Gibbs reveals that he wrote all of "YOL2" and all of his upcoming Madlib collab album "Bandana" while locked up in Austria.
In a new interview with Complex, Freddie Gibbs spoke at length about his time incarcerated in Austria while awaiting rape charges. (He was acquitted last September.) He explained that he wrote all of You Only Live 2wice, as well as Bandana, his forthcoming album with Madlb, while in jail.
"I pretty much wrote everything in my cell in Austria," he said. "I just wrote things down, wrote ideas, because I didn’t think that I was gonna be able to rap again. You just never know man, so I just wrote a lot of shit. And when I got home I got production and just went in and pieced it together like a seamstress. Everything that I wanted to say I got it all out in this project. And I think that’s why this was so significant for me."
He added that writing relieved the boredom and frustration of the language barrier. "[Erica] brought me a Gil-Scot Heron book called The Last Holiday," he said. "I was reading so much shit, man. I read the George Clinton autobiography. I was reading a lot of books when I was on the road anyway—I was on the road prior to the arrest. I felt like when I got in there, fuck, I couldn’t even read a book. I wasn’t even thinking about the iPhone and all of that shit, I was like I don’t have anything to read—not a newspaper, not a letter from nobody, nothing. So it was just like fuck, I’m hearin’ German all day, they’re sending my case files in German, and then I gotta wait three, four days for a translator to get there—it’s all fucked up. The language barrier alone was sickening, man. It was tough. I couldn’t get the things that I needed to get behind bars, because I didn’t speak the language.
"What else is there to motherfuckin’ read but my own raps?" he continued. "Fuck it, I’m gonna just rap—rap all day, rap all night, write raps."
He did not say when he would Bandana would be released, or comment on its current status, but he confirmed that is very real. "Y’all pretty much know that I’m about to drop the bomb with this Madlib shit," he said.
Listen to You Only Live 2wice here.