Freddie Gibbs is the product of violent, drug-laden streets but unlike most rappers with similar resumes, he brings the block to the booth without inhibition or an exaggerated rap persona, Pi ata, a 17 track collaboration with producer Madlib, is the best distillation yet of his transparent approach to making music, combining an at times stark honesty with electrifying talent as a lyricist and performer. Pi ata is "a gangster Blaxploitation film on wax," says Gibbs, Here he is joined by Mac Miller, Earl Sweatshirt, Raekwon, Scarface, Domo Genesis, Ab-Soul and a host of others, As a producer, Madlib, quite simply, is music, and ten years into his career Gibbs remains restless, focused, with an eye on the competition and their position relative to his ascent.

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