Freddie Gibbs - “$oul $old $eparately” Album Review
Freddie Gibbs’ fifth solo studio album comes at a unique time for the Gary, Indiana artist. He just turned 40, was nominated for his first Grammy and finally signed with a major label after over a decade of bickering.
Gibbs had also been venturing into other areas. He has been raising his family with two young children, and he also starred in “Down With the King,” a feature-length film that came out last year. He arguably has been the most relevant he has ever been in his career.
So finally, after around a year of promotion, Gibbs’ latest record has arrived. Is it up to par with his previous standout albums?
"$oul $old $eparately" is easily one of the best hip-hop albums of the year exploring a new approach behind each track making Gibbs sound more commercial than ever, yet still introspective.
On "$$$," Gibbs opts to expand his resources, and get the best features and producers possible. Plucking figures new and old, he has an overarching idea of who he will sound the best with and utilizes this.
Once again listeners see familiar figures like Rick Ross, Anderson .Paak and Pusha T return along with producers, The Alchemist and Madlib. Offset, Moneybagg Yo, DJ Paul, James Blake and several others are first-timers that work for the most part very well.
The album has some loose thematics that help it flow consistently throughout the entire tracklist. If the album is shuffled, some parts of the record might sound a little awkward. There are also voicemail transitions on many songs featuring comedians including Joe Rogan.
Dozens of people worked on this project. Each song sounds distinct stylistically in terms of production, lyrical content, and general accessibility.
Songs like “Pain & Strife” and “Too Much” have more of a commercial appeal, while songs like “Blackest in the Room” and “Rabbit Vision” take on more solemn tonalities.
Regardless of how Gibbs presents himself, it is clear that he is always putting in 100% of his best effort. His voice is one of the most recognizable in hip-hop right now. His flows are ever-changing, constantly spitting out lyrical gems left and right.
Despite his age, he does not seem to be slowing down one bit. He delivers some of his verses with the rapid-fire game and then opts into something more melodic in some of the choruses. Even his singing voice sounds pretty decent.
While nearly every cut on the record has multiple substantial elements to them, there is only so much that “$$$” does as a whole. Gibbs’ best records to date are the collaborative projects that he has with Madlib and The Alchemist, and unfortunately, this record cannot even be compared to them.
There is also a weird mixing issue on “Lobster Omelette” on Rick Ross' verse, and it’s kind of hard to believe that it did not get fixed before the album’s release.
Overall, "$oul $old $eparately" is a fantastic release that will satisfy new audiences and long-time fans of Freddie Gibbs. He is one of the leaders of the gangster rap resurgence in the 2010s through now.
With plenty of auxiliary-friendly cuts and deep more personal tracks, there is a lot to like here. It may now be even more uncertain where Gibbs will go next due to his rise in popularity and dynamics in the artistic world. One can only hope it will be as consistent as the rest of his discography is, but as usual with Gibbs, the bar will always be set impossibly high.
Reviewers' Favorite Tracks: Too Much,” “Feel No Pain,” “Dark Hearted”
Reviewers' Least Favorite Track: “PYS”
Caelan Chevrier is a third-year majoring in marketing. To contact him, email email@example.com.
About the Contributors
Third Year / Marketing & Journalism