It's Monday, we're mixing it up with a track review, Gangster Gibbs got out, lets get in to it.
The long awaited return of Freddie Gibbs has brought us the first track 'Crushed Glass' from an upcoming album titled 'You Only Live 2wice'.
The track finds Gibbs repentful for a lot of mistakes, jumping straight in with the line 'The future started yesterday, n****, every minute feelin' different, I am not the same n****'. Gibbs' flow is frantic, almost manic, trying to air as many issues and fears as possible over the track. The confident air and flow found on previous releases 'Pinata' and 'ESGN' is replaced by a paranoid disposition. Gibbs describes his come up and strive to be a paid man to being toppled from his pedestal due to a falsely made rape allegation in Austria. His cold and calculated air as an efficient dope dealer replaced by a vulnerable shell of himself, trapped in a foreign prison.
The chorus is almost akin to a mantra. In a previous life it was 'me myself and I', but now he has to 'level up', be a better man. References to him 'Leveling up' could be taken from the now shared artwork of the forthcoming 'You Only Live 2wice' depicting Gibbs in a renaissance-esque painting as a resurrected Christ above a landscape of police brutality, disciples wearing Jordans (True Blue 3s and Vans Old Skool for those with a good eye) and Exotic dancers (could be the ladies referred to that have tried to extort him)
The nature of the charges is something that Gibbs finds bemusing, as well as a big wake up call. It's no secret that Gibbs like to reference his previous gang life as a dope dealer amongst other illegal activities, something that he was never caught for. In Gibbs' eyes, his naivety had gotten the best of him with avoiding heavy charges for his dealing, instead of being brought down on a false claim 'Choppin' the porcelain up for years, said I'm suckin' glass. I beat the DEA and the task, now I'm on my Ass'. The charges also brought to light his priorities, His Wife and his Daughter. All he wants is his daughter to be proud of him when she grows up and to look after his family. Incarcerated in his cell on another continent has left him to be introspective of his life.
As the track goes on Gibbs builds up a nostalgic narrative about his previous life as well as a sweeping analysis of the plight of African Americans in our world. He makes reference to his stints in a French and Austrian as akin to that of the slave trade, as well as taking fire at Donald Trump on his final verse. 'Donald Trump gon' chain us up and turn back to slaves...'. Gibbs rationales his decisions in life as a man who had a bad upbringing in a bad place (If you search 'Gary, Indiana' The 4th link is tips of how to stay safe in Gary), a Kid brought up in the drug trade, how else was he supposed to survive.
The outro lead with the lyrics 'Ooh, I will be alright. Ooh, I will live my life' is an ominous prelude to the forthcoming release. It'll be interesting to see if Gibbs brings back an ultra serious persona that he adopted on mixtapes like 'Baby Face Killer', or the light heart approach of 'Pinata'. Whatever it is, you can guarantee it'll have as menacing as ever.