Freddie Gibbs/ by Black Dog Bone


Freddie Gibbs/Interview and Photos by Black Dog Bone


I really appreciate rappers who don’t give a fuck about anything and just keep doing it.


Keeping it gutter, somebody gotta do it for the streets, everybody can’t do this pretty shit. All this glamorous ass shit, not everybody living that life. You gotta tell ‘em what your really living. You selling drugs, you rap about that. You really doing this to feed the streets. It might be ugly, but you’re just painting a pretty picture with some ugly ass paint, that’s how I look at it.


Do you get a lot of negative feedback from the media for what you rap about?


Yeah, they complain about it. But it is what it is, other people talk about it. They just don’t do it in the way that I do. But I don’t do this shit for no critics, I don’t give a fuck.


I’m really from the gutter man. I’m from the no food in the house, no electricity, no water, that type of shit. I came from that. A lot of times when rappers talk about being hardcore it sounds forced. It just comes natural to me. And still have a lot to learn but I try to give to the youngsters a different side, not just the party, party, fuck bitches and get high. I try to give them something deeper than that on all my projects.


What inspires you to make music?


I just love it, I just like rap. I just put my stamp on it. Doing the music is better than other stuff, it won’t put me in jail. The music is a good opportunity for a black person in America to do this shit and make a living off of it. I don’t take it for granted. There’s a lot of black people in jail without a lot of opportunity to feed their family and I’m getting that through the music. Whatever magnitude it might be, however rich I might or might not get, just eve having the opportunity as a black man in America to make money off of this is a good feeling.


Ever since seeing your videos and listening to your music, I feel like you have that star quality.


That why despite no radio play, I’m still here. I still maintain a presence without going over the top. I built a core fan base and these rappers they listen me, they look at what I do and the moves I make and the things I say. I just continue to pour into it 100 percent while trying to survive. That’s what keeps me going.


A lot of rapper talk about being hardcore but when I listen to your music it feels like you are coming from a real place.


I’m really from the gutter man. I’m from the no food in the house, no electricity, no water, that type of shit. I came from that. A lot of times when rappers talk about being hardcore it sounds forced. It just comes natural to me. And still have a lot to learn but I try to give to the youngsters a different side, not just the party, party, fuck bitches and get high. I try to give them something deeper than that on all my projects.


When you were growing up in the ghetto did you understand about freedom or the black panthers or Malcolm X?


I read a lot of books, understood about that aspect, I was aware of the Black Panthers, Malcolm X. I just read a book on George L. Jackson. Soledad Brother, it’s one of my favorite books. I’m definitely into that aspect. I’m all about that, black power. I hope Obama do something for black people before he get out of office. When I make the music, it’s definitely street and gangstsa, you gotta grab the audience. Once they are listening, once I got ‘em then I go really deep. I wanna give them my struggle first, then also what I learn and my audience can grow with me. I can’t force it and give them what I’m not though. I’m still thugging in the street and getting high, I’m in the street everyday doing my thing. I got to tell them that. But I know that that’s not everything and there’s more to it.


It’s a funny thing but this 20th Anniversary issue, we are dedicating it to George Jackson. The beginning of Murder Dog comes from that. After reading books like George Jackson and Malcolm X , that’s where it all started, Murder Dog. The thing about George Jackson is that he’s hardcore and revolutionary, but he still has that emotional quality. I feel like a lot of people try to be hardcore but don’t have that emotional quality.


Yeah, they don’t show any vulnerability, they don’t show that they’re human beings. You don’t know where you are going and you don’t know where you come from and people like George Jackson, they’re part of our history.


it’s the environment, it’s the poverty. The world we grow up in. That’s what fuels the music. The place has been in an economic crisis for the last thirty years. Growing up in Gary as a youth it was a lot of crazy, a lot of drugs, a lot of murder. There was drug addicts and there was pimps in my household, cops in my household, hoes in my household. It was a big mix of shit. Growing up around that I didn’t let it take me under and I used rap as an outlet.


When you got the Interscope deal you moved to LA, what was that like, coming from Gary?


It was defiantly a change up and then when I got dropped from Interscope , I had to start over. I was broke, I didn’t have no money left. I had to hustle like I did in Gary. I had to hustle in the streets of LA. I had to start fucking with the Bloods, the Crips. I know a lot of niggas in the streets, I’m a street nigga from Gary Indiana so when I go to LA or any city I go and intermingle with the street niggas. I was just out here doing my thing, went to jail out here couple of times, got caught with a couple pounds of weed, I already had a gun charge in Gary. Then I got another gun charge here in LA, I had to go to LA county. And once I got out of there I had that on my record and it was just harder to rap.


How did you start rapping again after that?


I just got back in the studio. I didn’t have a fan base yet so it didn’t matter, I was fresh. I was fresh to the game. If I had put out a record while I was on Interscope, and then shit got fucked up, it would’ve been bad. I wouldn’t have been able to do what I had to do. I’m kind of glad I didn’t drop an album while I was on Interscope because they wouldn’t have pushed me anyways. When I came back out and was doing more underground shit it was more fresh. It wasn’t easy, I’m not saying it was easy. It was an uphill battle. It was like going halfway up the hill and then falling down and then you have to fucking go all the way back up. And I’m still climbing up, I have still room to grow.


In LA who did you start working with for production?


I was working with my homeboy Josh and my homeboy Sid and I was getting beats from him. And then after that people started doing tracks for me and sending me beats, cause I was putting mixed tapes out on the internet and people started hearing my shit.


Did you work with Finger roll after you moved to LA?


Well, he moved to Atlanta and I was out here. He was doing his thing and I was doing mine. We was both trying to get established in the Game.


What got you started doing rap when you were in Gary?


I don’t know, I was just bored, there wasn’t nothing else to do. I was bored and I saw the other muthafuckas doing it and I was like “fuck it”. I was just selling dope and getting fired from every job. Not doing what I was supposed to do so it was good that I gave it a try.


Did you grow up in a big family?


I grew up with my mom and my dad, I was the oldest of three . I have a brother and a sister. I got a whole lot of uncles that lived in the house with my grandma. So yeah I got a big family.


I read a lot of books, understood about that aspect, I was aware of the Black Panthers, Malcolm X. I just read a book on George L. Jackson. Soledad Brother, it’s one of my favorite books. I’m definitely into that aspect. I’m all about that, black power.


What did you grow up listening to?


All my uncles, while I was growing up, they was listenin to Geto Boys. So I listened to a lot of the Geto Boys.

You probably related a lot to them because they were talking about what you were living.


Yeah, it was like having a relative on CD. Or on a tape, cause it wasn’t CDs then, it was tape.


Are there any artists on the underground scene that you think are good right now?


I’m it, I’m the best. Ain’t nobody out there, no competition. Other than people doing there shit commercially as far as underground, ain’t nobody doing it like me.


So you are based in LA mainly?


Yeah, I got my studio at my house, and I just grind it out and make music. I got a whole lot of people I work with out here. I’ve been working with Mike Dean as of late. I’m working Suppaville, a lot of young up and coming guys.


Your videos have a really dark grimy feel, who directs them?


I direct the videos. I got a guy who comes in a helps me direct but basically all my video concepts come from me. I come and either write it out or tell the director how I want it. I write the songs so I gotta kinda see how they are coming out. 90 percent of the time the come out kinda dope.


You have a big fan base online as well.


Yeah, all the little white kids from the burbs find out about me on the internet. The videos play a big part of that. And they be like “ this guy really be doing what he rapping about”. It was like when Iceberg Slim was writing books and he was really pimping, I’m on the streets doing what I rap about. I’m making music that’s really thug. So it’s like this cult following.

They can reach out and touch it they can really see it.


When I make the music, it’s definitely street and gangstsa, you gotta grab the audience. Once they are listening, once I got ‘em then I go really deep. I wanna give them my struggle first, then also what I learn and my audience can grow with me. I can’t force it and give them what I’m not though. I’m still thugging in the street and getting high, I’m in the street everyday doing my thing.


When you are in the studio, what sort of sound are you going for?


It depends on the mood. I think I’m one of the most versatile rappers in the game right now. I don’t like limit myself to nothing. I just did a whole album with Madlib that I’m about to put out, and a lot of people don’t even know who Madlib is. And that’s just in addition to the hardcore shit I do.


How did the project with Madlib come about? He’s more of a backpacker, lyrical type of rapper.


We’ve got mutual friends. And he got weird ass sample beats but it was dope. He wanted somebody to put some gangsta shit over it. We just finished the album.


What are some of your favorite songs that you’ve done?


Probably the last song I did, it’s called ‘Shit, can’t tell me shit’, and then there’s a song I did called ‘Whole Thang’ with Young Chop. I just did a song with young Chop. Those are the songs I’m excited about now.


Have you seen you seen yourself change as a rapper?


Definitely, you see yourself evolve and grow and you get better, as a rapper and a song writer and every thing. I sound way different than I sounded when I first started rapping with Finger Roll. I kinda grew up behind the mike, my manhood started behind the mike. You can definitely see the growth, I wanted go farther than I seen anybody go. I think I accomplished that but I still got a long way to go.


So what are you working on at the moment?


I’m going to put out my new project, ‘Straight Killa Part 2’. So that’s what I’m working on right now. It’ll be out around Christmas, I just put out my street album ESPN, then my album with Madlib, that’ll be out in January.


And what label are you on right now?


I got my own label, ESPN, it’s independent.


I haven’t talked to you in a while!


Man, we go back like 10 years. You remember when I was first doing stuff. Murder Dog came to Gary and did the Murder Dog article! I got in the magazine!


Murder Dog was were probably the first magazine to do anything on you.

Yeah, all the little white kids from the burbs find out about me on the internet. The videos play a big part of that. And they be like “ this guy really be doing what he rapping about”. It was like when Iceberg Slim was writing books and he was really pimping, I’m on the streets doing what I rap about. I’m making music that’s really thug. So it’s like this cult following.They can reach out and touch it they can really see it.

Yeah. I wanna get on the cover. What I gotta do to get on the front cover?


For sure. Let’s do a cover sometime. Maybe for the 20th Anniversary issue.


I wanna be on the cover. What do I gotta do to be on the cover? I live in California; I’ll do a photo shot, whatever. I’ll come wherever you’re at. It’s big! Big for me, big for the magazine.


In your video, the fuck the world video you’re running from the police and you get caught. I was wondering why you get caught? Why don’t you just escape? Does it represent your life?


I think that it’s just reality. But I feel like am free, just a force in the game. I’ve been doing my shit since I was 21, 22 and now I’m at the point where I’ve come to another level. I’ve got the underground on lock. I’m probably the king of that. As far as commercial success, it comes, it goes. I’m not really worried about that, I just want to put out good music. My fans really just love me, everyone else is just bandwagon.


I wanted to talk about the Gary sound, it’s very dark and grimy. Where do you think that’s coming from?


Well it’s the environment, it’s the poverty. The world we grow up in. That’s what fuels the music. The place has been in an economic crisis for the last thirty years. Growing up in Gary as a youth it was a lot of crazy, a lot of drugs, a lot of murder. There was drug addicts and there was pimps in my household, cops in my household, hoes in my household. It was a big mix of shit. Growing up around that I didn’t let it take me under and I used rap as an outlet. I started out with Finger roll, just chilling out in his studio, listening to him making music and smoking weed. When I could get on the mike I took full advantage, I took advantage more than most people do, that why I shined, I think.


How old where you when you started working with Finger roll? What’s he up to right now?


I was around 21. Finger roll started me up . If it wasn’t for Finger roll I wouldn’t be rapping right now. He’s in Atlanta still producing, that’s my homie, we still talk.


I think that it’s just reality. But I feel like am free, just a force in the game. I’ve been doing my shit since I was 21, 22 and now I’m at the point where I’ve come to another level. I’ve got the underground on lock. I’m probably the king of that. As far as commercial success, it comes, it goes. I’m not really worried about that, I just want to put out good music. My fans really just love me, everyone else is just bandwagon.


What was the rap scene like in Gary when you where growing up?


It was like, Grind Family, CPA, Finger Roll, Mutt Dogg and Jeff, Thugged out, it was Rick Jilla. It was all these guys and I was like the little man on the totem pole at that point. I had to show that I could rap the best, I had to put myself in the best position. That took a bit of time but then a year and a half, two years back, I got a deal with Interscope. I got a deal real quick. But I got dropped from Interscope a year later though. There was a lot of rappers at that point. There are still a lot of rappers but back then it was more of a thing, there was more respect. Now anybody can put a mike in their bedroom and start rapping. But then everybody was rapping in Gary and when everyone started fading out I just stepped up and took control of the scene. I turned the rap scene in Gary into me. I made myself the voice of the whole city.


About your new album, it was going to come out later but it came out earlier, why was that?


It got leaked, so I just dropped it. I just gave the people what they wanted. It’s pretty much 18 tracks, everything post the whole Young Jeezy thing. I just had a lot of shit to get done so I just put that out. I just did it old school with having people fuck with it in the industry, it’s a real street album. That what I was aiming for.

How would you compare it to your previous albums?


It’s pretty consistent from the last project. From the BFK to the Cold day in hell, when I was with Jeezy and then not with him, my shit stayed pretty consistent. You can go back to my first tapes, everything I put out is solid. It ain’t never been a dull moment with me. My tours too, now I do all the big festivals, a lot of show. From my standpoint I’m doing a lot. I just the best in the game but I’m the most underrated. But I ain’t worried about that, that’ll come.


I had to start over. I was broke, I didn’t have no money left. I had to hustle like I did in Gary. I had to hustle in the streets of LA. I had to start fucking with the Bloods, the Crips. I know a lot of niggas in the streets, I’m a street nigga from Gary Indiana so when I go to LA or any city I go and intermingle with the street niggas. I was just out here doing my thing.


You were one the first artists in Gary to get picked up by a major label.


From Gary, yeah. My current manager, he was an intern there and he pitched my music. But when they changed management he got fired from the label and I got fired from the label. We just kept working, with all the music and all the knowledge that we got. We used it to our advantage, we used it to propel me to where I’m at now. I’m way bigger now than when I was on Interscope. When I was on Interscope nobody knew who I was cause I wasn’t promoted or anything of that nature. It was a good learning experience for me though, I took everything I learn while I was there to move forward in my career. I might’ve not put an album out but the knowledge that I gained was priceless.


RECENT POST
JOIN MY MAILING LIST
Join My Mailing List
  • Grey Facebook Icon
  • Grey Twitter Icon
  • Grey Instagram Icon
Instagram@Murderdogint

©2016  By black dog bone