Album Review: Freddie Gibbs & The Alchemist - Alfredo

Freddie Gibbs & The Alchemist are unstoppable on 'Alfredo.'
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The Alchemist & Freddie Gibbs

Freddie Gibbs and The Alchemist

Yesterday afternoon, Freddie Gibbs and The Alchemist announced they were going to release a new joint-album Alfredo today, May 29. Cue the hype, drum rolls and anticipation and just a few hours later, the album arrived and yes, it is great. The album comes with features from Tyler, The Creator, Rick Ross, Benny, The Butcher and Conway The Machine.

The timing on the album is perfect. Not only does the world need an album from these two, but there are some very timely lines on the record. The chorus on “1985,” Gibbs references the 1985 Chicago Bulls (subject of the recent hit docu-series The Last Dance), where Michael Jordan talks the apparent drug use by some team mates, “Michael Jordan, 1985, bitch, I travel with a cocaine circus.”

The basketball references don’t stop there. On “Scottie Beam,” he references the skyhook king Kareem Abdul Jabbar, “Hook shot a ho like Kareem, but I never leave the Bucks,” but then again the Bulls, “shit was different when Mike left and it was Scottie team,” referring to when Mike retired for 18 months after the 1993 season.

He also raps, “Yeah, the revolution is the genocide, Look, your execution will be televised,” which feels eerily similar to the brutal murder in broad daylight of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.

The Alchemist is a rare producer in hip-hop that seems to develop relationships with rappers where he and the rapper have complete trust in each other and their music always seems to mesh. The beat switches, movies samples and different flows all allow the listener to travel with Alchemist and Gibbs on the type of rap journey you don't get too often. Alchemist and Freddie have been a winning combo for the past several years and Alfredo is another contender for rap album of the year.

The beats are smooth and fit with Gibbs flow. There is some bounce on “God Is Perfect,” but they mainly provide the perfect bed for luxurious raps. That is exactly what Rick Ross is there to do, who feels like he sent his verse in from the back of Maybach in a velvet bathrobe and a fat blunt, flowing with one of the best guest verses he has done in a while.

Even Tyler The Creator, who may not fit on an album like this with how his music has evolved over the past few years, works perfectly with the elegant guitar and string-laden beat.

The album is just the right length at 10 tracks and 35 minutes. It isn’t an obvious play for streaming numbers and chart position. They keep things as efficient as possible on Alfredo, giving the people exactly what they need, nothing more and nothing less. 

Stream the album below and get a copy here.

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