If you still haven’t gotten the news, Freddie Gibbs and Madlib released their superb and strikingly original record, Piñata, earlier this month. It’s already getting buzz for rap record of the year while racking up one great review after another. It’s the most hyped I’ve been on a major hip-hop release since Drake’s Nothing Was The Same dropped 6 months ago; it has been on repeat for almost two weeks now and still hasn’t gotten old. I wasn’t about to miss Freddie Gibbs and Madlib bring Piñata to life on stage, and they delivered one of the best hip-hop shows I’ve had the pleasure of attending.
If there ever was a platonic hip-hip show, the show to set the definition of what a hip-hop show should be and look like, it happened last weekend at the Gramercy Theater. When I got to the venue about 20 minutes before Madlib came out to warmup the crowd, the place was already totally packed. As in, the second I walked through the door I was met by a wall of people stretching all the way to the stage. Madlib was greeted by raucous applause when he came out to spin some tunes (Tribe, Slum Village, De La, etc), and the place erupted when Freddie Gibbs ran out and didn’t stop the rest of the night.
The duo ran the record front to back with no pauses and no bullshit. Freddie showed off his rapping prowess on more than a few occasions with freestyles and going a capella for half or a whole verse. Several times he led the crowd in a “FUCK POLICE” call and response. Multiple people around me were passing around joints and others were passing blunts to Freddie on stage. Shit was poppin, word to Gitoo.
It’s a bit of a fools errand to call an album a classic two weeks after its release, but this album is a classic. It builds on Madlib’s reputation as one of the best and weirdest producers in the game and cements Freddie Gibbs as one of the better rappers out right now, especially with how he straight eviscerated Jeezy with the best diss track in recent memory. Who knows if we’ll ever get a follow-up to Piñata (been waiting a decade now on Madvillian), but for now lets just take in the genius of this album. Piñata is out now via Madlib Invazion
We’ve been down with Freddie for a minute. Check out our interview with him from Rock The Bells back in ’11.