Down in Houston, Deen is bout it, bout it.

Freddie Gibbs and Kirko Bangz? Interesting and unexpected. But there was something about this combo that initially gave me pause. It’s like — to quote the most quotable rapper ever — “mixing vodka and milk.” *  After all, Freddie Gibbs is an unabashed gangsta rapper (versatile but still…) while Kirko Bangz almost exclusively trades in songs for the ladies/Houston related shit,  with a heavy dose of autotune. He never simps though, so theoretically, he has that in common with Gibbs.

But that’s why we’re supposed to listen to the music before we pass judgment (unless you’re on Twitter, then you can just slander away). This shit is fucking flames. I fux wit it crazily. Gibbs and Bangz find common ground on what one might describe as a “Boys Night Out/Coolly Menacing” song that has enough appeal to knock in cars, on radio and at the club. The exact kind of song I want to hear from Gibbs these days. He’s already made every other kind – all that’s left is the hit.

Bangz’s autotuned verse and the chaotic production (via DJ Dahi – he did some of the better work on DOM Kennedy’s Yellow Album) lend a bit of a pop sheen to the affair, but I’d suggest that the main reason why this works is that Gibbs doesn’t use the poppier artist as a crutch. , Let me fanute this idea a bit more. In general, when an artist pays for a guest appearance from an artist that has managed a Billboard appearance or two, they tend to pass hook duties off to said artist (for example, 90% of B.O.B. or Drake guest appearances or Jay-Z’s sole #1 hit – thanks to Ms. Keys) and handle the verses. Lazy if you ask me. Might as well give the props to the guest.

Maybe that’s a harsh bar to meet, but the hook is what most people are going to remember when the song ends and outsourcing that shit is like using a crutch. You know it’s true. Granted, most rappers are incapable of coming up with decent hooks and we’d rather just hear someone else handle the shit (*cough* J.Cole *cough*). But the ones that can consistently bang out their own hooks should get credit for doing so. It’s hard work. If you can’t make hooks, then use dope ass samples and scratches or chant some shit. Or you could always make your bars strong enough to avoid the need for a shitty hook. Personally, I prefer a variety of approaches, regardless of a rapper’s hook constructing proficiency. Makes for a better listen in the long run.

But back to Gangsta Gibbs. He’s always had a knack for this business and that’s one of the main reasons why he’s arguably the best rapper working today (go brush your tongue again before you debate me bro. Get the back. All that white stuff gotta go). Nary a corny hook on his projects to date. And this collaboration just continues that trend. I’m guessing that this one’s off his upcoming Gangsta Grillz mixtape, Baby Face Killa, so with any luck we’ll be hearing that soon. I’m willing to bet the farm that BFK will easily be one of the best things we’ll hear this year. Who has a farm?

*  Prodigy’s “vodka and milk” line mad a ton of sense when I too young to drink. I realized that he (and every other rapper) didn’t know what the fuck he was talking about once I watched The Big Lebowski and tried a White Russian. Vodka, milk and some Bailey’s Irish Cream is very copacetic. Belee dat.

MP3: Freddie Gibbs ft. Kirko Bangz – “Bout It, Bout It”

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