First Listen #16: Freddie Gibbs and the Alchemist’s ‘Alfredo’

I actually bought this album – the vinyl version, of course – on a whim the other day after I found out that it was being sold on Bandcamp. I remember how popular it was among the Reddit hip hop subs that I follow, and I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try something new. Apparently there were only a few copies that were being sold, and I was one of the lucky few. And because I didn’t want my hard earned dollars to be wasted. I figured I should give it a listen before it got here, so I knew whether I wanted to keep it or sell it.

Photo Credit: https://www.npr.org/2020/06/04/869072903/freddie-gibbs-and-the-alchemist-perfect-the-rap-duo-recipe

2020: Alfredo

(via Genius)

I’m happy to report that this seems like one I’m going to keep. Alfredo is a very very good project. There are so many things to love about this one. When I was listening to Westside Gunn’s Pray for Paris (2020), One of Freddie’s lines from “$500 Ounces” was one of my favorites from the entire project. So I knew to expect some great bars from Freddie on his own album. There were so many moments where I either had to run the track back a little bit, so I could re-listen to a line, or I pointed a the line repeatedly while looking along on Genius (my way of expressing glee lol). They weren’t always thought-provoking lines either, which is something that I appreciated. A lot of the time it was clever word-play or a little jokey-joke that he added in the song. He’s just a really fun person to listen to. Not in a Bruno Mars type of way (idk why Bruno was who comes to mind lol, but y’all know the feeling you get when you listen to Bruno) but in a “I wanna see what he says next” type of way.

Yeah, the revolution is the genocide

Look, your execution will be televised

freddie gibbs, “scottie beam”

And the features on this project where the same. Y’all know how I feel about Tyler the Creator; he did amazing on “Something to Rap About” – the “This sound like the boat I haven’t bought yet/ This sound like the moment I jump off it / Sun shinin’, cold water fillin’ my pockets / This lake water better than the faucet I grew up with” lines are GOLDEN. Rick Ross is easily becoming one of my favorite people to hear featured on a song. The deepness and raspiness of his voice pairs so well with how smooth and jazzy the production is on “Scottie Beam.” Conway the Machine and Benny the Butcher were also great on the tracks they were featured on. Westside Gunn had be a little iffy about listening to more music from the folks over at Griselda Records, but after hearing the two of them on Alfredo, I’m feeling good about checking their projects out soon. 

As far as the production goes, WOW! I’ve heard a few songs produced by The Alchemist, but I’ve never heard an entire project produced by him. But I expected (and got) nothing less than great on the production for Alfredo. While listening to it, I couldn’t help but think about how atmospheric the project sounds. Ant not atmospheric in the “I feel like I’m floating in space” way, but it felt like I was in the room listening to them record this project. Every sound, from the drums to the little moments where people were talking outside of their raps, felt like witnessing the birth of the project. And I really really liked that. It kind of threw me off at first because I like everything to be as loud as possible when I listen to music, but once I settled into it, I loved it. It reminded me of being at a small concert (lol remember those???) and hearing all of the little moments in between and throughout the performance that makes it feel…human?

So, Freddie Gibbs and the Alchemist get a A+ in my book for Alfredo. Each part of this project separately is good, but together, it HITS. I’m very very excited to see what it sounds like on my record player; I’m sure it’ll be a good time!

also unrelated, but while I was looking for pictures for this piece, I saw this picture of Freddie and his daughter

LOOK AT THAT!!!!!! SO CUTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Overall Project Rating

Featured Image Credit: https://www.complex.com/music/2020/05/freddie-gibbs-alchemist-alfredo-interview


(listen to Alfredo on spotify by clicking the image below)

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