Freddie Gibbs has been hard at work in the buildup to the release of his next project, ESGN. For fans of the Gary, IN, MC, this album marks a new chapter in his career since parting ways with Young Jeezy’s CTE. As he shared with us a few weeks ago: “It’s going to be my first solo shit. Me separating from CTE. I’m extremely happy about that.”

Gibbs is gearing up for the July 9 release with a slew of guest verses and early previews of ESGN. The first offering, “One Eighty Seven” featuring Problem, re-announced his project to the world and caught a lot of people's attention. "[That]'s straight for the clubs," he says. "For the hoes. Strictly for the hoes. It’s straight gangster rap. I ain’t sugarcoated shit." Other cuts—“Eastside Moonwalker” and “Freddie Soprano”—are also some of his best work to date. Now, with the rest of the album left to digest, Gibbs pinpoints for XXL his five favorite tracks to watch out for and lays out the claim that since the death of Michael Jackson—Gary, IN's other favorite son—he'll be picking up the torch for his city. Peep game, and check the tracklist and more here.—Eric Diep (@E_Diep)