Sometimes putting together two different styles works out in the best way possible, and Freddie Gibbs and Madlib working together is one of those times. Freddie Gibbs grew up on the east side of Gary, Indiana starting from the ground up in 2003. Three years later Gibbs was signed to Interscope and things looked extremely promising. He moved to LA, recorded his debut album, but within a year management at Interscope changed hands and Gibbs was dropped.
He wasn’t going to let that get to him and keep him down. Instead, Gibbs continued to push himself and those around him. “I study my competition for at least an hour a day… get on the internet, I look at what they doing, and then I look at ways to defeat them,” said Gibbs in a 2012 interview with Pitchfork. That attitude shows in his music, too.
Never afraid to try something new and different his management put him up to working with Madlib. “I’m not gonna act like I was a Madlib head when I wasn’t; I didn’t understand a lot of it at first,” he said. But it worked and brought him a new element. He calls working with Madlib “a perfect marriage.”
A continual rollout saw a ton of coverage and buzz in the past nine months for Piñata, with Madlib producing the album, and the likes of Raekwon, Earl Sweatshirt, Danny Brown, Domo Genesis, Joey Bada$$, Ab-Soul, and Mac Miller tapped as part of it. Madlib knows how different his music is to match and the difficulty of working with him saying of the project, “you have to be the type of rapper, like Doom or Freddie, who can catch [it], or else you’ll be sounding crazy.”
The duo are touring this spring in support of the album with a Metro show on March 7.
Dan MacAdam, aka Crosshair, is no stranger to screenprinting, having been at it since 1996. He’s done a few prints in his time for Metro and continually impresses with the use of photography of locales and landscapes, meshing show information seamlessly into the design. Utilizing many layers and fine attention to detail, the print for The War On Drugs is no exception, showcasing an outcropping of rocks with eye-catching green moss atop blending grey water and sky. Check out more work from Crosshair here.
Freddie Gibbs arrives at Metro on Friday night with Madlib, celebrating the release of “Pinata”. New City sat down with Freddie Gibbs to talk about how growing up in Gary influenced his writing, what it was like to make the record with Madlib, and more. New City says “Gibbs’ memory is mined for source material during the entirety of “Piñata,” a release which is not just one of the best hip-hop records this year, but one of the best, period.” Read the entire interview at New City.