Freddie Gibbs is a mixtape mad man from Gary, Indiana – the last place you would look for the future of hip hop. With the help of Buckwild, Gibbs creates a narrative far more disturbing than Big L in horrorcore mode.
In 1995 Big L introduced hip hop heads outside of New York City to 139 & Lennox, dubbing it the “Danger Zone.” With the help of Buckwild, producer in the D.I.T.C. crew, Big L turned his crime life into a tall tale of sadism and malevolence. His devil's son mindstate was a precursor to the horrorcore genre of pretending to be FUBAR in the streets.
Nearly 15 years later, Freddie Gibbs reminds me of the late Lamont Coleman. He keeps a restraint on the flamboyant presentation that Big L once flexed, electing to be gruff and unrelenting in his flow, but it's the details of his environment that channels L's style. Big L went for shock value, but he also had a unapologetic understanding of the streets that raised him. Gibbs shares this mentality.
With Buckwild once again on production, Gibbs relates the crime and drug situations of Gary with a nihilism that hasn't been heard in hip hop since Mobb Deep emmerged. “The Wrong One” is just another case about the wrong path, but in Gibbs' world there's no pot of gold for becoming a decorated criminal – only the next move to stay a step ahead of your grave. His lifestyle of the poor and dangerous has him barely making enough in crime to keep his gas tank off E.