Freddie Gibbs Str8 Killa

Freddie Gibbs has what every musician dreams of: momentum heading into the release of his first EP, released by Decon, which is also home to London, ON's Shad. Str8 Killa is the title, eight tracks with no filler, just the way the upstart from the Midwest wants it. It also helps that his first two singles are the best two tracks on the album. "Oil Money," with Bun B, Chuck Inglish (Cool Kids) and Chip the Ripper, is made all the better with Dan Auerbach (Black Keyes) on the hook. "National Anthem (F_ck the World)" highlights Gibbs's scratchy baritone and cadence, owing inspiration to the Dirty South. The track delves into his life on the hardscrabble streets of Gary, IN, a major theme in the 28-year-old's repertoire. So, what is it that makes Gibbs's material interesting? After all, he isn't carving out a new path in style or substance. Perhaps that's exactly it; this is a time where it would be ludicrous for a new MC to not want to be the next rap superstar. Gibbs doesn't give a fuck about a god damn Grammy and therefore his verses and beats stand out more than they would if this album was released at a much earlier point in the evolution of hip-hop. (Decon)