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Presented by First Avenue
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Freddie Gibbs is a direct product of Gary, Indiana’s East Side. Born into a vacuum of poverty, Gibbs is an uncut distillation of his surroundings. Freddie’s keen survivalist mentality and work ethic won him a scholarship to Ball State University for football, but he was dismissed over questionable allegations. Gibbs was cast back into the sink-or-swim realities of his upbringing, and he resorted to pimping and manufacturing freebase to keep the lights on.
A humble critic, Freddie never meant to be a part of the problem, and explored means of supporting himself without partaking in the cyclical plague of drugs and prostitution. A gifted writer who stood out amongst his peers with his reserved wit and command of language, Freddie began to rap about the things he saw.
As word of his skills spread to the coasts, he aligned himself with notable producers like The Alchemist, Red Spyda, Just Blaze, and Buckwild to create a discography that illustrates his experiences as a struggling denizen of a blighted community. In 2010, XXL Magazine caught wind of Freddie’s unique approach and nominated Gibbs to their Freshman Top 10. Subsequently, Freddie Gibbs’ previous mixtapes, which capture the forsaken instrumental aesthetic of 90’s boom-bap and juxtapose it with his distinctly Midwestern double-time flow, began to garner widespread critical acclaim and industry attention.
The rapper also endeavored to expand his musical horizons by teaming up with UK dubsteb producer Joker on a remix of the track “The Vision” and with New York indie-noise-pop duo Cults on a reworking of their track “Bad Things.” His willingness to both function in the world of gangster rap and to step outside the strict confines of hip hop to form unexpected collaborations with artists from a broad musical spectrum highlights a truly versatile musician.