Gary, Indiana’s own Freddie Gibbs certainly makes sure to capitalize on his second chance at life with his latest project You Only Live 2wice. The Baby Faced Killa’s sensational album cover is a head turner to say the least as it depicts the MC being resurrected amidst not only the chaos within his own personal life, but also within the calamity of society. Oversexualization, narcissism, and the devaluation of black lives has become all too prevalent within our current culture. These detrimental factors served to set the backdrop for Gibbs personal trials and tribulations as the rapper faced false rape allegations overseas, which left him confined to an Austrian prison for several months before his much deserved release.
Gibbs opens up the short eight track featureless project with “20 Karat Jesus,” which serves as a great intro to the album as the rapper reflects on the wild lifestyle that he once led and the lack of support while facing his unjust confinement. The production on this track is very soulful and features a beautiful beat transition that captures the religious undertones of this track very effectively while Gibbs makes sure to put his ill flow on display.
This opening track is followed up by “Alexys,” where Gibbs takes a look at his current circle and realizes that many of the people around him may not have his best interest at heart with his current success.
“The realest ni**as that I know aint never sold dope, the hardest ni**as that I know aint never served time”
This is what Gibbs raps as he comes to the realization that a change needs to be made in his life and often times we glorify the wrong things. Producers on the rise Kaytranada and BADBADNOTGOOD are responsible for the exceptional instrumentation on this standout tune.
On the following cut “Crushed Glass,” Gibbs really delves deep and gives his perspective on the false allegations he faced.
“I just beat a rape case groupie b*tch I never f**ked tried to give me ten for some pu**y that I never touched”
These are just a few of the bars Freddie Corleone spits as he goes on to let it be known that he had the strength to overcome his circumstances regardless of what may have been stacked against him.
The album then proceeds to take a shift in tone a bit with “Phone Lit,” another one of the standout tracks on the project. The smooth production courtesy of Superville, Lambo, and Speakerbomb sets the vibe just right with Gibbs ready to hit the town and reunite with his woman upon his release.
Closing out the project this is coupled with his final track “Homesick.” On this song the rapper paints a vivid picture to portray the isolation he experienced during his incarceration overseas. This gave him some clarity as to what is really important in his life as he vows to make a change for his daughter.
Overall this is a very exceptional project as the gangster rapper allows himself to be vulnerable while giving his fans a peek into his psyche while he was facing his legal troubles in Europe. Gibbs does this while still maintaining his hard edge and weaving his top notch flows in and out of the well crafted melodic instrumentation featured throughout the project.
We haven’t even reached Summertime yet, but this release may very well have a chance to be in the running for album of the year come December. It’s about time that Gibbs garners more recognition as one of the top spitters in the game.
RESPECT. Review Rating: 9/10