Artists: Freddie Gibbs/Statik Selektah
Album Title: Lord Giveth, Lord Taketh Away
Label: Showoff Records/CTE World
Release Date: 6/23/2011
Freddie Gibbs recently surprised the industry by signing to Young Jeezy’s Corporate Thugs Entertainment. Rather than wait while his album is held on the back burner, Gibbs decided to team up with underground producer Statik Selektah for the an impromptu EP, Lord Giveth, Lord Taketh Away. Following in the footsteps of Saigon and Termanology, Gibbs linked up with Statik to record the entire EP in a single day, with the entire process streamed live for fans on Ustream. The project was completely finished and available only a few days later. The lack of time spent on the album was fairly evident upon listening to a few lines and hearing the standard sounding beats used. Otherwise, Lord Giveth, Lord Taketh Away is 19 minutes of Freddie and friends flossing hard over smooth instrumentals.
Lord Giveth, Lord Taketh Away starts off with an intro that left me kind of confused because I didn’t hear Gibbs’ voice, but one belonging to the rapper Slaine. The intro gives an indication of how heavy the guest appearances are throughout the EP which consists of Gibbs bringing out nine different friends to throw down on the project. If you forgot what Gibbs did to get his initial blog buzz, the title track gives him the platform to remind you. His rapidfire flow over the smooth booming beat can’t be touched. The next joint “Affliated” featuring Brooklyn’s own Push!Montana and Boston’s Reks, lets Gibbs and company translate their street upbringing into music for an unmistakable east coast sound. Push! spits one of my favorite lines and one I know any 80’s baby will appreciate, as he raps, “I‘m Tim Taylor with the tool, man/ Play Wilson, try to peek over the gate/ Soon as I see your brow, I squeeze it in your face.” The XXL Freshman Class bond proves to be strong with Fred The Godson on “Wild Style,” which serves as an opportunity for both to get gangsta and gritty like only they know how. Despite staying true to the new school, Freddie and Statik enlist Daz of the Dogg Pound for “Rap Money.” Knowing the buzz the Texas rapper Trae Da Truth has been receiving, Gibbs made the smart move pulling him onto the next track “Already.” The last track, and most disappointing, is “Keep It Warm For Ya” featuring Smoke DZA and Chace Infinite. Smoke DZA seems to own the track, making you forget this is a Freddie Gibbs. This song would be better suited for a DZA album and is a slow smoke filled joint on which Gibbs’ voice barely stands out on.
For being produced and recorded in 24 hours, this is a very impressive showing from Gibbs and Statik Selektah. It was nice hearing Statik show some diversity, although some instrumentals sound below his capability. This is not going to go down as Gibbs’ best project by any means, but it will definitely hold his fans over until him and Jeezy are ready to release his first CTE project.
Let’s face it – judging an album on a scale of 1 to 5 mics just won’t cut it — that’s more of a magazine thing. After constant office arguments regarding album ratings, we’ve decided to revise our album review process and fairly judge an artist’s work across multiple avenues. At iHipHop.com, we believe every album deserves an impartial review, taking into account both music and cultural relevance.