L.A. transplant Freddie Gibbs drops ‘The Ghetto Remix’ featuring Rek and Sean Price
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Freddie Gibbs already knew something about Boot Camp, having languished at North Carolina’s Ft. Bragg while awaiting sentencing for a crime committed in his hometown of Gary, Ind. He’s been headquartered in Los Angeles for the last several years, living in a seedy part of Van Nuys -- not quite the ghetto, but rusting shopping carts litter the sidewalks and trouble isn’t far off.
Thus, it’s not much of a stretch for Gangsta Gibbs to pair up with Boot Camp Clik legends Tek of Cocoa Brovaz and Sean Price of Heltah Skeltah for the remix to ‘The Ghetto.’ If Price remains an original gun clapper, Gibbs is a logical successor. Nor is it easy to get an endorsement from Price. The Brooklyn-bred rapper has relentlessly mocked members of the younger generation, but Gibbs is the rare contemporary MC whose rhyme skills match the menace he projects.
Right now, there’s no one in hip-hop able to condense information as well as Gibbs. Following Tek’s and Price’s pipe-bash verses, he introduces himself as ‘Freddie Gibbs grew up on fried bologna/ around the dealers and smokers/I’m smoking fried with my homies.’ Unlike most of the contemporary gangsta rappers, he neither glorifies nor passes judgment on his past lifestyle. He can weave a taut narrative in 16 bars, while his peers prefer to tell their stories in tedious soap operas.
Then again, when you rap this well -- you could be from Bel-Air and no one would bat a Bulgari.
-- Jeff Weiss