Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Pinata (2014)


“Judge a man by his character and not by his wealth…” – Freddie Gibbs on ‘Uno’

The elusive Madlib and gangsta Gibbs made for an odd pairing when it was announced they’d be collaborating on an album together. Madlib is known for his assuasive beats while Freddie Gibbs is notorious for his hard hitting, thug infused brash raps about the darker aspects of life. When all was said and done however, they proved when different worlds collide it can create some of the most astounding art.

Seventeen tracks later (twenty-one if you get the Best Buy Deluxe Edition) and the only word to describe the project is masterpiece. This album is truly a work of art, with Madlib laying down some of the most soulful, yet grimy beats the human ear will ever have the luxury of listening to and Gibbs come through with some of his most passionate work to date, rapping like a man on a mission. It plays out like an audio film, taking you on a wondrous journey through a cesspool full of drugs, guns, crime and everything in between.

The duo sometimes referred to as ‘MadGibbs’ enlisted a plethora of appropriate features for the project including Domo Genesis, Mac Miller, G-Wiz, Raekwon, Danny Brown, Ab-Soul, BJ The Chicago Kid and the infamous Scarface among others.

With loose tributes to New York and Los Angeles (with tracks like ‘Knicks’ or ‘Lakers’ respectively), reminding listeners of their morality (on the track ‘Shitsville’ Gibbs asks ‘You wake up everyday and pray before you sleep, right?…You shed tears when you’re hurting; if I cut you then you bleed right? You motherfuckers just like me’) or dropping a brute force diss towards Jeezy (entitled ‘Real’) the Pinata project is certainly worth listening to, and ultimately will withstand the test of time as a true hip-hop classic.

“I stopped caring how people see me and I’m loving it…No desire for your input, I does my shit…Say what you want but know my ignorance is fucking bliss…” – Domo Genesis on ‘Robes’

You can purchase the album via Amazon