After hyping hip-hop heads with a series of singles, Freddie Gibbs followed through this Friday with his 2015 LP Shadow of a Doubt. Released independently through his own label, ESGN Records, Gibbs is back on that hood shit (did he ever leave?), complete with double timing flows over aggressive bass and chopped up soul samples.
Although this is his first LP since 2014's Piñata (with producer Madlib), this album sounds a bit more like 2013's ESGN, which remains one of my favorite projects by Gangsta Gibbs to date (shout-out to Str8 Killa, though).
On Shadow of a Doubt, A great deal of guest features stop by, including Black Thought on the standout track “Extradite”, and Gucci Mane and E-40, both of whom can be heard on the extraordinary posse cut “10 Times”. The fifteen song project is cold as hell, stuck in the struggling street corners of Gary, Indiana, where you can see your breath, where you might hear a gunshot from a few blocks down the way. Without fear in his eyes, Gibbs continues to paint a picture of a thug not to be bothered. From the track “Fuckin' up the Count” (the lead single) to the police paranoia of “Rear View” to the coke mound displayed on “Narcos”, the whole project is embedded in drug raps and stylish bravado. Gangsta Gibbs might be my favorite rapper in the game (partially because I hail from Indiana and we don't have too many options), as the consistency in his eleven year career is undeniable, and the newest LP Shadow of a Doubt further proves this claim.