Gibbo - The Fresh Brew EP (Review)

Gibbo - The Fresh Brew (Essence of Hip-Hop)

"The Fresh Brew EP" is the latest project from Aldershot emcee Gibbo. The EP features no guest appearances and is fully produced by UK hip-hop producer Stealf. It was released on August 29, 2014 via De Facto Entertainment.

1) Hands of the Enemy - The first song on the album finds Gibbo rapping about a variety of topics (such as the troubles of the world today as well as about making music for the love of it) over a somewhat repetitive Stealf instrumental. The beat is ok, featuring a chopped up jazzy sample over stomping drums, and Gibbo sounds good enough over it, but this one is just ok for me. - 2.75/5

2) Amokery - The beat on this cut has a sort of 80's action movie vibe to it, with some subtle synths in the background and then layered over boom-bap drums. Lyrically the song is just as dope as the beat, with Gibbo kicking some boastful bars and flowing nicely over the instrumental. Dope. - 3.25/5

3) Green Tea - This cut features Gibbo spitting some relaxing bars about wanting to "just be lazy" over a dreamy sample and plodding boom-bap drums. The tranquil feel of the beat meshes nicely with the subject matter of the song, but the hard hitting drums help to ground the song in reality. This one is just a little too laid back for me though and my mind started wandering about halfway through. - 2.5/5

4) Question Time - This song finds Stealf delivering his darkest instrumental yet, with a sample that sounds like it came straight out of the dungeons of hip-hop during the verses and then a looped up vocal sample on the chorus. The beat is my favorite on here so far and Gibbo rips it as he touches on a variety of subjects while rapping in a more aggressive flow. This one is real dope. - 4.5/5

5) Lion Hide - The beat is on this song is another one of my favorites on the EP, with Stealf looping up another dreary and distorted sample over boom-bap drums. Lyrically the song is as strong as the beat, with Gibbo rapping about some of the more mundane aspects of life and about how his spirit is "tougher than lion hide". Too bad it's so short since this one is real nice. - 4.25/5

6) IAAF - The final song on the EP finds Gibbo kicking some more ill rhymes over a funky guitar sample and animated drums. The project started out a bit shaky, but these last three songs have all been real dope. Good way to close out the EP. - 4/5

I'm going to rate the EP

3.5 / 5

because it's got some fire on it, but it has a few weaker songs as well. The beats are pretty nice throughout, with Stealf really coming with the bangers on the last half of the EP. A few of the instrumentals on the first half were a little too repetitive and generic for me, but the last three more than made up for the first three. Lyrically the album fares about the same as the beats, with Gibbo sounding a bit uninspired over the weaker instrumentals and then really finding his groove during the last half of the project. Overall the EP is quite good, however, and I'm looking forward to hearing more from these two in the future. Peep the full EP below.


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