Freddie Gibbs – Baby Face Killa
(Self-released)
Words: Doug Knickrehm

Baby Face Killa dropped almost a week ago and I am still trying to digest its greatness. If you have been asleep on the internets this week or just too busy to give the tape a thorough listen, I forgive you. It is in your best interest to download and listen ASAP. However, if you listened to Dedication 4 more than once this week , and have yet to accept blessings from the rap god Gibbs, just give up on life now. There is no hope for you. The production on this tape is incredible. The arrangement of tracks impeccable. And there were hardly any wasted features, which is usually not the case. Countless times I’ve heard a Gibbs track and been like, “this shit is fire, but cut the other dudes off and let Fred rap all three verses. Fuck!” But even D Edge and Wiz put down decent verses this time around. All that being said, let’s get into this classic track by track.

1. “BFK” – produced by M-80: “UGGGGGGGGGGHHHH” (Freddie voice). The title track, and Fred wastes no time reminding us he’s ‘bout that life. The beat is sick. From the choir voices to the slumping bass line, it sets a hard backdrop for Gibbs’ book of sin. Big Ghost (@bigghostfase) said BFK was another soundtrack to “pull out light posts outta the sidewalk and smash brick walls to”. The first couple tracks definitely give out that vibe, but we’ll see a shift to smoother sounds later.

2. “Still Livin” – produced by DJ Stinkunbush: The Gary MC is still robbing and selling drugs, and making great songs about his adventures. No surprise here.

3. “The Diet” – produced by Cylla: Oh, what’s up, Pharell? Hip hop’s renaissance man links up with rap’s bad guy for this banger. Apparently Fred’s favorite meal of the day is breakfast. (He makes about seven references to the first meal throughout the tape.)

4. “Money, Clothes, Hos” – produced by Feb 9: Feb 9, who are you?! This beat is too fvcking hard! Love the keys and phaser in the background. “I mix the molli with the Keisha that’s my recipe”. Definitely a good way to get the party going, Fred. Is that Problem saying “what?” in the background?

5. “The Hard” – produced by Feb 9: Holy fvck! If you haven’t started cooking crack by this track, you are stronger than me. One of my favorite cuts off BFK. Gibbs shows stellar understanding of simple supply and demand…the geekers want the hard…Fred delivers. Where there is a need, someone must provide. Dana Williams did a great job on her part too. Beautiful voice. Another reference to breakfast here: “weed and waffles in the morning”. The perfect way to start your day in a coma.

6. “Kush Cloud” (feat. Krazy Bone and SGP) – produced by SMKA: After cooking all this crack/smashing brick walls, it’s time for a smoke break. Much appreciated Gibbs and Drama. Cool seeing Krazy Bone, one of the pioneers of Midwest gangsta rap, on the song with the present and future of the genre. Still don’t know how I feel about Spaceghostpurrp’s verse, but he’s at the end for a reason.

7. “Walk in with the M.O” (feat. Dom Kennedy) – produced by Cookin Soul: Fred likes girls with low self esteem. Understandable, so does Corey Holcolmb. This beat is so laid back with that old school vibe. Shit’s raw. Of course Dom heard the beat and was like “yo this is a great beat! Let me drop a mediocre, boring flow that somehow sounds okay because this beat is so dope.”

8. “Bout it Bout it” (feat. Kirko Bangz) – produced by Dj Dahi: Only Gibbs could make a beat with chipmunk noises this gangsta. If he ever had a song for the radio, this would be it. I rides to this for sure, though. Freddie actually skips breakfast on this track. A bold move for a man who knows the importance of the first meal.

9. “Krazy” (feat. Jadakiss & Jay Rock) – produced by Statik Selektah: Statik brings out the best in Fred. Which is pretty ridiculous because he’s a killer on every track, but something ‘bout those old school samples and boom bap drums just make ol’ boy go off. Jada kilt this shit too. “One foot in the condo, one in the projects” I feel you, papi. Pause. Jay Rock’s verse is dope too. More Statik and Gibbs please basedgod.

10. “Stay Down” – produced by Dj Dahi: This is in my top three favorites for the project. Could put this on repeat and drive for an hour. It’s all Gibbs on the vocals. He even sings the hook for us. Dude reminds me of Z-Ro so much. Dj Dahi, you did it on this beat.

11. “Boxframe Cadillac ’83 Deville Mix” (feat. Rother Vandross) – produced by the Futuristiks: Speaking of Z-Ro, I’ve been waiting for this collaboration to happen for like three years. The King of the Ghetto and rap’s bad guy. My favorite rapper ever, and my favorite rapper in the present. Honestly, was disappointed that this track didn’t have them both harmonizing about spraying the ak on the hook. But Ro delivers a hilariously great verse, so it’s all good. “It’s something ‘bout when I drop my top that’s like busting a nut!”

12. “Middle of the Night” (feat. Lloyd, Wayne) – produced by?: Love when Fred does songs for the bitches. “PSA”, “PSA2”, and now “Middle of the Night”.

13. “Go For It” (feat. Young Jeezy) – produced by Bobby Kritical: “Bitch, I got a swisher for ya, you putting it in your mouth or what?” If this isn’t on the playlist at Onyx, Magic City, and Diamonds next time I’m in Atlanta I might start a riot. Jeezy actually steals the show for the first and probably last time on this one. “Young, you on them pills nigga? Naw, but the bitches is.” Who put the rap game on to molli? Rollin, rollin, rollin we ain’t slept in weeks.

14. “On Me” (feat. Problem) – DJ Fresh: This shit feels like Warren G and DJ Quik. West coast cold chillin’ vibe. Grab the forty ounce and hit the park for a BBQ, or cruise the 5.0 GT and holler at the honeys in high-waisted shorts. (Speaking of which, if you have a convertible 91-93 for sale get at me.)

15. “Tell a Friend” (feat. Curren$y) – produced by Dj Izzo and Matterafact: The dope prices is so high! That’s why people get robbed apparently. Fred’s verse might be my favorite of the album. Curren$y swags another flow about being a chill rich dude. Referring to his Lexus LS 460 as a leisure suit was mad clever. The sample of Jay-Z’s “So ghetto” is too ill.

16. “My Nigga” (feat. Fred’s friends) – produced by Cookin Soul: Once again, the beat selection on this tape is perfect. Only one Gibbs verse, but his boys manage not to get skipped on this song. Good work, dudes.

17. “Seventeen” (feat. Young Jeezy and Slick Pulla) – produced by ?: Well if everyone in high school weren’t already trying to sell drugs, they will be now. This song is really cool though. Beat makes for a reflective tone. “Had 1700 in my letterman…when I was 17.”

18. “Every City” (feat. YG) – produced by DJ Mustard: “If you ain’t fucking get the fuck out.” New motto. One for the ratchets. Good call linking up with YG and Mustard their songs knock at the parties. Can’t wait for the twerking to commence. (see “All Gone Fuck” and “The Motto remix” with Jeezy)

19. “Breaking Bad” (feat. Ea$y Money) – produced by ?: This track is on the iTunes version, not the Drama version. Rounds out my top three favorite tracks. Another one that could go on repeat while you cruise the avenues. It’s hard to be Freddie Gibbs. This shit is so soulful.

What else can be said? Fred has been killing the game for years now, and this is just another step up for the Gary gangster. Rappers are going to be hard-pressed to put together a more complete project than this one. The only thing missing on this tape is the Gibbs’ depressing story song. His story telling is cinematic, so I would have loved to hear another. But saul goodman. Gotta pay a special thanks to all the victims of Fred’s ski mask. It can’t be cheap making music this good, so we appreciate your donations to Gibbs’ budget. This shit is fire…can’t wait for MADGIBBS!


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