Freddie Gibbs sells everything but his soul in “$oul $old $eparately.”
5. Dark Hearted
Freddie Gibbs definitely sounds focused on this song.
“Dark Hearted” is just as dramatic as every single one of Tyrese’s acting performances. For starters, the song boasts this opera-like James Blake beat that makes me want to make love to a wishing well. Over the beat, using a soulful style, Freddie Gibbs raps about his mob ties, his old drug dealing ways, and his opps’ weak mentalities. The way he floats on the song is pretty impressive. I also think the song is gangsta in a way that is unique.
“CIA” is, ironically, a song that I think will creep up on folks.
“CIA” (Which stands for “Crack” “Instagram” and “Aids”) is a track in which you get a very loose-lipped Freddie Gibbs. Over this exquisite, mafia-like beat, Freddie Gibbs keeps it real about selling crack, spending time with his children, and bumping Jagged Edge’s music. What I like about the song is that it feels like a glorified freestyle that features a rant that sounds both playful and serious.
I laughed my ass off when I realized what CIA meant.
3. Too Much
This song falls directly in line with the kind of music that I want to hear from Freddie.
“Too Much” is all about indulging in s**t that is both good and bad for you… Like Instagram! The song is powered by a bass booming beat that has some giddiness attached to it. Freddie Gibbs and MoneyBagg Yo slide over the beat relying on fast flows and cool-ass demeanors. Overall, “Too Much” is a track that I think will excel in clubs if it is played from 9 PM to 10:30.
2. Pain & Strife (Ft. Offset)
Anyone that knows how to use the word ‘strife’ in a sentence is smart as hell.
Dammit, I wish “Pain & Strife” was a longer track (It’s only 1:58)! The song features a hypnotizing Bone Thugs-n-Harmony-inspired hook, feverish flows, and a beat that even No Neck Ed would nod his head violently to. The motivational lyrics that you get out of both Freddie and Offset in the song are the icing on the cake.
The way “Pain & Strife” merged into “Zipper Bagz” freaked me out.
1. Gold Rings (Ft. Pusha T)
Freddie Gibbs and Pusha T might be two of the most underrated rappers of all time.
In “Gold Rings,” Freddie Gibbs and Pusha T rightfully call everyone’s bluff. To be more specific, they call out women that can’t take some heat, boyfriends that aren’t street smart, and rappers that claim that they sell dope. The way both Freddie and Pusha smoothly knife up the spellbinding beat is memorizing. I also think the hook that the former lays down is fantastic.
SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN
1. Couldn’t Be Done (Ft. Kelly Price) (4.5/5)
2. Blackest in the Room (4.5/5)
3. Pain & Strife (Ft. Offset) (4.5/5)
4. Zipper Bagz (4/5)
5. Too Much (Ft. MoneyBagg Yo) (4.5/5)
6. Lobster Omelette (Ft. Rick Ross) (4/5)
7. Space Rabbit (4/5)
8. Feel No Pain (4/5)
9. Rabbit Vision (4.5/5)
10. PYS (Ft. DJ Paul) (4/5)
11. Dark Hearted (4.5/5)
12. Gold Rings (Ft. Pusha T) (5/5)
13. Grandma’s Stove (Ft. Musiq Soulchild) (4/5)
14. CIA (4.5/5)
15. Decoded (Ft. Scarface) (4/5)
In $oul $old $eparately, Freddie Gibbs never deviates from a sound that he has taken years to master.
Production: The production attached $oul $old $eparately is fantastic. Between the soulful, debonair, and mafioso beats, you will feel like you’re eating an exquisite dinner immediately after wacking a snitch with the GodFather while listening to the album. Interestingly, the beats don’t persuade Freddie to switch up his style at all; he digs into all of them.
Guest Appearances: Has Freddie Gibbs burned a few bridges? Yes, he has. The good news is that he still has relationships with some of the realest in the game. In $oul $old $eparately, he goes toe to toe with a few people that have similar styles as him (Rick Ross and Pusha T) and a few people that have styles that aren’t quite similar to his (Offset, Scarface, and MoneyBagg Yo). I think the combination allows him to come across as versatile and refreshingly stuck in his ways.
The Performances: Freddie Gibbs is a top-notch rapper. Matter of fact, I’m not sure there are many rappers that go in on beats as he does. Throughout $oul $old $eparately, it literally sounds like Freddie gets lost in the beats that he is handed. With that being said, if you listen closely, he blesses us with verses that boast very dynamic flows, interesting stories, clever punchlines, and tons of grunginess.
The biggest thing I would change: The album might be a little too chill. While that is not necessarily a problem for me, I can see listeners who don’t care for lyrics as much as I do dozing off a bit listening to it. Those people should be sanctioned.
The biggest reason you should listen to this album: If you want to listen to a consistent, traditional mafioso album that features some damn good rapping, you should press play on $oul $old $eparately.
Quincy is the creator of Ratings Game Music. He loves writing about music, taking long walks on beaches, and spaghetti that fights him back.