Patrick Cartlidge’s #2: Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Pinata
(Released March 18th, Madlib Invazion)
So after the year of stellar hip-hop releases that was 2013, Freddie Gibbs & Madlib release an album that might top all of them. Whilst Pinata is rooted in classic hip-hop tropes it still manages to amaze with incredible beats from Madlib – just try not bobbing your head to them – and gritty gangsta-rap verses from Gibbs. Freddie Gibbs stuns with his smooth flow and ability to inject much needed humanity and heart into lyrics about street life and crime. Madlib complements this with filthy beats that wouldn’t sound out of home on the soundtrack to a classic blaxplotation flick. The second half of the album has a boatload of incredible features and ends with the fantastic posse cut “Pinata”. It proved to be a fantastically engrossing album from start to finish for me despite not being enamored with gangsta-rap before.