It shouldn’t surprise the attentive reader that I am a fan of Freddie Gibbs. I’ve previously written about him in this blog, and last October I caught a show he played in Philadelphia. Less than a week after I saw him in concert, he was targeted in a shooting following a performance in Brooklyn, posting to Twitter afterwards “#StillLivin.” Briefly, it seemed as if his song lyrics might come true and he would die in a rain of bullets, but the 187-proof Gary gangster made it through.
His first release of 2015 comes in the form of EP Pronto, a three-track release that teases at upcoming full-length Lifestyles of the Insane. It’s good to again hear the voice that turned hood and hipster heads alike last year with Pinata, especially at a time when there’s more demand for new Gibbs music than ever. 2014 also saw the Knicks Remix EP and The Tonite Show EP collaboration with The World’s Freshest, both enjoyable releases in their own right but, like Pronto, too brief to be deciding entries in the Freddie Gibbs catalog.
Regardless, this is a solid EP. The title track starts things off with a medium-paced trap beat, Gibbs rapping over it about sex with beautiful women and spending time with his fellow gang members. It’s a catchy song that can be sung along to after a few listens. “White Range” follows it, a jazzy beat and slowed down vocal samples a la the chopped-and-screwed revival of recent years (I was also reminded a little bit of “Twos and Fews“). The EP closes with the Dana Williams featuring “Diamonds,” a slow jam that has strong sensual appeal.
The most important thing that Pronto brings is the truth: there are no Madlib beats here, and the Pinata Freddie Gibbs is back to being the ESGN Freddie Gibbs. This isn’t, of course, a bad thing; however, the future will be hard for Freddie Gibbs, going forward with what may be remembered as his magnum opus already behind him.