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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released June 28, 2019 | Madlib Invazion - ESGN - Keep Cool - RCA Records

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In 2014, at the height of his powers, Freddie Gibbs joined forces with one of the most cult and respected beatmakers in underground hip-hop, Madlib, who is 9 years Gibbs’ senior. The Hoosier and the Californian released Piñata, a powerful album that complemented and maximized their strengths. Madlib, for example, had never worked before on such gangsta/thug punchlines. The record features some incredible guests (Danny Brown, Raekwon, Domo Genesis, Earl Sweatshirt, Scarface), while Madlib’s instruments perfectly pursue the contours of Gibb’s soft, classy and deliciously old-school flow, very reminiscent of Tupac. Five years later, on their impeccable second collaboration, not much has changed except the names on the guest list (Killer Mike from Run The Jewels, Pusha T, Anderson .Paak, Yasiin Bey aka Mos Def and Black Thought from the Roots). Madlib draws slightly less from his dusty vinyl record collection and updates and modernizes the production. That said, it remains a mature work that shows a middle finger to our era's norms and opts to refine its own style. An instant classic. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released March 18, 2014 | Madlib Invazion

With a delivery that sounds like 2Pac pitched down a notch, and a technical, streetwise proficiency that's Scarface-styled and just as solid, Gary, Indiana rapper Freddie Gibbs is a rare find, but his odd come-up is arguably even more interesting. Promoted by websites with more of an indie spin and hanging with more left-field folk like Chip tha Ripper, SpaceGhostPurrp, and the Cool Kids, Gibbs is a gruff thug who allows access to the avant side of the underground, something that's especially attractive to any edgy beatmaker with a love of hardcore lyrics. In the case of this superior collaboration called Piñata, that beatmaker is Madlib, the wonderfully cloudy king of groove who has long anchored the Stones Throw label to the street. Here, one of his hands is guided by RZA, while the other is guided by Dilla, combining for some creeping, off-world karate movie themes like "Thuggin'" (where Gibbs' proudly admits his "Pants gonna be saggin' till I'm forty"), while "Broken" floats with, apt to its title, some dreamy broken beat soul (prompting Freddie to brilliantly ruminate "Swear I've seen everything but old age"). Madlib's fans will have to do the most adapting, as the skittishness found on his Medicine Show series of releases is smoothed out with more chilled beats and longer running times, but the deliciously off-kilter production style is there and strong, influencing Gibbs to go "Deeper" on the cut of the same name, where he views the local wrecks in his neighborhood as more mature than himself, simply because they're not dealing with this young man's game called "hip-hop". Startling numbers like the block-rockin' then dissolving "Real" crop up throughout the album and make this project even more than a sum of its parts, and with the track list flowing smoothly as attractive guests (Danny Brown, Raekwon, Scarface, Mac Miller, and the list goes diversely and gloriously on) come and go, Piñata winds up excellent overall. Extra points are added for being a peerless success while still giving fans of Mobb Deep, Slum Village, Young Buck, Odd Future, and David Banner enough familiar touchstones for easy access. ~ David Jeffries
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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released October 30, 2015 | Madlib Invazion

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released December 13, 2011 | Now Again Records

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released March 7, 2019 | Madlib Invazion - ESGN - Keep Cool - RCA Records

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released February 22, 2019 | Madlib Invazion - ESGN - Keep Cool - RCA Records

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released November 13, 2015 | Madlib Invazion

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released November 13, 2015 | Madlib Invazion