Written by Sam Hadelman
This week the prophets of underground hip-hop, Freddie Gibbs and Alchemist, finally conjoined for the collaborative surprise album, Alfredo.
Freddie Gibbs is a concise, one-of-a-kind artist in today’s musical ecology. His bars cut like swords and his flow is an unmovable force wrapped in ingenuity. Alchemist on the other hand is a staple in the production of modern day hip-hop, with his lucid loops and atomic drums covering all corners of the genre. They are truly the pair hip-hop deserves, and Alfredo, is a physical testament to their collective talents.
This album is a modern day mood board for an America that is constantly redefining itself, through analogies surrounding Michael Jordan’s documentary “The Last Dance” to references to the violent hand of police brutality that we are seeing protested throughout the world. Gibbs inability to mince words is beyond necessary in a world where black creators are constantly censored, and his bars on Alfredo are specifically akin to the time we are in, including “Yeah, the revolution is the genocide/Yup, your execution will be televised.” Freddie Gibbs showcases on this album that he is not only one of the best rappers of our time, but also one of the most essential. Him and Alchemist are the cultural curators needed in a time where our music must be representative of our moment in time.
Alchemist’s ability to transform his beats to the artist he’s working with is one of his most definable skills, and it is littered throughout the whole album. Not only does Alchemist tailor-fit his beats for Gibbs, but as well as the high-grade list of features on this album, including Tyler, The Creator, Rick Ross, Conway, and Benny The Butcher. All these guests bring a different energy to the record, and give the album that extra boost of agility that pushes Alfredo into consideration for one of the best rap albums of the year.
Freddie Gibbs and Alchemist are the duo that hip-hop needs right now. They are a perfect match for each other and perfectly capitalize on each other’s energy; in other words, they are hip-hop’s aged scotch and steak. This pairing was a perfect balance of drug dealing-laced raps and grimy, timeless production. Alfredo is a unique collection of top-tier rapping for Freddie Gibbs, and soothing, luscious production from Alchemist, all cultivating for a fantastic 35 minute listen.