Hola. It’s been a minute since I wrote anything about anything – that’s Freddie Gibbs’ fault. I’ve been bumping Baby Face Killa on a loop for a while now and I’ve had zero interest in listening to or writing about anything else. It’s that serious. I realize that it isn’t a perfect mixtape, but I’d be hard pressed to find more than 2 or 3 albums I consider its equal in 2012. That’s just me.
To help “analyze” BFK with some measure of objectivity and to help end my writer’s block, I asked my friend Keith, one half of The Lucas Brothers, to sit through a listening session and offer his reflections on the tape. For a bit of context, I’ve introduced him to black women and the non-NYC strains of rap worth listening to (yep, bamma shit) and he’s reciprocated by adding nothing to my life. I mean that.
I was supposed to ask him informed questions, but I suspect our exchange may have devolved into a series of snarky dick jokes. It’s been censored heavily for public consumption and something approaching brevity. Methinks. Whatever. Here goes nothing:
Deen: A friend says she hears a Nirvana sample on this. I hear what she’s referencing, but I think it’s just random synths.
Keith: Hmmm. Dope beat either way. She say which song?
D: Teen Spirit.
K: Oh shit. I hear it. The nigga Gibbs fucks with Nirvana?
D: Who knows? He might be a cultured nigga.
K: He still a nigga.
D: Word. A rap nigga too. The worst kind.
K: Dope use of the sample, but I’ve been celebrating “fuck Kurt Cobain” month.
D: Ha! Why?
K: Just learned he was worth $150 million when he murked himself. Big Sean can’t have more than $3 million to his name and he’ll NEVER kill himself.
2. Still Livin’
D: He talmbout dope. As usual.
K: They got good weed in Nigeria?
D: Wyclef LOVED our weed.
K: Fuck Wyclef.
K: Ha! “I gotta pay my taxes?”
D: Bitch NEVER said that.
K: Inspired by Wesley Snipes.
D: Bad role model man. #TeamBillyHoyle.
K: Why do they always get 5’8 niggas to play ball players in Hollywood? I saw Common at the airport the other day. Nigga was like 5’7″. They could have easily gotten Derek Fisher to fuck Queen Latifah in that movie.
K: Oh. Gibbs is 2 for 2 so far. He can do that trap-rap shit with the best of them.
3. The Diet
D: You hear Pharrell on this shit?
K: Yeah, I hear that rich nigga.
D: I’m happy AND confused.
K: When you can rap as well as Freddie, you command that kind of power. Besides, Pharrell has a great ear for talent.
D: I read something about Gibbs being one of his new favorites.
K: Gibbs got everyone in his corner.
D: Except fuckbois.
4. Money Clothes Hoes (MCH)
D: Aight, this might be my favorite song on this shit, but I’m a coon that way.
K: So far, this album is really smooth.
D: This is basically an R&B song. Rhythm and gangsta. Good Snoop album.
K: I’ve listened to a lot of Gibbs and this shit is more consistent. So far.
D: I’ve read a lot of that.
K: Yeah, but you’re a stan.
D: Yeah, my objectivity is on zero man. It’s pathetic. This shit has a Blackstreet sample.
K: We need more Blackstreet in the universe.
D: I prefer the Jodeci sample on ‘Neighborhood Hoez’ from Cold Day In Hell because Jodeci was the better band.
K: I agree. They got mo hoes and one of them fucked Mary J. Blige.
D: Word. Nas did that too and so did Burger King a few months ago.
K: Mary kind of a ho. She a strong Black Queen though. No disrespect.
D: Christ! That nigga K-Ci hit her. Fucking terrible.
K: That’s why that nigga ain’t allowed at the BET awards no mo. This song is slick as fuck though. Gibbs is versatile. I like that. Pause.
D: That’s the main reason why I’m a fan. Methinks.
K: Nigga, you’ve been stanning since George Bush was president.
D: I’m a real nigga that way. Pause.
5. The Hard feat. Dana Williams
K: Pause on this title! FUCK SINGING.
D: Hahahahaha! The further something is away from a Raekwon verse, the more you hate that shit.
K: Ha! Of course. I keep it real Roc Marciano. Straight G. No Lupe shit on proper rap albums.
D: That said, I think this is a solid track. The melodic shit most rappers can’t even dream of doing.
K: Did Chief Keef kill that Lupe nigga yet.
D: WTF Keith! We talmbout Gibbs right now.
K: Yeah solid track, whatever. That Lupe shit was like when Stringer was tryna talk sense into Marlo.
D: Ha. Stringer got murked. Then he married my ex-girlfriend.
K: Don’t worry, they’ll get divorced soon.
D: ROFL. We gotta skip this shit man.
6. Kush Cloud (feat. Krayzie Bone & SpaceGhost Purrp)
D: Pause nigga.
K: Grew up on this shit. Glad Gibbs gave that nigga some work.
D: Pause. I’m jiggin’ hard right now though.
K: Been a minute since they made music for Batman.
D: Yep, they ain’t done shit since Akon tried to hologram them. Without a Gaga feature.
K: Gibbs kills this shit. He should have put the whole group on this shit.
D: Nah, fuck that. It would be boring like ‘Notorious Thugs.’ Yeah, I said it.
K: Hahahahahaha. Good point. That song should NOT have started with Biggie. Headliner first is dumb.
D: Song’s too fucking long and no one cares after the Biggie verse.
K: Not feeling the Wiz name drop, but niggas gotta get more guest spots in a bad economy. I always skip “Notorious Thugs” after the Big verse unless I’m high and I forget.
K: SpaceGhost is a borderline lunatic. Good verse though. Love this track a lot.
D: I know – not as rapey as usual.
K: Tried listening to his mixtape. Felt like murdering children after. Not a good feeling.
7. Walk In Wit The ‘Mo (feat. Dom Kennedy)
D: Another one of my favorites. Sounds like the kind of shit we’d listen to before failing with hoes in Chapel Hill.
K: Word. Been bumping this for a minute now.
D: You hear the Redman & Nelly adlibs on the hook?
K: Yeah. Speaking of which, the samples on this tape are on point so far. There’s no point in commenting on his rapping ability anymore.
D: Might be his strongest production to date – which is saying a lot.
K: His choice of features is excellent too. This beat is ridiculously smooth.
D: Dom is a shite rapper, but I love his music. This is the first time he’s ever said something it took me two listens to catch. The Nas/Jungle couplet.
K: Hahahaha. You NEVER want Dom making you feel dumb. Ever.
8. Bout It, Bout It (feat. Kirko Bangz)
K: Nice ode to Master P, I think. You can definitely hear this on the radio somewhere. Not cheesy. Would work in a club too. Autotune – perfect for the bitches.
D: For some reason, I tolerate Kirko. Must be a Houston thing. That nigga is literally everything I hate: corny, autotuned and light-skinned.
K: Haaaaaaaaa. The fuckin trifecta.
D: Yet, I defend his right to exist. I’m a true fuckin American
K: An American Hero.
D: Thanks mane.
K: Much respect. Anytime you defend a light skin nigga, you show true patriotism
9. Krazy (feat. Jadakiss & Jay Rock)
K: Here we go again with Gibbs showing how great he can rap. Almost unfair.
K: Love the sample. There’s always room for a little Doobie Brothers.
D: Gibbs says this is his favorite verse on the tape. I can hear why.
K: Jadakiss still thinks he’s Top 5?
D: Even if he’s delusional, he still sounds awesome.
K: That’s like Jermaine O’Neal thinking he’s in the Top Ten!
D: LOL. If Jadakiss thought he was Top Five back in his prime, he probably thinks he’s the GOAT these days.
K: He dope, but he an old nigga now.
D: Word. Rapping about cut off sleeves on jean jackets. He thinks he’s Kanye.
K: Hahahahaha. It’s impossible to follow Gibbs.
D: Yeah, I would have preferred 3 Gibbs verses or a Jeezy verse with 2 Gibbs verses. Jeezy is dope on soulful beats.
K: It’s dope that Gibbs shows respect to young and old niggas. Jadakiss and Bone offset with SGP and Jay Rock.
D: Word. I ain’t even think of that. Good shit.
K: And he has rapped better than ALL of them. Maybe showing the world he’s the best?
D: Indeed. Gibbs may be smarter than your average gangsta rapper. Word to Yogi Bear.
10. Stay Down
K: I’ve always been impressed with his hook making abilities.
(Note – we talked about a ton of other shit: weed, Grant Hill, Brandon Roy and some other shit. We both dig the track though).
11. Boxframe Cadillac (DeVille ’83 Mix) feat. Z-Ro
K: This tape is moving along. I like the track lengths.
D: It’s a brisk listen. I think this feels way too much like a Z-Ro song.
K: Yeah, I was gonna say that too. The hook is too singy.
D: That’s Z-Ro all the way.
K: Beat’s amazing though.
D: Yeah. Sounds like UGK meets Christmas.
K: I think I hear an Isley Brothers sample.
D: I don’t. Moving on.
12. Middle of the Night feat. Wayne Blazed
K: Back to back singing?
K: Gotta make songs for the ladies. I get it.
D: Likewise. Let’s skip this shit though.
13. Go For It feat. Young Jeezy
K: Yes! Young Jeezy!
D: Stop lying nigga. You ain’t no Jeezy fan. But that hook though!
K: I love this ignorant shit more and more. I converted to Jeezy fandom after we saw him live with Jigga and he killed while niggas were basically on their phones while Jay performed
D: Well it WAS in North Carolina. Bammas galore.
K: Jeezy is consistent. I love this hook. I’m sending it to my ex-girlfriend.
D: She might fuck around and like it. 2012 hoes are wild
K: Fo sho. She been married for a bit too. I know she’s getting bored of that dude.
D: You sound like Bobby Brown’s verse on ‘Thug Lovin’ with Ja Rule right now.
K: Yo! I’m glad to be compared to Bobby Brown in any capacity.
D: That’s because you a real nigga and real niggas respect Bobby.
K: YOU HAVE TO.
D: Word. He turned Whitney out. That’s legendary.
K: LMAO. Juicy J would murder this shit too.
D: Yep. BANDZ!
14: On Me feat. Problem
D: Some West, West shit. Problem didn’t bore me either.
K: This beat is pretty fucking ill. This song is in my Top Two so far. It’s definitely a weed head song.
D: That’s just evidence that you smoke too much weed nigga.
K: Haahahahaha. I love the beat that much. Up in the clouds mane. Real sunny vibe.
D: They oughta remix it by slowing it down for Currensy to rap on.
K: Ha! Actually, that would be sick. Spitta would kill it. Nigga needs to quit dropping 2 albums a month though.
D: Word. Stoned Immaculate is one of my faves this year though.
K: Same here. Sick album.
15. Tell A Friend feat. Currensy
K: Speaking of Currensy…
D: The sample is ill
K: Jay-Z on “So Ghetto’?”
K: I knew it sounded familiar. Trying to catch some Nets games this year. I wanna see Joe Johnson’s waves LIVE.
D: Hahahaha. I still think Camel shoulda named his nigglet (is that niggletress?) “Brooklyn” instead of “Blue Ivy.” Anyway, did Spitta avenge his defeat/death on “Scottie Pippens” here?
K: I think so. This beat suit him the same way “Scottie” suited Gibbs way more. And yeah, it’s “niggletress” for a female child.
D: Wow. Interesting.
K: Gibbs can rap on anything. Curren$y not so much – but this works for him.
16. My N****s feat. G-Wiz, Hit & D-Edge
D: This shit sounds fire as fuck. I want to rap over it. But I can’t because I’m wack at rapping.
K: Hahahaha. That doesn’t stop 80% of the niggas rapping today. Beat is nice though.
D: I keep thinking early Tupac.
K: Yeah, I hear that. Before that nigga went crazy.
D: Let’s not start on that Pac shit. We’ll be here forever. You hear those Havoc drums from “Temperature’s Rising?”
K: Yeah. Cookin Soul should give him a credit for that shit. So far I the only song I haven’t cared for is the singing shit we skipped. This song is definitely in my Top Five. Love the vibe. I’d roll up to this. The last nigga kills his verse. The feature work on this tape is impressive.
D: Generally, I hate guests. But Gibbs is a dominant presence anyway, so it works.
17. Seventeen feat. Young Jeezy & Slick Pulla
K: Frank Sinatra!
D: Fuck that cracka ass cracka.
K: I’m really just waiting for Gibbs to start rapping. I’m feeling the beat though.
D: Fair. I’m guessing this was for the CTE album.
K: That’s probably right.
D: Cause there’s no way in hell Freddie ever raps with Slick Pulla for real.
K: Hahaha. One of the worst names ever. Jeezy’s verse was dope, but I prefer ignorant Jeezy.
D: You’re such a white hipster nigga.
K: Hahahahaha! BROOKLYN NIGGA!
18. Every City feat. YG (Bonus)
K: I’m really feeling this last shit.
K: Yeah. This shit is sick. Niggas ain’t got a bitch in every city though.
D: You never know. Bitches is easy. Stop that shit and google “2Chainz – ‘I’m Different’”
K: Same beat. Sick. Who got the beat first?
D: No clue. But I just noticed some lyrical similarities. Probably the producer’s fault.
K: Yeah, I hear it. No controversy though. Right? Or maybe?
D: Naaaaaah. A 2 Chainz ghostwriting controversy. Ha!
K: Hahahahahahaha. You never know these days.
D: That would be like me fucking a pr0n bitch in place of Mr. Marcus. No homo and no syphillis.
K: Ha. That nigga fucking shit up for black porn man.
Deen: So that was Baby Face Killa. Overall thoughts?
Keith: Overall? 85/100. Tight production, quality samples and guests. Kind of on the long side though and I hate sung hooks, but that’s a personal thing. Gibbs can clearly rap, but this probably won’t cross him over. But it’s a really strong album. I can see myself bumping a lot of these tracks for a long time. What he really needs is a song with Rihanna.
D: He’d kill that too.
K: Ha! Absolutely.
D: I wonder if that would mean he’d have to fight Chris Brown.
K: He’d kill that light skin nigga.
D: You never know man. Chris is from Virginia. Home of real niggas such as A.I., The Clipse, Mike Vick and Nat Turner.
K: All great points, but Gibbs is a crazy nigga too.
D: You right. Rent money on Gibbs.
K: Maybe a light skin combo could beat him. Chris Brown and Drake?
D: Nah. He beats both at once.
K: Yeah probably. Like Undertaker versus The Bushwackers.
D: Hahahahaa. Classic shit.
ZIP: Freddie Gibbs – Baby Face Killa (Left-Click)