Music Review | posted 21.03.2014
Freddie Gibbs & Madlib
Piñata
Madlib Invazion, 2014
Text Björn Bischoff , Translation Julia Frohn
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8.5
Editorial
Cover Freddie Gibbs & Madlib - Piñata

Let’s be honest here: As soon as someone mentions Madlib’s name in connection to an at least half-talented rapper, we all get wet hands in excitement. His über-record, »Madvillainy«, thrown into the world’s throat by Madlip and MF Doom ten years ago, still shines down on us almightily. And ever since Madlib and Freddie Gibbs released their first EP, we’ve all been nurturing hopes that an LP by the two could play in a similar league. And now, at last, it’s here, answering to the name of »Piñata«, a masterstroke of blaxploitation, consisting of 17 individual tracks. Things meet that have always meant to meet. Freddie Gibbs’ flow sticks so very closely to Madlib’s beats that it’s more than obvious why making this record has taken this long: The album is filled with perfection. »Broken« spins around an old soul-sample, while Gibbs tells stories on top, stories of the street, of his life. No glorification, no embellishment, instead, drug-dealing in all its ugliness. »Granny found my dope, I told her I would stop for selling it, Nigga please, she knew I was lying before I even spoke it. Empty promises left them all broken.« And yet, Gibbs is far from wagging his finger and allows the listener to connect the dots from the basis of his realism on his own, from the GangstaRap coming straight from ground reality. In the case of Gibbs, this all comes across in one piece, the guy really raps without a single flaw in every single track. For this occasion, Madlib has dug out the maybe best and most exciting instrumentals in a long time and thereby creates – just like together with MF Doom and Guilty Simpson – a completely new and unique atmosphere. No exaggeration, just beats with both feet on the ground, sometimes more easy-going (like on »High«), sometimes much more serious. The track »Deeper«, for example, has deconstructed its violin-sounds so thoroughly that only the rhythm keeps the track together. In the end, no ends are left untied. It’s just a producer together with a rapper; some features, like Danny Brown or Raekwon, who were granted to leave their finger prints in Freddie Gibbs’ file. All traces of Gibbs’ life are coming together here – however, they don’t reflect an image but his actual life. Conclusion: All our hopes fulfilled. From the first to the last tone.

You can find »Piñata« by Freddie Gibbs & Madlib at hhv.de on 2LP and CD.
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