20 of the Best Freddie Gibbs Songs
Regional aesthetics have helped decorate the fabric of hip-hop for quite some time, but in 2016, those barriers have begun to topple. However, while rap may be an international pastime and sport at this juncture, all of the genre's breeding grounds and playing fields are not evenly matched. In the U.S., while the East Coast, more specifically New York, is known as the mecca of hip-hop, the West Coast as the land of innovation and progression and the South as the current epicenter of rap, the Midwest has often gone unsung. With many of its most promising prospects having suffered due to regional biases, Freddie Gibbs is one who has been able to transcend the crevices of regional obscurity.
The Gary, Ind. native, who uprooted to L.A. to jumpstart his rap career, is regarded as one of the more pure rap talents to arrive on the scene this decade. After a short-lived stint on Interscope Records, Gangsta Gibbs changed course, releasing his 2009 debut project, Miseducation of Freddie Gibbs, which garnered him critical acclaim. He didn't stop there, following his debut with a string of mixtapes, including midwestgangstaboxframecadillacmuzik, Str8 Killa No Filla and Cold Day In Hell.
After becoming a member of Young Jeezy's CTE faction, Gibbs would ultimately break ties and continue to operate independently, churning out career-defining efforts like his debut album, ESGN, and Pinata, his collaborative project with Madlib. Releasing his third full-length album, Shadow of a Doubt, in 2015, Freddie Gibbs' impressive winning streak would hit a snag after the rapper was arrested prior to a live performance in France, and ultimately charged with sexual assault. But on Sept. 30, 2016, after spending nearly four months in prison, Freddie Gibbs would be acquitted of all charges and released, with the hip-hop community rejoicing in his homecoming.
To mark the return of one of rap's more celebrated lyricists, XXL highlights 20 tracks from Gangsta Gibbs that define his career thus far. Welcome home.