My favorites: Scottie Beam, Something to Rap About, Skinny Suge
Listen if you like: Danny Brown, Vince Staples, Earl Sweatshirt
The Alchemist and Freddie Gibbs’ album, Alfredo, was released at the end of May. On Alfredo, the duo combines the proven production talent of The Alchemist and the gruff voice of underground rapper Gibbs. Daniel Alan Maman, stage name The Alchemist, is a producer and songwriter famous for creating soulful and rhythmic beats for rappers and his own instrumental albums. He’s created many collaborative projects, and Alfredo is his most recent success. Gibbs is most well-known for his 2000’s mixtapes and recent highly-rated albums; his rough voice and smooth lyricism makes him an iconic musician.
The album mainly reflects on the dealings of the Mafia and criminal activity. It features artists Tyler, the Creator, Benny the Butcher, and Rick Ross. The rhythms laid down by The Alchemist and paired with Gibbs’ fearless lyrics create a perfect complement. The album opens with 1985, a track full of references to pop culture including nods to Italian crime movies and the famous “Tiger King,” Joe Exotic. The song sets the stage for the rest of the album, filled with intricate beats and gritty rhyming. The album progresses, following a narrative of drug deals, guns, and women. Scottie Beam is a song that has so much relevance especially within the Black Lives Matter movement. He raps about the continuous violence faced by black Americans at the hands of police. “Yeah, the revolution is the genocide/Look, your execution will be televised.” This iconic line made it onto Gibbs’ merchandise, he sells shirts asserting “my execution might be televised,” with 100% of proceeds benefiting protest-related causes. Much of the album continues to hit on the experience of black Americans, the oppression at the hands of cops, Freddie’s childhood, drugs, and religion. Hw masters the art of romanticizing his own experiences, making them appeal to any listener. The album is one of Gibbs’ most successful yet, hitting the fourth on Billboard Charts’ top-selling albums of the week and the tracks from it becoming favorites among fans instantly.