Freddie Gibbs and Madlib
Pinata


4.0
excellent

Review

by donkey teeth USER (2 Reviews)
March 18th, 2014 | 461 replies


Release Date: 03/18/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Filled with delicious goodies for everyone.

Another day, another Madlib production. Since the 90s, Otis Jackson Jr. has, under the name of Madlib, been involved in numerous releases in hip-hop’s underground. He rose to fame during the 2000’s as both a producer and an MC, with the pinnacle of his achievement being the critically acclaimed “Madvillainy,” a collaborative album, much like Pinata, but featuring the enigmatic and commanding MF DOOM.

Pinata, as a collaboration with Madlib and an MC, naturally makes Madvillainy the easiest comparison. Yet, to contend that Gibbs must exist solely in Dumile’s iron-masked shadow is to do Pinata injustice.

The first glimpse you get of Pinata comes with some suitably “vintage” sounding samples put over a strangely familiar drumbeat. The vicious tone and meaning in the samples in “Supplier” gives us our first insight as to the biggest difference between Pinata and Madvillainy. Pinata is a far more aggressive album, and this is mostly due to Freddie Gibbs. His deep voice is evocative of a less syncopated, less furious DMX, and his classic gangsta lyrics and flow mesh with the instrumentals impeccably. The album gets progressively more confident as it goes on, with the only guest appearances from Danny Brown and Raekwon until the last seven tracks, which feature many other rappers from Domo Genesis to Ab-Soul and Scarface. The final track is a behemoth with six guest appearances; a vicious posse cut that wraps Pinata up in a nice little bow of classic gangster hubris.

El-P has a talent for molding other rappers to his beats; Madlib is more given to laying down the beat and letting the rhymes sink or swim. The biggest preconceptions I came into this album with arose from Madvillain; Freddie Gibbs was an unproven talent, and I naturally questioned his ability to keep up with Madlib’s impeccable instrumentals. He more than satisfies; Gibbs does a tremendous job at keeping up with Madlib’s production. The only issue with his rapping is that it’s hard to take Gibbs’ gruff voice for the length of all seventeen tracks on the album. The guest appearances do a good job of breaking it up and adding some variety, but by about halfway through the album you might find yourself tempted to tune out the raps, which is a shame, because some of Gibbs best moments on the album come in tracks five through nine. These same tracks also sometimes drag on a little bit too long; cutting five or ten minutes from the center of the album would have done wonders for the pacing. Once you get past that, however, Pinata finishes nicely, with the plethora of guest verses adding variety to the second half.

The combination of the rough Gangsta Gibbs and the unconventional Madlib seems like a somewhat incompatible one on paper, but the pair does have a strange charisma about them. Gibbs’ introspective, aggressive, and sometimes even anguished lyrics give us a portrait of the man’s life, and with Madlib’s production style, live up to Gibbs’ own characterization of the album as a “generic Blaxpoitation film on wax.” Perhaps it’s only fitting that the final product is a little hard to swallow whole.


user ratings (415)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
TheBeardo (4.5)
Freddie Gibbs and Madlib have created something special here,Madlib further cements his place in the...

Chris Maitland (4)
Behold hip-hop's new dream team......

Bradley Harris (3.5)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Solbrave
March 18th 2014


317 Comments


My first attempt at writing a review. Don't go easy on me.

Digging: Hail Mary Mallon - Bestiary

oltnabrick
March 18th 2014


31599 Comments


ok i wont.


negd

Solbrave
March 18th 2014


317 Comments


...some comments about what you didn't like about the review would be appreciated

MikeC26
March 18th 2014


3211 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

great album great review

MisterTornado
Contributing Reviewer
March 18th 2014


4507 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"if you shoot an arrow and it goes real high, hooray for you"

Pheromone
March 18th 2014


3862 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Shitsville tho

Digging: Jeremy Enigk - Return of the Frog Queen

Chrisjon89
March 18th 2014


3833 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

good review. Gibbs is a talented dude - that style's not really my thing but I liked it. Madlib is phenomenal again. he's as good as it gets.

SharkTooth
March 18th 2014


6509 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

"...some comments about what you didn't like about the review would be appreciated"
but Oltna didn't..

Digging: Boylan - ima rockstar im not a rockstar

WeepingBanana
March 18th 2014


10217 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i can't stop listening to Harold's

Solbrave
March 18th 2014


317 Comments


Harold's might be my favorite song off this album.

Gwyn.
March 18th 2014


15324 Comments


finally

Digging: Grief - Come to Grief

FearTomorrow
March 18th 2014


1828 Comments


So like

this really is that good?

Solbrave
March 18th 2014


317 Comments


I figure the rating will stabilize between a 4.1 and a 4.2 but IMO this is a very strong contender for rap AOTY.

Scoot
March 18th 2014


17914 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

not as good as madvilliany but then again almost nothing is

doom is better than gibbs but that's the only reason why this isn't as good because madlib is incredible

Digging: Renounced - The Melancholy We Ache

oltnabrick
March 18th 2014


31599 Comments


gibbs and doom aren't really comparable but if you want to look like a noob pls continue smh

Scoot
March 18th 2014


17914 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

obviously i meant better suited for madlib's beats but i guess you played hooky on reading comprehension day

oltnabrick
March 18th 2014


31599 Comments


doom is better than gibbs


Scoot
March 18th 2014


17914 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

you really are a mongoloid

oltnabrick
March 18th 2014


31599 Comments


asap rocky avatar and then i stopped reading after "doom is better than gibbs". tbh i couldnt take it

Wadlez
March 18th 2014


4671 Comments


I should have stopped reading after Oltnabrick



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