Freddie Gibbs gets deep in a recent NPR interview.
In December Freddie Gibbs put out Shadow of a Doubt. It was a sonic departure from Piñata, his previous record with Madlib, but familiar to anyone who had followed Gangsta Gibbs from before that acclaimed 2014 album. In December 2015, he sat down with NPR’s “Microphone Check” for a long, in-depth interview.
Gibbs has always been a thoughtful dude whose interests expand far beyond the horizon of his lyrics or his time in the streets of Gary, Indiana, and he speaks on a number of issues relevant to the music industry and America as a whole.
On record labels
“Everybody wants to be independent now. Rap is like indie rock or something like that now.”
“I love where the game's at. It's a whole lot of small business owners in the rap game right now, and people are flourishing. People are making — guys are making a lot of money on they own.”
On music streaming
”Cause we need the streaming right now, man. Cause record sales is — it is what it is…Should I buy the record? Maybe. But I mean, I'm spending $10 a month to get the stream, so it's like, might as well put it to use. So that's just the future of music.”
On the rap game
“The way that the young guys are playing the game right now, you kind of got to play it — play that to your advantage. And if you can't play, you kind of gotta get out of the league.”
On who he’s listening to
“I’ve been listening to a lot of, like, R&B. I was listening to Jeremih's album. I was listening to Bryson Tiller's album. I just love the way they infuse the singing with the rapping.”
On Gucci Mane
"Shout out to Gucci. Free Gucci, man. I'm such a huge Gucci Mane fan. It's like a — at first it was like a guilty pleasure, but then it just became a staple of music in my iTunes...He just sent me some more music to do matter of fact, so I'm excited about developing a good musical relationship with him."
On collaboration in the rap game
"I think that rap is so egotistical and chauvinistic that, you know, guys like — I don't know. It's like we damn near afraid to speak to each other. I don't see that in other genres."
On selling drugs to record music
“it's like your stomach or theirs. It's a sad state of affairs, man, because it's like a never-ending cycle, man. Addiction, you know, it haunts everybody: the dealer and the addict.”
“I was on it heavy, for damn near two years straight. And I had to look in the mirror like, "Wow. What am I doing?" I'm pouring opiate into my stomach every day. I'm drinking — I'm basically, like, drinking heroin.”
On the competition
”I don't think that I get put up there with the J. Coles and the Kendrick Lamars and guys of that nature when I definitely think that I'm rapping on they level and definitely higher.”
On plans for 2016
“I’m definitely about to shoot more visuals from the record… I’m about to do a U.S. tour this year that's going to be big. I'm about to do Australia. I always do Europe, every year. Hopefully I'm in South America and all that stuff this year.”
On Shadow of a Doubt
“The basis of this record, man, you know what movie that I watched to really get the general, bare aesthetic of this record? I watched — me and Lambo, we watched Ryan Gosling, Drive."
Listen to the whole interview below, it's well worth it.