Fun Fun Fun Live Shot: Freddie Gibbs & Madlib

Rap duo prompts shaking heads and ringing ears

As sunset claimed the early evening, Freddie Gibbs and Madlib gave a strangely uneven set at the Blue stage. Those looking for more Madlib were severely disappointed. Those checking for Gibbs received a master class in hardcore MCing.

Freddie Gibbs (photo by David Brendan Hall)

Like traffic in sideview mirrors, this odd couple duo remains closer than it appears and just as dangerous. March’s critically acclaimed Piñata recalls Nineties’ coke rap, Gibbs spitting the crude realities of hood life growing up in Gary, Ind. Madlib flips Seventies soul samples with equally jagged precision.

Beginning with “Scarface,” Fun Fun Fun got an immediate two-in-one dose of the alley play and socioeconomic issues of Gibbs’ hometown: “Let’s jack this nigga, ’cause he got some shit we can’t afford/ Another day in Gary, ’nother couple niggas in the morgue.”

Before admitting dual inebriation, the MC made mention of a recent attempt on his life in New York City. He also prompted the crowd to yell “fuck the police” throughout the set. In a comic turn, the young, partially stoned flock came face to face with patrolling APD officers upon exit.

Absent from the performance was any significant participation from Madlib – himself an act more notable than Gibbs. The Oxnard, Calif., “genius,” as Gibbs determined, spent most of the set edifying the rapper’s technical skill by spinning mostly a cappella. To this end, the Babyface Gangsta didn’t disappoint.

Freddie Gibbs held the crowd visibly captive, leaving them two options: the head shake of amazement, or turning to a bro with, “Did you hear that?”

Check out our complete Fun Fun Fun Fest coverage.

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Fun Fun Fun Fest, Fun Fun Fun Fest 2014, Freddie Gibbs, Madlib, Piñata

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