Freddie Gibbs: $oul $old Seperately is Album of the Year.


Quenton Brown, Student Writer

The album cover sets the tone. A UFO crash landing. Freddie Gibbs is preparing us for a journey into a different world. The album opens with a familiar soul sample loop but features a rare Kelly Price sighting. “Blackest In The Room” sounds like luxurious elevator music until the beat switches to a smooth velvety loop with a jazz vibe. “Pain & Strife” featuring Offset, finds Gibbs doing his best Bone Thugs N Harmony impression. Lobster Omelette sounds as luxurious as the title suggests. Gibbs and Rick Ross trade lavish raps about success and how far they’ve come in their respective careers.

The strongest part of the album is the back half of the album. Freddie starts this series of tracks with Anderson Paak and Raekwon featured on the same track. The three styles mesh perfectly over lush production which seamlessly transitions into my personal favorite song on the album, “Rabbit Vision.”  The production team, J.U.S.T.I.C.E League, give Gibbs such a plush instrumental for him to bare his soul. Joe Rogan leaves a voicemail at the end of the song that weirdly morphs into “PYS”, a menacing trippy song with the familiar bounce that Memphis is known for. DJ Paul lgives a masterclass to young rappers and producers on how to correctly sample his records. Dark Hearted is your prototypical Freddie Gibbs record. No Chorus or Hook, just Gibbs showing his lyrical prowess. Gold Rings finds Gibbs trading bars with Pusha T, who spits a verse that will make you invoke his signature “ECHCH” trademark multiple times. These two have a chemistry that is undeniable. The songs closes out with a hilarious voicemail from Black Jesus. Ironically, the following song finds Gibbs rapping as if he is sitting inside the confessional booth expressing his demons to his priest. Musiq Soulchild closes out the song with a gospel-esque solo. CIA finds Gibbs rapping over a madlib beat. The duo add another impressive song to their catalog. Gibbs closes the album out with “Decoded.” He and Scarface tell drop jewels for the younger generation over another luxurious elevator beat with a futuristic undertone.

This album is Freddie’s well deserved victory lap. From top to bottom this is the best rap album of the year. The engineer deserves a grammy for his meticulous attention to detail. The way the album’s  transitions, the precisely placed voicemails, and operator interludes all constitute $oul $old Seperately as the most well-produced album in years.