Review: Freddie Gibbs & Madlib Team Up Again On Luxurious, Potent Album 'Bandana'

Freddie at times gets very honest on this record.
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Freddie Gibbs Madlib Bandana

Freddie Gibbs has been a very busy man over the past year. In 2018 he released two albums – Freddie and then Fetti with Curren$y. Now he is back with another collaborative album with beatmaker supreme Madlib titled Bandana.

This is the follow-up to their 2014 LP Piñata.

Gibbs and Madlib is a rare match in hip-hop. Most rap albums have many different producers to try and give some sonic diversity. However, when a rapper collaborates with a producer on a full album, it can prove to be one of the best decisions of their career. Finding the right beats can be tough, but for Freddie Gibbs, Madlib is the guy.

The beats were originally made for Kanye West’s The Life Of Pablo, but Yeezy rejected them and then Freddie took them all.

He didn’t like them beats,” Madlib said at a talk with Gibbs during Red Bull Music Academy 2016. “Six CDs. Gibbs took all of them, rapped over everything. Kanye waited too long, Gibbs rapped over everything.”

With this partnership sealed, Bandada is yet another chapter in what has been one of the best collaborations of this decade. Madlib’s soulful and jazzy production is the perfect bed for Gibbs.

Gibbs uses the Madlib beats to drop some luxurious cocaine raps. If that sounds familiar, Pusha T does make an appearance on the star-studded “Palmolive,” also featuring Killer Mike, which also has one of the best Pusha verses of the year (his verse on Goldlink’s album is also insane).

Pusha comes right out of the gate firing. “Look, real bars are the ill bars / These scars are the only real proof they couldn't kill gods / My coke hand is still sketchin' out my memoirs / What I did to door panels on them Windstars.”

Though Madlib has the full album at his fingertips, he moves around his production talents with some soft and soulful beats or some harder gritty beats like on “Half Manne Half Cocaine.”

Anderson .Paak also features on “Giannis” singing the hook and dropping his own verse for a collab as dominant as the NBA MVP.

Gibbs is generally here to tell you about his female conquests and his ability to woo women with money and fame, but he does get personal on “Practice.” He raps about his selfish infidelity where he fell in love with a stripper, but had a family at the time and chronicles the struggle he felt to balance that, his relationship with drugs and being a musician.

“Yeah, yeah, my nigga, I went T-Pain for her / She 'bout to get off work at the club, I used to wait for her / Fucking up my whole family structure to clear the day for her / When I was going through problems at home, I should have prayed more / Dear Lord, but I didn't / So I'm tangled in this position / Made a commitment to both of these women and never considering both of they feelings,” he raps.

Madlib uses a Donny Hathaway sample to capture the mood.

The combo of Madlib and Freddie Gibbs has been a revelation for rap this decade. Gibbs provides the smooth raps over Madlib’s soulful and luxurious beats. It works like a charm and Bandana keeps the trend going.

Pick up a copy and stream below.

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