Album: $oul $old $eparately
Artist: Freddie Gibbs
Label: ESGN LLC, Warner Records, Inc.
Non-Airable Tracks: Full Album
Description: Freddie Gibbs' quality of work over the last few years has been consistently exceptional. Gibbs' most recent studio release, Alfredo (2020), was a collaborative album between himself and esteemed producer The Alchemist, netting Gibbs' his first Grammy nomination for "Best Rap Album". Prior to that, Gibbs has pursued a similar approach to his albums: picking a single producer to work with on a full project. Gibbs' 2019 album Bandana, produced with the renowned Madlib, is one of my favorite hip hop/rap albums of all time, and in my opinion, is Gibbs at his best. Understandably, fan expectations for his newest album, released on September 30th, 2022, titled $oul $old $eparately, were high.
On this new project, Gibbs strays away from his single-producer formula. The Alchemist and Madlib still make an appearance, though, producing Blackest in the Room and CIA, respectively. Other notable producers on this project include KAYTRANADA on Zipper Bagz and DJ Paul on PYS. Despite the changes in production, Gibbs' city-jazz samples and gangsta-rap lyrics are consistent with what we've come to expect from the Gary, Indiana native, who has certainly been hardened by "the game" throughout his life, as evidenced by his lyrics. Gibbs came with quality features as well, most notably Rick Ross, Anderson .Paak, Raekwon, and Pusha T.
Fan reception of $oul $old $eparately has been great from what I've come across. Popular YouTube music reactor Jon Denton called it an AOTY contender, and Reddit's r/hiphopheads thread for the album has reached over 5,000 upvotes, with many commenters praising Gibbs at every turn. Personally, I prefer Gibbs' one-producer projects; Alfredo and Bandana are nearly perfect albums. This project has great beats, samples, and flows, but it feels less cohesive than Gibbs' previous work. That being said, after 6+ listens, this album has grown on me and will be something I will definitely return to in the future. Grandma's Stove is my favorite track from the record, alongside PYS, Feel No Pain, and Dark Hearted.
Sounds Like: Pusha T, Killer Mike, MF Doom
Recommended Tracks: Too Much, Feel No Pain, PYS, Dark Hearted, Grandma's Stove
Reviewer’s Name: John Frew
Date of Review: 10/5/22