Freddie Gibbs - Shadow Of A Doubt (B)

To be honest I didn't pay too much attention to the first few years of Freddie Gibbs career. It wasn't until his spectacular collaboration album with master producer Madlib, 2014's Piñata, that I started paying attention. After listening to his previous albums and mixtapes I was genuinely curious to see where he would take this as Piñata had him rapping over more soulful, smooth samples. That question was answered quickly as he comes out the gates with a much harder sound on "Rearview". Like Jeezy's album Church In The Streets, which dropped earlier this month, he straddles the line between throwback and present day, and he does it better than most. This album puts him up with the best of them out today. He spreads himself out production wise getting help from a number of producers, most notably Mike Dean and Boi-1da, but it never harms the overall effect of the album. He blazes through tracks like a man on a mission, and if that mission is to be the biggest badass on the block then I'd say he's definitely made his case. You may think that with an array of producers it's hard to maintain the cohesiveness of the album but it's Freddie's voice and energy that keeps everything together this time around. There honestly isn't a bad track on the album. This dude wasn't even on my radar closing in on the end of the year and now I'm contemplating just how high on my year end list he'll sit. Here's a hint, single digits isn't out of the question. My favorite track on the album is a tie between The Roots' Black Thought featured "Extradite" and the song that follows it "McDuck". Other notables are "Careless", "10 Times", and the sexy slow jam of the album "Basketball Wives". 

*If you need your Madlib fix go listen to his recently released collab album with MED and Blu called Bad Neighbor. Slick as slick gets.