Freddie Gibbs - ESGN (Review)

Freddie Gibbs - ESGN (Review)

"ESGN (Evil Seeds Grow Naturally)" is the debut studio album from Gary, Indiana emcee Freddie Gibbs. The album features guest appearances from Jay Rock, BJ the Chicago Kid, Daz Dillinger, Spice 1 and others and production from Cardo, ID Labs, GMF and others. The album was set to be released on July 9, 2013, but ended up being released three weeks early on June 20.


1) Lil’ Sodi - Skit

2) The Real G Money - The first song on the album is produced by Lifted and features some eerie, atmospheric synths, deep 808 bass and rapid fire hi-hats. Freddie Gibbs has always had a crazy flow and unique voice, which definitely helps him stand out from many other similar artists in the rap industry. I'm not usually a fan of much trap music, but as Freddie Gibbs said in his interview with Epilogue Magazine - "I’m not no trap rapper, I’m not no heartthrob rapper, I’m just Gibbs." Trap rapper or not, Freddie can spit.
"Ain't been takin my medication, don't get me started G
Hustlin', jackin', murder and mackin' been such a part of me
Such an evil seed, wonder what will my son and daughter be"
This shit is dope.

3) Came Up - The beat on this song, provided by Lord Zedd, has a ghostly vocal sample, some spacey synths and more booming 808s. The beat is banging and Freddie Gibbs rips it, spitting about how he came up in the game. Nice.

4) Hundred Thousand (featuring G-Wiz and Hit “Skrewface”) - The production on this track, by League of Starz, has some ominous synths and hard-ass drums. G-Wiz provides the chorus while Freddie Gibbs and Hit "Skrewface" spit a verse each. This is good, but it would be better if it was a Gangsta Gibbs solo in my opinon.

5) D.O.A. (featuring G-Wiz and Big Kill) - This song, which is produced by ID Labs, is definitely more energetic than the prior two. The beat has a strong trap feel with some dark church bells and window-shattering bass. Gangsta Gibbs comes correct and G-Wiz sounds ok, but I'm not really feelin Big Kill's verse at all. I'd rather hear another verse from Freddie Gibbs honestly. Still, this is pretty good.

6) Lay It Down - Willie B comes through with what is probably the darkest beat yet. The bass on this song hits really hard and the synths give the track an epic, apocalyptic feel. Freddie Gibbs' street bars are starting to run together a bit, but his sometimes witty lyrics and smooth flow keep things interesting. Hopefully the subject matter on the album diversifies a bit sometime soon. Regardless, this track is fire.



7) I Seen a Man Die (featuring Lil Sodi) - The beat on this track, produced by The Colleagues, feels very different than the other tracks. The instrumental has a soulful feel, with laid back drums and a chopped up string sample. The title of the song says all that needs to be said about the topic of the song. Is that Lil Sodi singing on the chorus? Is so, he sounds pretty good. This is really ill.

8) Have U Seen Her (featuring Hit “Skrewface”) - Well that was a nice break from all the trap beats, but it was short lived. The instrumental on this track is produced by SMKA and its got some more gloomy synths and trunk-rattling 808s. It seems that Freddie Gibbs and Hit "Skrewface" have every drug except that "white bitch." Have you seen her? This song is ok, but definitely not the best on here so far.

9) One Eighty Seven (featuring Problem) - This song has another ominous instrumental, this time by SAP. The beat has a barren, dismal feel reminiscent of some of the beats off of Bone Thugs and Harmony's classic "E. 1999 Eternal" album. Like Bone Thugs, Freddie Gibbs represents the Midwest, and I know they were a major influence on his style. Like the previous song though, this is just ok. The beat could have been better and Problem doesn't really rip it like Gangsta Gibbs does. Not a terrible song, but not a standout for me.

10) Eastside Moonwalker - Now this song is absolute fire. If you are reading this review and have never heard a Freddie Gibbs song, then check out the video below for a good representation of what his tracks sound like. The song is produced by GMF and it bangs. The bass hits hard, the beat is dark and Freddie just bodies it with his unique flow.
"It's the money cut moonwalker, nightstalker
Motherfuckin' white chalker, might've caught ya
In the streets with your pants down
Tell them call the paramedics, nigga man down, ease up"
Really, really dope song.

11) F.A.M.E. (featuring Daz Dillinger and Spice 1) - Cardo comes through with a track that has a strong West Coast vibe to it, but still maintains that signature Cardo feel. The beat is ill and everyone comes correct. Man, I haven't heard a Spice 1 verse in forever, but he sounds good on here. This is some straight West Coast gangsta shit. Dope.

12) Paper (featuring Y.B.) - The beat on this track, provided by Lifted, has a somewhat relaxed feel to it despite the rapid fire hi-hats and hand claps. The synths mesh nicely with a light vocal sample that echoes and then slowly fades out. Its pretty dope actually. Freddie Gibbs spits two fire verses and then there is an extended outro with guest Y.B. talking. Not bad.

13) The Color Purple - This song has a soulful sample that is more similar to "I Seen A Man Die" than anything else on the album so far. The track is produced by Tone Mason and its really dope. Freddie Gibbs comes with a sing-song flow on here and professes his love of weed.I believe this was one of the early leaks from the album.

14) Certified Live (featuring G-Wiz and Jay Rock) - This instrumental, provided by Lifted, has some organs and light hi-hats which are very reminiscent of a beat off of UGK's "Super Tight" album. Gangsta Gibbs even references UGK in his verse.
"I was sixteen serving sixteens off 15th and Broadway
Hard yay, got a nigga thuggin' out that UGK tape
Niggas bout that shit, and we hit our first lick
With a little deuce deuce and a tre eight"
TDE's Jay Rock also drops a dope verse while G-Wiz only provides the chorus. This song is really good.

15) Ten Packs of Backwoods (featuring D-Edge) - I'm really feelin the beat on this track. ID Labs comes through with a breezy banger that I would have loved to hear Currensy spit a verse over. The beat is ill, the topic is Mary Jane and Currensy would have ripped it. Instead, we get a verse from D-Edge, who sounds ok I guess. Regardless, this shit is dope.

16) Dope In My Styrofoam (featuring G-Wiz and G.I. Fleezy) - This song has another banging instrumental, this time by Like O. The beat is soulful, with some cinematic horns and energetic drums. Freddie Gibbs rips it and G-Wiz and G.I. Fleezy sound ok. I know Gangsta Gibbs wants to put his boys on, but I'd really prefer to hear him go solo over some of these beats.

17) 9mm (featuring G.I. Fleezy and G-Wiz) - The beat on this track, which is produced by Fire & Ice, has a mellow feel with a distorted horn sample and some pianos. Freddie Gibbs comes with a Juvenile "Gone Ride With Me" flow at the beginning of the track, but switches back to his regular rapid fire flow about a minute and a half in. G.I. Fleezy and G-Wiz are back again and trade off bars on the last verse.

18) Lose Control (featuring BJ the Chicago Kid) - Superville comes through with another laid back, breezy instrumental and Freddie Gibbs just bodies it while BJ the Chicago Kid kills the chorus. Unlike most of the songs on this album, this track has a carefree feel to it and is a welcome change from the darker, more serious first half of the LP. Dope.

19) Freddie Soprano - This was the second song released from the album and its raw. The track is produced by ID Labs and has a triumphant feel to it. Freddie isn't playing around on this song and absolutely murders the track.
"Niggas can’t go like Freddie Soprano, that’s on the mob
Jeezy wrote me off, he traded the trap in for office jobs
But it’s cool, nigga
Got my own plate, you can’t feed me with your spoon, nigga
Get your paper, I’ll let your partners play the fool, nigga"
This shit is hard. Very dope.

20) Murda Dem (featuring G.I. Fleezy and Big Kill) - The final song on the album is produced by Fire & Ice and features Freddie Gibbs spitting fire over another darker instrumental, this time with what sounds like some electronic steel drums and club air horns. Once again, the beat is dope and Gangsta Gibbs rips it, but the guests bring it down a bit.

I'm going to rate the album

3.5 / 5

because its really good, but there is a bit of filler. The beats on the album are banging for the most part and Freddie Gibbs just bodies every verse he spits, which is typical. His subject matter tends to focus strictly on street stories, braggadocio rhymes and drug raps, which is his niche but can get repetitive over the course of a 20 track LP. The main problems with the album are the guest appearances and the length of the album. It would have been much stronger with a solid 14-15 bangers than a drawn out 20 tracks. Almost every track features a guest appearance from one of Freddie Gibb's boys or other Gary, Indiana rappers, and some of them don't add much to the track. It would have been better to have Gangsta Gibbs go solo on those tracks or enlist other artists he has worked with in the past like Currensy or Big K.R.I.T. Still, the album is pretty dope and I expect fans of Freddie Gibbs are going to love it. I may end up bumping the rating up to a 4/5 after more listens. We'll see how it holds up.

5 comments:

  1. Good summary yo, I pretty much agree on erything

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  2. Loving this album. Doesn't deserve 5 stars, but I'll give it a easy 4.

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    1. I can agree with that. I gave it a 3.75 since it wasn't quite as good as some of the 4's I've given, but better than some of the 3.5s, so this was a nice compromise.

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  3. Are you sure it's a female vocal on came up ? Sounds like the weeknd's voice to me (from the track the zone maybe ?)

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    1. I'm not really familiar with The Weeknd's stuff so I checked out the song and you could be right. The liner notes for the album don't mention any samples at all, so I'm going to update the review to be a little more vague when it comes to the vocal sample. Good catch.

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