Cold Day In Hell was one of many projects I was looking forward to right up until it was released. Upon it’s dropping I felt compelled to ignore it. With Freddie Gibbs in town this evening, I decided this week was the time to crack it open and see if the fuss was warranted.
While Gibbs proudly proclaims himself a “gangsta” listening to his music you might be more inclined to say he is just an honest guy. He confesses to his homeboy he was smashing on dudes lady, he admits kidnapping you and your family is not out of the realm of possibility should you cross him. Listening to Freddie Gibbs is an eye opening experience. He holds nothing back and will paint a picture more vivid than most films.
If you’ve ever listened to a Gibbs product you know his ear for beats is among the best. He has a specific sound he aims for and few people are in the same zone. While it’d be a stretch to say that the production found on Cold Day In Hell is anything mind blowingly original, it is an album that will show you an array of sounds inspired by all regions. The Southern feel comes across paramount, but often a track is filled with the boom bap drums you’d expect out of NYC and a number of jams utilize an atmospheric haze not dissimilar from the sounds itching out of the Bay right now.
Gibbs is no ASAP Rocky however, rather than floating from scene to scene and approximating a style for a moment he has found the styles he can encompass and found an array of producers to lace him with the right mixture. Hailing from the midwest, living in LA and now signed with one of Atlanta’s biggest exports along with a steady tour schedule should paint the picture of what he is hearing and inhaling.
The CTE signing caught many by surprise but if this project is any indication it’s working beautifully. Jeezy shows up on the great “Twos & Fews” where they both tell their own hood stories and sound perfect together. The collaborations that have come from these two are all indicating a chemistry that feels far more fostered than just a mere six months.
Few other collaborators sound as suited to be on a track with Freddie. 2 Chainz and him make a good sex ode with “Neghborhood Hoez” over a slimy beat they both impress, 2 Chainz finally giving me cause to check for him. Freeway is another surprise guest and while he has been consistent of late, over the beautiful Beatnick & K-Salaam production it’s another moment to come back too
While older Gibbs projects have always been quality, there is an overwhelming since of completion and totality to this record. It feels as though it was made in a good situation, with good people and while in a good mental mindframe. On a gritty jam like “Rob Me A Nigga” you can feel where Gibbs is pulling from within himself to expose his demons. And then you got the closing pairing of “Heaven Can Wait” and “My Dawgz” where he pays tribute to his boys and express brotherly love on the later and expresses a sense of optimism and hope for where life is heading on the former.
Cold Day In Hell had me ignorant upon my first few listens. I wasn’t listening close enough. My first spin through I damn near laughed out loud wondering what it was that anyone got so excited about. And then I traveled back and reminded myself of just how Gibbs gets down, listening to a couple old projects, reading some interviews. It was then that I was compelled to really get in touch with what it is Gibbs has to say. And as I sat and listened intently these last 48 hours I must say my mind has been blown and my ears are thanking me. Their is something to be said about good rappers being thoughtful writers.
Freddie Gibbs and DaVinci are at Nectar Lounge this evening, check it out!