Track Review: Gang Signs // Freddie Gibbs ft. ScHoolboy Q

2020 was an incredible year for Freddie Gibbs. He had a number of hard-hitting features and Alfredo, a collaborative album with producer The Alchemist that earned him a Grammy nomination as well as heaps of critical acclaim. In 2021, Gibbs shows no sign of losing this momentum with his latest track ‘Gang Signs’ which features a verse from TDE rapper ScHoolboy Q.

Read more: Album Review: Alfredo // Freddie Gibbs

Backed by a subtle but creative beat, Gibbs hook is infectious. He becomes a part of the instrumental and you can’t help but bob your head as you listen. Gibbs compares himself to Corleone on his verse, reminiscent of his previous mob style album, Alfredo.

Q, likewise, has a verse that requires full attention with the line, “Way too Crip to go live, you take one, we take nine”. He makes ‘take one’ sound like the beginning of the martial art Taekwondo while ‘take nine’ refers to the semi-automatic gun TEC-9. He is highlighting the futility of martial arts within a gang lifestyle while, at the same time, exaggerating the eye for an eye mentality.

A video was released alongside this track, where Gibbs is a cartoon rabbit and Q a cartoon turtle. The video not only encapsulates the central gang theme to the track but parallels the laid-back instrumental through the slow pacing of the video.

‘Gang Signs’ proves that long awaited collaborations are worth the wait, especially when it comes to Freddie Gibbs—who shows no sign of slowing down in 2021.

Words by Tom Manning


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