“Sex, drugs, and rock & roll, baby!” That is the Freddie Gibbs story, at least according to the man himself. Posted up at a Los Angeles restaurant just hours before his latest album $oul $old $eparately was to arrive, Gibbs was in good spirits, seemingly without a care in the world. He flirted with the waitress, flashed his 1,000-watt smile as he spoke and laughed easily, a stark contrast from the Gangsta Gibbs persona that is sprinkled throughout his catalog.
Growing up in Gary, Indiana (which he proudly pointed out is the same city where Michael Jackson was born), Gibbs’s household soared with the sounds of Motown. Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, and The Isley Brothers wove his musical fabric—then he discovered Too $hort and The Geto Boys’s Scarface. He knew then he wanted to do some “gangster shit.”
“I didn’t even know if I had no talent for music,” he said. “One of my best friends, he was rapping and shit and I saw he was making the moves to rap, like making CDs and manufacturing and shit. I was just like, ‘I want to be a part of that some kind of way.’ I didn’t know it was going to end up being rapping, I just took a chance and that just happened to be the direction God pointed me in.”
Gibbs initially signed a deal with Interscope Records in 2004 and was supposed to release his major label debut with the company, but he was dropped in 2006 and the album never saw the light of day. After finding his way to CTE World, he encountered another speed bump when his relationship with founder Jeezy went south. Years of jumping from indie label to indie label followed and $oul $old $eparately marks his return to …
Author: Kyle Eustice / High Times