A few weeks ago on Twitter, someone asked me if they thought that Gangsta Gibbs was underrated. I didn’t know how to answer the question. In this minor vortex of the Internet, it goes without saying that Freddie Gibbs is one of the best doing it right now and well on his way to being one of the best ever. I mean, I wrote an LA Weekly cover story on him off the strength of his two mixtapes. At the time, it was controversial, but no one would blink now. Not only has he delivered on his promise, he’s done so with rare consistency and an admirable refusal to compromise.

But in the wider rap world, he still doesn’t earn the proper respect. He might have been on the XXL Freshman 10, but MTV doesn’t include him in his hottest rappers list. But if Gibbs isn’t in your top 3 right now, I don’t know what to tell you. And with Kendrick about to get Gaga’d, Gibbs could very well be the #1 rap singer.

A song like “The Hard” is everything his critics said he couldn’t be. It’s got a catchy hook and plenty of polish. But with a guy like Gibbs, even when the diamonds are gleaming, you know the goods are stolen. This song is only predictable in that it as good as weed and waffles in the morning.


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