I definitely recommend the free download (link below). Gibbs’ is a rising talent as is evidenced by his lyrical prowess and flow. Through his voice, we are able to bear witness to the struggles of middle American city life. Though it has some slow points, the good more than outweighs the bad. Cuts on the album include “Talkin’ Bout You,” “Midwest Malcolm,” “Boxframe Cadillac,” “Sumthin’ U Should Know,” and the gritty, desprate “Just Tryin’ Ta Make It.” If you like what you hear, you can cop his prior mixtape The Miseducation of Freddie Gibbs).
Peace, Love, & Gangsta Rap,
Update: Check out the NoDJ Version.