“Real”, an immediate highlight off the long-awaited and excellent Freddie Gibbs/Madlib collaboration (cocaine) Piñata, is a track that should remind hip hop fans of around a decade ago when Clipse had a fire lit under them after it took Jive four years to release their masterpiece Hell Hath No Fury. Gibbs infamously split from Young Jeezy’s CTE label in 2012 after only a year and obviously things weren’t left on good terms. It still isn’t totally clear what caused the separation, but it’s easy to infer based on Freddie Gibbs’ lack of overall commercial appeal. Just like when Clipse split from Jive for the same reasons, Freddie Gibbs’ poor experience with big-label music has only led to more quality subject matter.
Freddie Gibbs is so likable because he’s spent his career flexing a lot of diversity in the production department. The strictly gangster rapper never moves very far from his Midwest-boxframe Cadillac formula, and while it’s true he’s most comfortable in the chopped and screwed trap lane, he’s worked with plenty of different types of producers. See the Statik Selektah collab if you wanna hear what I’m talking about, but this Madlib project demonstrates this to the furthest extreme. Madlib is at the very least, not the guy you would think of to lay the gangsta blueprint. But again, it works because Gibbs has a hell of a lot of skill and what’s so cool about “Real” is we’re seeing him detail some pretty specific ideas.
The first verse is vintage Gibbs, and it establishes Freddie’s credibility as someone who “niggas heard of, and now all the sudden they back to thuggin” over fast-pased and buzzing Madlib production. The beat changes a minute in, and the bpm slows down so we can pay closer attention to Freddie’s story with Jeezy. He’s pissed at someone he once looked up to, and threatens to “expose you to those that don’t know you”. Rick Ross said that he’s “scared to drop a diss record” and Gibbs take a dozen or so shots at Young Jeezy’s character. In the end, Freddie Gibbs loses nothing and it’s Jeezy in fact that lost a “rare breed” and he’ll never again find “a bad guy like this that don’t produce nothing but evil seeds.”
Stream “Real” below.