Freddie Gibbs Shadow of a Doubt ESGN / Empire
Through a PR endorsement for Shadow of a Doubt, Freddie Gibbs’s third studio album, the rapper concocted his own premium cannabis strain in collaboration with marketing agency The Grow Division. The chronic, labelled Freddie Kane OG, has received multiple reviews and ‘user’ ratings. “Potent” and “Tranquillising” were among the comments. Much to Gibbs’ benefit, even the certified Doggfather himself, Snoop, weighed in with his own appraisal. “Once Snoop Dogg gave me the plug, the stamp, it’s all love,” Gibbs said. It’s the perfect pigeon-chested gangster behaviour to accompany an album that is equally as outrageous, stimulating and crass.
Gibbs’s flow here is by no means dissimilar to last year’s Madlib collaboration Piñata, his gutsy delivery joyriding over urgently aggressive hip-hop percussion and woozy vocal samples. Extradite, Packages and 10 Times are all forcibly menacing yet pertain a bounce that jumps like the rev of a motor. McDuck, Lately and Basketball Wives, on the other hand, offer a momentary relief as Gibbs croons boorishly, reminding us that he’s ‘always got that pussy’ on his mind.
Very few hip-hop artists are as fortunate as Gibbs in being independent from major labels and sustaining themselves without any corporate interference. Through his ESGN label, Gibbs continues to be self-supporting, self-ruling and self-reliant. Shadow of a Doubt is the perfect example of Gibbs’s hard work and a refusal to rest on his laurels.