Track Of The Week #13 – Freddie Gibbs ‘Knicks Remix’

Described by many as the king of new age hip-hop, Freddie Gibbs has been cementing his position in rap history for years now. Hailing from Gary, Indiana, a place with some of the highest unemployment and drug rates in America, the highly-talented rapper has gone on to work with a variety of some of the biggest names in hip-hop today. Aside from having a collection of  of releases to his name, Gibbs also is the founder of E$GN records, named after his debut studio album ‘Evil Seeds Grow Naturally’. Technically there aren’t many rappers in hip-hop that come close to Freddie Gibbs right now. His creativity shines through not only his lyrics, but his directorial instincts too. Gibbs’ ability to accompany a beat with jaw-dropping flows is one of the main reasons he stands above most. He describes it himself as creating a “Marriage” with the two elements of the song. Freddie Gibbs’ skills have led him to shake the new age of hip-hop, thanks to such albums as Madlib-collaborated ‘Piñata’ and ‘Shadow Of A Doubt’. For me, ‘Piñata’ stands proudly as one of the best hip-hop albums of the twenty first century. The album contains such hits as ‘Thuggin’, ‘Harolds’ and of course, ‘Knicks’, the original from which this remix came.

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The popularity of the original ‘Knicks’ sparked the creation of the ‘Knicks Remix EP’, a somewhat younger sibling to the musical behemoth which was ‘Piñata’. The EP was released in 2014 almost instantly after ‘Piñata’ hit the stores. Issued on Madlib’s own record label ‘Madlib Invazion’ and containing six-tracks, the EP is an accumulation of previously unreleased beats by both Madlib and Freddie Gibbs, hence coining the group name ‘MADGIBBS’. The main, definitive difference between ‘Knicks Remix’ and it’s original lies in it’s contributing artists. The remix features freshly cut verses from critically-acclaimed rappers Action Bronson, Joey Bada$$ and Ransom. The trio of collaborators have been described as ‘A true taste of top-tier guest muscle’ and by listening to the track, it’s clear to see why. of  The smooth beat samples the 1972 soul outfit, The Ovations, with their single ‘I Care for You’.  Led by Gibbs, the group of rappers lace the meticulously assembled instrumental produced by Madlib. ‘Knicks Remix’ is just another reason why Freddie Gibbs is the complete package. It is proof that great work is put into every aspect of the song’s release. From the beats to the videos, from the flows to the artworks, Gibbs has proved his versatility on the hip-hop scene and certainly isn’t going anywhere.

Aside from instrumentals, the EP contains another bouncy and uplifting single in the form of ‘Home’ featuring BJ The Chicago Kid, a single definitely worth checking out. Although Gibbs has been previously known for his chevy-chromed southern style, his recent transition into the world of funk-infused, soulful hip-hop has been seamless. Who would have initially thought a rapper who mostly prized his act on gangster-rap and that southern aggression could have completely remodelled his image into an artistic cult icon without ever really changing? If there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that Freddie Kane Freddie Corleone is nothing but the truth.

Listen & enjoy here –

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