I’m not just a pretty face with dope taste; I do dope interviews too.
Having used his lyrical skills to move far and wide from Gary, Indiana, Freddie “Gangsta” Gibbs has created a name for himself solely on his own accord. Forever repping Gary and his Indiana roots, Freddie has consistently dropped bombs on listeners’ ears with outstanding mixtapes and his most recent EP release Str8 Killa , hosted by the always on point Decon Records. Freddie has had a road not unlike many budding artists out there: picked up by a label, ignored by said label, release/left said label, and back on the independent grind. Unlike many of those deemed dead weight by their labels, Freddie didn’t rest and has been, for the better part of the last 3 years, assaulting your aural cavities with some Gary gangsta shit.
As Freddie heads out on his Str8 Slammin Tour, hitting Chicago, Wisconsin, Indianapolis, St. Louis right out the gate, I caught him for 15 minutes to lay through his life, music, the industry , and a few things unexpected; Check it below.
BJ: What’s it like going back home to Indianapolis on these tours dates, still a lot of love out there?
Gibbs: Its cool, its not like I’m never home; I go back home a lot. So it really isn’t anything new, just seeing the same people, ya know what I mean? Ya know just basically trying to get it all on lock, develop the biggest fan base as possible.
B: Alright I guess jumping into this whole thing officially. You’ve got the Baby Face Killer EP coming out. What can people expect? Is it going to be more of the same Freddie Gibbs, coming straight at them, or are you gonna be doing anything a bit differently?
Gibbs: I don’t ever think you get per se “the same Freddie Gibbs” I think that I always evolve as an artist. Growing up as a man, you have different things to talk about, different experiences. You know as a musician I’m growing musically so there different things I’m trying. But not stepping out of bounds; everything I’m doing is straight gangsta rap, I’m not about to do a mother fucking rock album or no crazy shit like that. (laughs) So its all good.
B: I saw that there is gonna be production by Jim Jonsin, Hi-Tech, and Ski Beats. How’d that come together; did they just send you a couple tracks or were you able to sit with them in the studio?
Gibbs: Those are just guys I know in the industry, dudes I bump into & cool dudes. I just like to work with regular ass people man. They are people that we just meet up, link up, and do the record. We cut all the politics out of it. Fuck all the politics. If mother fuckers want to send me through the ringer with the politics, I let them go by the wayside. I just work with regular mother fuckers. If you want to fuck with me I’m the most approachable dude you know. . . . until you cross me.
B: How much of the politics have you had to deal with in the industry itself? Any of that shady shit?
Gibbs: Oh hell yeah. Especially being signed to Interscope. Then with the people who managed my career, all them mother fuckers was assholes. So it was like I was dealing with the fakest of the fake mother fuckers. Ya know what I mean, it definitely made it political.
I was working on a solid project over there, you may not be able to tell, but a lot of the music I’m releasing right now, well in the past 2 years, a lot of it I did while I was there. I felt like If I was one getting like “the shot”, and if I wasn’t getting played by all the mother fuckers around me at the time, this Freddie Gibbs shit coulda kicked off 2 – 3 years ago.
But I ain’t trippin’, ya know everything happens for a reason. I’ve been able to go through all that experience to grow stronger. So, ya know, in regard to the mother fuckers that were involved with my career at the time, each one, each and every different mother fucker down from the manager to the A&R can eat a dick.
B: Do you think they were trying to tailor you . . . . .
Gibbs: Especially my manager . . .all my old managers could eat a dick and you can print that shit!
B: Hahaha alright will do
Gibbs: Everybody that used to be involved in my shit that ain’t fucking with me now, Fuck Em. I don’t fuck with em for a reason. Ya understand mother fuckers don’t want to say I got a stigma or aura in the industry about me, like they know I’m about to get my shit, cuz they like you did right; cuz mother fuckers weren’t keepin it a hunnid. If you don’t keep it a hundred, mother fuckers are need to get they mother fucking knees broke, they nose broke. Some mother fuckers don’t understand shit else. That’s just why I keep it how I keep it man. There’s too much disrespect in this game, so you just got to be regular in it man.
There some mother fuckers who got jaw shots coming when I see they ass. They better hope I don’t bump into them or get right into no industry party, none of that shit.
B: Yeah those type of people who just can’t come correct with the business side or appreciate what’s going on.
Gibbs: Yeah. Grammy’s coming up and I live in LA, mother fuckers better keep me out they Grammy party, that mother fucker gonna get hurt, That’s what’s up.
B: What’s with that, I’m just thinking like Interscope, the former house of Death Row, they’ve got 50 & Em on there. You would think to some degree they’d understand it; see what you’re doing and not trying to push you in a certain lane. Especially with their familiarity with a lot of the gangster shit.
Gibbs: Interscope wasn’t putting no shit out that wasn’t affiliated with one of they subsidiaries or none of they labels. Ya know what I’m saying like Shady or none of that shit. When you’re just over there handling on your own, mother fuckers ain’t gonna fuck with you.
Mother fuckers at Interscope didn’t know the dudes that were signed to Interscope. Dudes would see me and be like “Damn you were signed on Interscope, I used to work for Interscope.” And I’m like “Oh yeah?” For real, best believe it.
B: They just put you out on an island out there and fend for yourself?
Gibbs: They just put me in a room to get to writing, and when it wasn’t to their liking, and they said just fuck you dude. So I said Fuck Them.
B: Well I think its been good for you, you’ve been putting out consistently tight mixtapes from the production definitely through to the lyricism, what pushed you? What were your inspirations to be able to put it like that?
Gibbs: (Garbled Connection) . . . . The whole situation I went through. (Garbled Connection)
B: You’re breaking up. What’d you say?
Gibbs: I was hungry ya know. When mother fuckers played me like they played me, it took a minute, ya know it hurt, so I had to fall back; lick the wounds a little bit. But after that got back on it, more vicious and more serious. I can say I’ll never have the open attitude to the industry as I used to have. Maybe that the thing, that’s just how shit is, for some pitbulls.
B: What’s surprised you? You’ve been moving getting bigger and bigger features, a larger profile, and of course this notoriety for your ability. So what have you seen that has kinda surprised you about it whether good or bad, what’s caught you off guard?
Gibbs: There are a lot of things I wasn’t expecting. A couple things that I’ve gotten, like LA Weekly (garbled connection) the New Yorker piece; I wasn’t expecting none of that. I just wanted to put it [music] out there and let it be, ya know, a slow burn. I always knew, but I just needed the ears; I just needed somebody listen to what I had going on. I knew one way or another. I was surprised how quickly it started to roll.
I just made a dent, I still haven’t done what I’m about to do. I’m still working on it.
B: Speaking to that, are there any milestones that you feel you’ve hit that you’re really proud of?
Gibbs: (Garbled Connection) It aint about some records, it’s about the riches. Once I get rich off of this then I’m “Alright I accomplished a goal”. Once I can buy my mom a new crib, and all that. I don’t do this shit to be no . . . I ain’t really tripping over selling a million records or what not. If I’m good and able to feed myself off of music for the rest of my life then shit I’m fine off of that.
B: Right now it seems like its all about that “what are your sales, who are you featured with?” as opposed to your actual ability and the quality of your output. So its good and refreshing to hear someone like you whose open about wanting to do it independently as possible and still putting quality out.
How’d the Decon association come through?
Gibbs: Ya know we just did a project. They were able to help put that project out and get it on the streets. I ain’t really signed to nobody. We did that project [Str8 KIlla EP] and that’s what it was; it was cool.
B: Thinking back to Indiana hip hop, what is there? Do you feel any sort of pressure, that its completely on your back. Cuz I’m thinking outside of Dayton Family and yourself . . .
Gibbs: There ain’t no pressure man, ain’t no pressure. Pressure cuz ain’t nobody do it right. You got guys who do their thing in that respect, but I think that I do something different than them all. So ain’t no pressure I have fun with my thing, when you turn this shit into a job is when there comes pressure.
B: Before I let you go one more question. Whats a guilty pleasure or yours, something people would be surprised to know you like/love?
Gibbs: OH DAMN, I’ve been waiting on someone to ask me this question (laughs *hard*). You know what dude Cassie, that “Me & You” track. I be singing that shit in my car. *Sings Just Me & Youuu* People be in my car and shit comes on and people be giving me looks (laughs). That’s my jam though.