Gary, Indiana, and Corporate Thugs Entertainment (CTE) signed rapper Freddie Gibbs has arguably one of the hottest mixtapes out with A Cold Day in Hell, released collaboratively with clothing company LRG. After getting the Young Jeezy co-sign and being featured on several of Young Jeezy’s mixtapes, many of his fans and Hip-Hop critics thought that Freddie would switch things up. But this Midwest word flipper hasn’t missed a beat and is showing his versatility in ways that many rappers in the game can’t.
With work from Jeezy to Big K.R.I.T to Statik Selektah, and a highly touted mixtape, Freddie is letting it all hang out, and he’s not biting his tongue for anyone. Letting it be known that he is going to say what he wants when he wants, Freddie is waiting for one of these rappers “to come check him.” To say he is confident in his ability and capabilities to go far in this game is an understatement, but he is walking the walk and backing up everything he says with purely good gangsta and street music. Take a look at AllHipHop.com’s explosive interview with one of the rap game’s realest characters:
AllHipHop.com: So whats’ up with this Cold Day in Hell project, man? You are getting rave reviews on the 'net.
Freddie Gibbs:Cold Day in Hell is the best sh*t out right now. F*ck whoever dropped they album this week, or last week, whatever on they respective Tuesday, because on that Monday, the 31, I think I dropped the best project of the year. That’s my opinion, but opinions are like *assholes - everyone got one. But I think it’s the most complete, concise rap project out, and I don’t think you heard no gangsta rap sh*t like that since the 90s.
And ni**as can call me arrogant and say whatever the f*ck they want to say, but, but come check my mouth, because behind closed doors, these ni**as be pu**y and be saying, “Oh I don’t like Freddie Gibbs attitude,” but that’s why I ain’t in all these industry circles with all these ni**as, man, because I don’t give a f**k about being in the in crowd. I just want to f**k with genuine humble people, you know what I mean? A lot of these ni**as is weirdos in the game; shy away from me because I’m not gonna kiss their *ss.
AllHipHop.com: Yeah, there’s been a lot of controversial stuff coming out these days about gays in Hip-Hop and in-the-closet gays. Like Fat Joe was saying a lot of rappers were in the closet.
Freddie Gibbs: I wonder who he is talking about?
AllHipHop.com: I don’t know. He didn’t say.
Freddie Gibbs: He said he worked with them, so what’s that say about him? Didn’t he say he worked with some f*gs? Well hey, I ain’t calling him gay or nothing, but what’s that say about you? If I know a ni**a on some sweet sh*t before we go into the lab, I’m kinda cool on it, you know what I mean? Muhf*ckas gonna, “Oh man, Gibbs bashing on gays. Man, get outta here, man.” I ain’t hating on gays. I ain't gay bashing, ni**a. I’m just not gay.
I wanna surround myself around straight ni**as and b*tches, b*tches that want d*ck… I don’t want to be around another ni**a that thinking about f*cking me, man. I’m not knocking your culture, my ni**a, if that’s what you do.
AllHipHop.com: Yeah, man, that’s some wild sh*t!
Freddie Gibbs: I’m not knocking no gay ni**a that wanna rap. Go on and rap. I just think that as a society we go too far with all that sh*t, man. Ain’t no old fashioned values anymore. I don’t know. Everyone want to show how feminine they are by wearing little *ss pants and sh*t.
AllHipHop.com: There’s an artist that came out in Dallas recently that got attention wearing eyeliner.
Freddie Gibbs: Its some ni**as I seen in the game wearing eyeliner – them ni**as gay…I’m not saying arrest all gays or kill all gays. You ain’t getting that out of Gibbs. Muthaf*ckers already think I’m a racist, and I don’t even know what that’s all about, man, or where they get that from. That’s just how I feel, man. I don’t care if people hate, that’s just how I feel man. I don’t really give a f*ck about people hating on how I feel, bro.
AllHipHop.com: Man, all bull sh*t, aside, though, man. That “Rob Me a Ni**a” track is out of control, got a ton of attention across the Internet.
Freddie Gibbs: That was a track that K.R.I.T. gave me, and you know what I mean, I wanted to do that track with another up and coming dude, and K.R.I.T. said, “This track ain’t me, but it's you. I made it, but it fits you,” so I thought about other artists in the game that I thought that could hold their weight on that type of track that…I believe.
There a lot of cats in the game that I don’t believe. There ain���t too many cats in the game that I believe, but Alley, I believe. I f**k with that ni**a Alley, because when I bumped across him, he was 100, so I f*cked wit him already because of the Definition of F**k S**t Part 1. So yeah, he one of the hardest ni**as out in the A spittin,’ so now we cool and built a relationship and established that. That’s the type of sh*t that I like to do and work in the game. People that I can look at and respect when I look in their eyes.
AllHipHop.com: What is the Gary, Indiana, Hip-Hop scene like? We ain’t heard from Gary since Michael Jackson! Tell me a little bit about it.
Freddie Gibbs: Mainly the Gary rap scene is mainly gangsta rap pretty much, because it’s a city of gangstas and we call it “Gangsta Island.” You know what I mean? The street conditions in that area call for a lot of people to do a lot of illegal activity. The city is infested with drugs and violence. When you got a lot of people and then you have drugs and you take them away, then there is a droughts. There’s gonna be violence, man. There’s gonna be a lot of robbing and the economic situation.
People think the economic situation in the United States is bad now and f*cked up, but it's been like that in Gary for the last 20 years. People say recession, recession, recession. Ni**as been had the recession. Gary ain’t had no work in years, my ni**a. The steel mills all shut down. You gotta think about the "White Flight" of the 60s and 70s. Muhf*ckas need to do their homework, man, and look at what Gary really is. It was a factory town, you know what I mean, that got evacuated by all the people that was bringing the money in. When there is an economical imbalance, you gonna do what you gotta do to feed your family. That’s why there’s so many crooked *ss cops, that’s why there’s so many drug dealers, that’s why there’s so many crackheads and prostitutes. The conditions of life are f*cked up.
AllHipHop.com: Yea there’s been layoffs goin’ on in the Midwest towns since the late 90s, early 2000s.
Freddie Gibbs: Right, right, all those towns. Yeah, it's tough, all the Midwest towns, Cleveland, Gary, Chicago, Detroit, Michigan, Youngstown, Ohio - same thing. With the killing of the city’s industry, how can the average man uphold himself, the regular man paying for his mortgage, the guy that makes $30,000 a year paying for his home? You had stay-at-home wives, children had better values. We don’t have the momma and grandma, muhf*ckas out here having kids, having kids with four or five different ni**as or four or five different ni**as. It's bad and it's crazier than what people really think it is. Sh*t is going to come to a screeching halt one day. Muthaf*ckas tryna put a computer chip in our *ss. What the f*ck you think they gonna do next?
AllHipHop.com: You sound like a pretty educated brotha, Gibbs. Despite the fact that your music sounds so street, you are highly educated on a lot of issues going on in communities. People probably don’t know off the top how educated you are on these issues. Do you think you are bringing another element to CTE because of that?
Freddie Gibbs: Umm, I’m just bringing my element and speaking on street issues and what’s going on that’s near and dear to me, but I definitely add some form or type of social commentary in my music at some point time. Yeah, I’m a thug *ss ni**a, and of course, I used to bang and slag on the corner with the roughest ni**as in the world. But does that mean that I got to be dumb? Does that mean that I got to be stupid, and does that mean that I can’t learn from those mistakes, or does that mean that I gotta keep doing the same stupid sh*t until I die and go to jail? You know what I’m saying?
That’s what muthaf*ckas don’t understand. They think you supposed to be out here acting like an idiot. I can’t go to jail like Gucci Mane every week, man. I can’t do that, my ni**a. I got too many muthaf*ckas depending on me, man. I’m not coming into the rap game to get street cred. I’m not rapping to make no friends or to get stripes from the streets, 'cause I came into the game with that sh*t. I’m using this sh*t to better myself, my ni**a, and that’s what ni**a’s don’t understand.
That’s the main message in my music, and yeah, you hear the hoes and the weed and all that, because that’s what I came out of. But at the same time, this is the tool that God gave me to better myself, and I try to tell young muthaf*ckas that sh*t.
AllHipHop.com: How about your relationship with LRG? How did that develop? Some real dope videos have come out with you and Statik [Selektah].
Freddie Gibbs: I work real closely with LRG. Shout out to Woody White, that’s my homeboy that I have been working with over the past few years. He gets me right over there, and we shoot ideas back and forth and the gear stays fresh, of course, so I rock that. It’s a no brainer. They did the artwork on the Cold Day in Hell, and they bring a different artistic ear to game, and it’s a good working relationship.
The game right now, with the slump that the music industry is in, you definitely have to work with a good brand. In this Corporate America thing, you have to get the product out, and you have to have cross promotion. I only work with people that I’m friends with. If we ain’t cool, we really can’t work, but Rest in Peace to Joseph. It was sad to see the homie go like that, but you know they over there still doing great things, and I am just glad that I can be a part of it.
AllHipHop.com: You have been coming together with Statik on a few joints. How did you foster a relationship with him?
Freddie Gibbs: Statik really embodies that East Coast sound, and Statik is one of the most underrated producers in the game, just like I am one of the most underrated rappers in the game. I don’t know if people think he is just a DJ because he is on XM/Sirius Satellite Radio, but uh, he is def one of the most talented guys I have ever met and I f*ck wit him. Like I said, he is my homie, and we f*ck around. If I ain’t rap, I would still f*ck wit him.
AllHipHop.com: When you signed with CTE, a lot of your fans seemed to think that your musical style would change. How are things different, and how are they the same?
Freddie Gibbs: I get that a lot, but really to be quite honest, I am doing me, and I don’t think that I have changed my sound in any way whatsoever. I think that people heard “The Real is Back” and “The Real is Back 2” and they heard me featured on Jeezy’s mixtapes, so they figured I am going to go off Jeezy’s style and not stick to what I am doing. But it’s the total opposite. I definitely take things in and learn from Jeezy - song structure things that nobody else adds to the game, and that I look at and learn. But Jeezy didn’t bring me over here to be like him. He brought me over here to do me. That’s being the most versatile gangsta rapper out, and I think that I sold that. It was a big stepping stone, but I think it’s the most cohesive project that you can go straight through.
Yeah, I think that is more people’s perceptions because of who I am with, but yeah, that’s not the case. When Beanie Sigel started f*ckin' wit Jay-Z, he did him, and I think I bring something to the table that nobody else got. I can go from being all over Jeezy’s mixtapes to going to do an EP with Statik Selektah, and that’s two opposite sides of the spectrum. I got something that’s in the works as well that’s going to be a curveball for everyone.
AllHipHop.com: Your music has a real Southern influence, despite [the fact] that you are from Indiana. How did that come to be?
Freddie Gibbs: That’s just what we grew up on. The Midwest and South are geographically different, but the roots are there, as so many people from the Midwest moved from the South back in the day, so it's in the roots. But at the same time, we grew up on the Scarface’s, the Ghetto Boys, the Goodie Mob, Big Mike, or T-Love, 8 Ball and MJG, UGK with Pimp C and Bun B. We grew up on that type of sh*t in the Midwest. That was real to us, and that’s the kind of stuff that we grew up on.
AllHipHop.com: Never thought about it like that. So what’s up next, Gibbs?
Freddie Gibbs: I’m gonna do a lot of joints on the Cold Day in Hell joint, man. We gonna do the video for “Let Ya Nuts Hang,” me, Skrilla and Slick Pulla gonna be in the video for that. “Sittin Low” video 'bout to drop with Young Jeezy. I’m gonna do one for my “My Homeboy’s Girlfriend.” I’m just glad I’m in the position to do shows like this and make money on the road.
That’s what I’m doing for the next few months. Me and Dom are shooting “Menace to Society,” just doing projects like this and getting money on the road, you know what I mean? All I’m trying to do is grow and progress, that’s all that matters to me. Every day I grow and get better, and me getting better is putting me on top of a lot of muthaf*ckas.