BREAKING: Freddie Gibbs To Play Spaceland
From Jeff Weiss' profile of Gibbs for the Weekly last December:
"My uncle went from a king to a fiend, before he got murdered," Gibbs laments. "I watched him rob to pay for his habit. He was constantly locked up or in rehab. I once asked how he went from selling to smoking it. He said he'd been chasing that first great high for the last eight years."
Though his uncle's death steered him away from crack, it also forced Gibbs to confront concrete realities and left him with a simmering rage. "I learned how easy it was to kill. I developed the instinct that if someone fucked with me, I'd take care of them."
It's that instinct that helps to make him one of the most compelling hard-core rappers in recent memory.
In a genre haunted by studio gangsters, Gibbs' integrity is unimpeachable. Like all the consecrated gangsta icons -- 2Pac, Scarface, Biggie -- Gibbs sketches the shadowy interplay of light and dark with a sober eye and clouded head, careful neither to glamorize nor exaggerate, and always wrestling with capital-letter issues: blood, dirt, death, etc. There's an oxidized honesty that makes asking interview questions seem a bit stupid. The answers are there if you listen.