Freddie Gibbs - "Pronto" - EP Mar 11, 2015 16:00:18 GMT -5
Post by StevePulaski on Mar 11, 2015 16:00:18 GMT -5
Pronto - EP (2015)
By: Freddie Gibbs
By: Freddie Gibbs
Freddie Gibbs has consistently been one of the most underrated rappers in the field today, never having a really successful mainstream single, staying popular on rap-dominated stations and through various "street singles," and somehow maintaining a status of being virtually unknown to most of the public. With the release of Gibbs' debut album ESGN: Evil Seeds Grow Naturally in 2013, Gibbs has shied away from mixtapes and has kept his catalog filled with stray singles and EP releases to hold those over for his forthcoming album Lifestyles of the Insane, due out later this year.
Pronto is the first EP by the Gary-born rapper of 2015 and, unsurprisingly so, it's filled with cut-throat, gangsta lyricism, incredible 808's, and three hard-hitting tracks that you intensely feel when you listen to them. "Pronto," "White Range," and "Diamonds" are the three tracks on the EP, and each one brings a terrific level of ambiance to the table. "Pronto" has Gibbs boasting "thug life never die," bringing the same kind of zealous flow to his work, combined with bass and instrumentation fitting for Dubstep or other rave anthems. Gibbs' most valuable asset, along with his ability to work well under any condition, is his ability to flow at incredible speeds (anyone who thinks not need only listen to "Rob Me a N****" and make an attempt to argue otherwise). Meanwhile, "White Range" catches Gibbs in a mood that leads some to compare him to a temporary Tupac. Gibbs reminisces about childhood and his opportunities, saying "I was blessed to make it through my adolescence, still f****** up in my adult life," in a manner any hardened Gibbs fan will recognize as familiar but incredibly favorable territory.
Finally, there's "Diamonds," also featuring the talents of songwriter Dana Williams, further showing Gibbs' diversity and willingness to work with unlikely souls. "Diamonds" may indeed be my favorite track of an EP that's difficult to have one pick favorites from, while "Pronto" and "White Range" offer a sound a tad different from Gibbs' previous work, mostly thanks to the heavy techno influence in the production realm. "Diamonds" offers classic Gibbs sound and instrumentation, with Gibbs shifting tones and flows all over the song, slowing things down on the chorus only to kick them back into high gear during his verses that vibe tremendously well with the production. Even Williams provides for an interesting contrast to Gibbs' hardened gangsta image, coming in as a backup vocalist at times, setting a more intimate mood for Gibbs' music.
As stated, Gibbs has remained fairly high on my rap radar, amidst mainstream acts, trap rappers, and underground artists, mainly because of his diversity and his ability to work well under various flows and productions. He can bring the same level of energy to classic, street releases on his mixtapes as he can working with high-profile producers like Young Chop all the way to artists like Madlib, bringing energy and incredible range to his work so early in his career (miraculously, he's only been working in the rap game for five years). Pronto's brevity is a blessing and a curse, as while it marginally fills the soul who has been anxiously awaiting Gibbs' new material, it leaves us wanting more immediately at the conclusion of "Diamonds." With that, it does the job of an EP and makes for a strong new release in the rap game this week.
Favorite tracks (in order): "Diamonds," "White Range," and "Pronto."