Review Summary: Like a slow burn pasta sauce.
Believe it or not, a Freddie Gibbs and The Alchemist collaboration was first mentioned a whole decade prior to the release of Alfredo
. A taste of what a joint effort from these two artists would sound like was first teased on “Scottie Pippens” with Freddie hinting the title with his line: ”Reporting live from The Devil's Palace / Breakfast, had two titties, two blunts and a turkey bacon sandwich”
. While, what was tentatively titled ‘The Devil’s Palace
’ never came to fruition, much has happened in each respective artist’s careers in between this time. Alchemist has tirelessly added more material to his prolific discography. Meanwhile, rather than coasting on the sound established on Cold Day In Hell
, we saw Freddie Gibbs take an adventurous risk by making Piñata
with the highly acclaimed Madlib, a project which saw a follow-up release. Although the last decade saw more features from Freddie on future releases from Alc, fan’s hopes of a full record from these two was teased once more with the release of Fetti
Littered with piano riffs and jazzy samples, Alfredo
sounds elegant and classy, yet dark and ominous at the same time. All featured rappers provide solid verses with Benny The Butcher and Tyler, The Creator being notable features. Instrumentally, “Frank Lucas” is a track that pairs the ferocity of Freddie and Benny’s delivery with a sinister backdrop. Gibbs spits vicious flows over the soulful and airy beats on “Look At Me” and “Baby $hit”. On “Skinny Suge”, we also see a rare and introspective Gibbs as he weighs the negative outcomes of his grimy street tales over a strange and mesmerizing, looped guitar sample. Though at times eclectic, The Alchemist’s production takes a more stripped back approach, giving more emphasis on the vocal delivery.
With a slower tempo throughout much of the record, the production takes a backseat on some occasions, “Something To Rap About” in particular holds this to a fault as both Freddie and Tyler provide great bars over a slow and unremarkable beat. “Babies & Fools” being another less memorable cut with the beat being far too laidback, bordering on boring. Thankfully, the album avoids the common flaw of overly long hip-hop records by keeping the track-listing short. With just 10 tracks, Alfredo
minimizes it’s pitfalls and packs a tight package. This is yet another solid addition to both artist’s discographies and shows optimism in Freddie Gibbs’ blooming rap career as he shows no signs of being complacent or stopping anytime soon. Not as immediate as previous Alchemist productions, Alfredo
is like a slow burn pasta sauce.