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Reviews

Freddie Gibbs “$oul $old $eparately” Album Review

$oul $old $eparately

Freddie Gibbs

    • Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap
    • Date: 30 Sep, 2022
    • Content: explicit
    • Region: USA
    • Track(s): 15
  • ℗ 2022 ESGN, LLC, under exclusive license to Warner Records, Inc.

“$oul $old $eparately” doesn’t make the astounding claim that Freddie had promised, but it isn’t necessary. It’s a very strong album that harkens back to his 2010s more experimental period. It’s messy and personal. It resembles “Shadow of a Doubt,” the album from 2015 that exposed his appetite for creativity.

Gibbs used a variety of sounds on that album, brought in some surprise guests, and rapped nonstop the entire time. We should be happy that he’s still ready to challenge himself and create music that might not quite succeed. It implies that Freddie Gibbs, a continually chameleonic artist, still has concepts to ponder and potential future classics for us to analyze.

Album Cover Art

Freddie Gibbs &Quot;$Oul $Old $Eparately&Quot; Album Review, Yours Truly, Reviews, December 10, 2022

Set in the middle of nowhere, on the chaotic but colorful art that is the album cover, is the flaming head of a person or what appears to be one that just got burnt crisps, with flaming bits of the person falling and scattering all over the place. While all that is going down in the background, an furry animated creature sticks up its middle finger to the cam covering the show.

Tracks and Features

The vibe of Freddie Gibbs’s debut studio album, $oul $old $eparately, is opulent and exudes luxury at nearly every step. The production decisions are all extravagant, such as the tastefully plucking strings that set apart “Feel No Pain” and “Gold Rings” or the underlying lo-fi jazz instrumentation that drives “Blackest in the Room.”

“Couldn’t Be Done,” the album’s opening track, features a pounding horn theme whose grandeur is tempered by a looped soul sample in the style of Kanye West. The opener establishes an air of success before Gibbs can even begin rapping, supported by a scattering of sparse hi-hats and errant piano keys—a sequence of modern sounds that keep the music from seeming too old-fashioned.

An “empty stomach” will give “you the heart to go do a homicide,” he muses gravely in the James Blake-produced song “Dark Hearted,” as he quickly moves through past traumas like police brutality, alcoholism, and emotional neglect. On “CIA,” he renames the organization’s initials to stand for the “biggest daily blows” to the Black community: crack, Instagram, and AIDS.

Gibbs occasionally discusses his numerous interpersonal issues, albeit in ways that allow him to avoid giving a complete account of himself. He half-heartedly defends himself against charges of parental neglect on the melancholy “Grandma’s Stove” by saying that “those that know me know I love my babies.”

Some of the guest performances come across as forced. Offset’s absolutely forgettable verse on “Pain & Strife” is an aimless effort at Atlanta trap music that vanishes as soon as it’s over. Even Raekwon’s outstanding performance on “Feel No Pain” cannot save the song because of Anderson .Paak’s subpar verse.

On “Rabbit Vision,” he reconciles with Jeezy, a longtime rival, and apologizes for his impulsive, childish handling of their dispute. While this is a mature response, you can’t help but wonder what he thinks he’s actually apologizing for when he says, “Could’ve talked it out, but I spoke out, I let it get to me.”

The problem is highlighted by the abundance of phoned-in verses from rap’s luminaries: For starters, Rick Ross oversaturates “Lobster Omelet” with the same kind of vain victory-lap raps that have flooded his most recent albums.

However, Gibbs and Pusha-collaboration T’s on “Gold Rings” best captures the album’s themes. After a slew of “yes” adlibs, both of the coke-rap veterans say the phrase “cocaine,” which is accompanied by hilariously exaggerated sniffing noises. It smells strongly of exaggerated grandeur, as does the majority of $oul $old $eparately.

Tracklist

NO TITLE TIME
1 Couldn’t Be Done 2:31
2 Blackest in the Room 2:47
3 Pain & Strife (feat. Offset) 2:37
4 Zipper Bagz 2:14
5 Too Much (feat. Moneybagg Yo) 3:08
6 Lobster Omelette (feat. Rick Ross) 3:04
7 Space Rabbit 2:58
8 Feel No Pain (feat. Anderson .Paak & Raekwon) 3:17
9 Rabbit Vision 3:13
10 PYS (feat. DJ Paul) 2:48
11 Dark Hearted 3:25
12 Gold Rings (feat. Pusha T) 3:42
13 Grandma’s Stove (feat. Musiq Soulchild) 4:11
14 CIA 2:56
15 Decoded (feat. Scarface) (BONUS TRACK) 3:14

Album Theme

An satisfactory record- Gibbs’ most recent work, which has been meticulously tuned, is an intentional attempt to mark a turning point. It acts as a grand reintroduction to everything he does best while also giving him the chance to break into new sonic territories.

Production Credits

The Alchemist, Anderson .Paak, Boi-1da, DJ Dahi, DJ Paul, Edgar “Johnny Velvet” Etienne and other great producers handled the album’s production.

Stream

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