A Newbury Comics exclusive color vinyl pressing.
Seeming a natural fit after years of creating together leading up to their 2019 album Bandana, at first glance rapper Freddie Gibbs and producer Madlib seemed like an unlikely combination.
Madlib is the professional name of Otis Jackson Jr. of Oxnard, California, and is widely considered one of the greatest hip-hop producers of all time, alongside such legends as J Dilla, Pete Rock, and others. An eclectic and quirky individual, his trademark productions take obscure soul, jazz, and funk recordings and alters and warps them to an almost psychedelic, drugged-out degree, all without the use of computers, utilizing only old school recording and sampling equipment. This style has made him a frequently sought-after and valued producer, and revered in the underground rap world. His works as Madlib and his numerous aliases and side-projects (Quasimoto, Yesterday's New Quintet, Young Jazz Rebels, and his debut group Lootpack to name a few.) are frequently critically acclaimed, and he has gone on to work with MF Doom, J Dilla, Ghostface Killah, Mos Def, and various others.
Freddie Gibbs is the professional name of Frederick Tipton of Gary, Indiana, and has been hailed by numerous music outlets as the underground rapper to watch in the 2010s, New Yorker writer Sasha Frere-Jones referring to him as "the one rapper I would put money on right now." His rhymes are frequently filled with street-savvy anecdotes and compelling stories inspired by his own hometown's slow demise due to crime, finding their way into numerous mixtapes that have been acclaimed by critics and fans alike. (Including the staggering 81-song mixtape The Label's Tryin' To Kill Me) Utilizing the internet and social media, Gibbs attained widespread success and praise without having to go through typical industry channels.
Since 2012, the two have been recording together, periodically releasing EPs of material, leading up to their studio debut Piñata, which features 17 tracks of Madlib's signature blend of eccentric hip-hop beats, and Gibbs' subtle and informed gangsta-rap flair. The album is filled with references to Blaxploitation films, and paints a picture of a disregarded, apocalyptic urban landscape, inspired by Gibbs' own experiences with Gary, Indiana, alongside beats crafted from dusty funk, discarded prog rock, old film soundtracks, and many more. Piñata is further punctuated by solid guest appearances from heavy-hitters of the genre such as Raekwon, Danny Brown, Scarface, Earl Sweatshirt, Mac Miller, Domo Genesis, and several others.