Dime Q&A: Hip-Hop Star Freddie Gibbs Dishes On Chicago, Carlos Boozer & His New Mixtape

The biggest complaint in hip-hop today is that everything is soft. Grown men are circling their neighborhoods in skin-tight jeans, and are crooning instead of rapping. The aggressive lane has become a recessive trait in hip-hop. Bars are depreciated because nobody listens to sixteens anymore. Everybody needs a catchy hook and a melodic beat in order to smoothly digest a record. The gangsta in gangsta rap is diminished. Still, there’s some hope. Indiana’s very own Freddie Gibbs, commonly referred to as Gangsta Gibbs, has no desire to let the epitome of gangsta rap die.

Being one of the few of a dying breed, Gibbs merges his abrasive personality and lyrical content to form that hard-knocking gangsta music. His latest release, Baby Face Killa, hosted by DJ Drama, is considered one of the best mixtapes to come out this year – or as he said in this interview – the best.

As you can see, Gibbs doesn’t shy away from being blunt or honest, especially when talking about his beloved Chicago Bulls. In this interview, Freddie Gibbs talks about his love for Jordan and the Bulls, his hate for Carlos Boozer, Reggie Miller and Duke players, his expectations for Derrick Rose and Chicago, and who is the best player to come out of the CHI.

The truth hurts, but shall set you free.

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Dime: Being that you’re from Indiana, talk about the rabid fan base of Indiana basketball ranging from the Hoosier days to Reggie Miller and the Pacers when you were growing up.
Freddie Gibbs: It’s definitely a basketball state. It’s a big college recruiting ground, especially where I’m from, considering it’s right next to Chicago. Larry Bird, Scott Skiles and Glenn Robinson all were dope players.

Dime: Were you a Pacers fan coming up?
FG: Hell Nah.

Dime: Damn. Reggie is going to be hurt if he sees this man. (Laughs)
FG: I hated Reggie Miller.

Dime: What team did you normally rout for?
FG: I was a Bulls fan man.

Dime: Indiana is probably going to be hurting after hearing this. Danny Granger might be a little upset after this.
FG: Nah you gotta understand. Gary is like 15 minutes from Chicago. So all we got was Chicago news and Chicago Bulls games. I ain’t see the Pacers games.

Dime: Talk about coming up having the privilege of watching Mike Jordan, Scottie and the Bulls when you were watching and describe what that experience was like.
FG: Ahhh it was the best man. They had the greatest team ever. So to root for the greatest team ever was fun. That’s part of your childhood and that’s something you’re always gonna remember. You know when the Bulls won the championship, niggas were rioting and flipping over cars.

Dime: What’s funny is Metta World Peace said this offseason that he believes this new-look Lakers team could break the ’96 Bulls’ historic record of winning 72 games. Do you think that’s possible?
FG: I mean it’s possible but impossible at the same motherfucking time. You know the Bulls had Jordan man. Like motherfucking Mark McGwire got damn hit like 70 home runs. So my nigga, records are made to be broken. So I can’t say it’s not possible, but that’s a lot of fucking wins in a season, man. If you think about it, you could only lose like 10 games my nigga. Like most teams lose that shit by the All-Star break. Back in the day, when the Lakers won 69 games, that stood for a very long time. So when the Bulls got that 70 wins, it’s like I don’t see anybody touching that for a while, especially with the level of competition today. When you got the Kevin Durants and the LeBrons, I don’t see a motherfucker only losing 10 games.

Dime: I hear you. Recently Charles Barkley said that he thinks LeBron could be better than Jordan. Since you were able to watch Michael and you see LeBron now, do you think that’s a possibility?
FG: You know Charles Barkley is my second-favorite player of all time man. I pretty much agreed with a lot of shit that he said. You know I agree with him on that LeBron shit because I think LeBron is the best player to come into the league since Jordan – not to take anything away from Kobe. But, I think athletically, he’s unmatched. Mike did everything well. LeBron does everything well. LeBron is just bigger, stronger and faster. You know I agree with that. In time, I think he’ll get more championships and more accolades, and he’ll be on that level. If anybody is in the running to do it, it’s LeBron.

Dime: I mess with LeBron, but Kobe is an animal, Freddie.
FG: Kobe an animal man but physically, LeBron is unmatched. You watch him against the Lakers, he’s playing every position. I mean he could do it all. He’s the most versatile player in the league. If he could develop a post game like Mike, it’ll be over with.

Dime: Sticking to the Chicago theme, you have a lot of talented ballplayers like Derrick Rose and Dwyane Wade that came from Chi-town. Who do you feel are the best players to come out from Chicago and why?
FG: Probably D-Rose. Don’t sleep on (Iman) Shumpert. Don’t sleep on motherfucking Shumpert, man. He’s a beast dog. I think he has the potential to be an All-Star. But I love Derrick Rose. I’m partial because I’m a Bulls fan. But don’t sleep on Shumpert.

Dime: Looking at the Eastern Conference, Chicago may take a dip from last year because of the new additions from other teams and Derrick Rose’s health. What’s your expectation for your Bulls this season?
FG: Man, all I gotta say about that is “go Bears.” I’m in football mode right now, man. I know the Bulls are gonna be fucked up this year, man. I mean, I figure we’ll be alright man. Shit is fucked up right now man, but we still got a couple of good guys. It’s just gonna be a long season man.

Dime: If memory serves me correct, while you were serving as a sports columnist for Rap Radar, you never were too big on Carlos Boozer right? (Laughs)
FG: Yeah I don’t fuck with Boozer man. I’d rather trade that nigga for the 90th-round draft pick and for four D-League niggas. He’s supposed to be like Karl Malone man. But he’s nowhere near man. We need someone like LaMarcus Aldridge.

Dime: That would be perfect.
FG: We need somebody to complement Derrick Rose, man.

Dime: I honestly thought you guys should have tried to get Pau Gasol when you guys had the chance. That would have been a good look.
FG: Yeah. I think that would have been a good look too. But you know, I’m not the motherfucking GM. Dwight Howard would have been an excellent look.

Dime: That would have been crazy. It would have been like Shaq and Penny on steroids.
FG: Or even James Harden.

Dime: I love James Harden’s game.
FG: Isn’t his contract up?

Dime: He could be a free agent next year. But you guys have players with huge contracts that’ll prevent Chicago from even getting him like Luol Deng and Joakim Noah.
FG: Yeah…I like Luol Deng.

Dime: You guys just need to do a makeover. You guys have the same team while everybody got stronger.
FG: Taj Gibson is good. He my nigga. Noah, he too damn wild man.

Dime: Noah is solid man. He’ll do the dirty work. He’s like a new age Charles Oakley.
FG: I won’t give him too much credit.

Dime: Carlos doesn’t grab rebounds like he used to. So Joakim will be right there holding down the paint and gathering the boards up.
FG: Man, Boozer don’t do shit like he used to.

Dime: He got comfortable. He got the big contract.
FG: Yeah I guess. I don’t like niggas from Duke.

Dime: You on your Jalen Rose shit? (Laughs)
FG: Yeah I don’t like niggas from Duke. I’m on my Jalen Rose.

Dime: You gotta at least show homage to my dude Grant Hill, man.
FG: I love Grant Hill man. Him and those ugly ass FILAS.

Dime: (Laughs) I love asking this question to rappers. If you could give yourself an NBA comparison, who would you be and why?
FG: Damn. I don’t know man. That’s a good fucking question. I’m gonna have to say LeBron, man. (Laughs)

Dime: Damn man. (Laughs) I don’t know man. Baby Face Killa was dope though, man.
FG: Yeah man. I think I’m the most versatile nigga man.

Dime: I want to delve into the music aspect and your mixtape real quick. A lot of people are saying your mixtape is definitely in the running for one of the best to come out this year.
FG: I think it is the best mixtape to come out this year. Who else had a better mixtape?

Dime: Detroit. The Big Sean tape was dope.
FG: Yeah that was cool too. But you know I’m the only nigga who got that gangsta shit man.

Dime: I hear you. You had a lot of dope features on that tape. You had Dom Kennedy, Curren$y, Jadakiss, Jeezy. Who would you consider as your dream collaboration that you haven’t had yet that you’d love to do a track with?
FG: Jay-Z man.

Dime: Respect man. Because you’re from Indiana, was it hard fighting the misconceptions of not being a dope rapper because you were from a little town?
FG: Yeah definitely. A lot of motherfuckers take you for granted because of where you from. They’ll show you no love because you’re not from a big metropolitan area. But fuck these niggas; I got a story to tell. Even within your own rap circles, niggas look at you different. But you know I just go in to prove all these motherfuckers wrong. Like I said, ain’t anybody holding that street shit down like me.

Dime: I’ve always loved rap duos in the game. You have Wayne and Drake, and Hov and Kanye. Of course you have yourself and Jeezy. Where would you guys place yourselves in the rankings as far as duos in concerned?
FG: I don’t know yet because we still have some developing to do. We got more records to do. I don’t think you could put us on the level of Beans and Jay yet. Like I said, there still a whole lot of work to do. You know like you can’t compare Durant and Westbrook to Jordan and Pippen ‘cuz they ain’t won no rings yet. They got championships, but once we get established, then we could make those comparisons.

Dime: Before I let you go, with the whole Jeezy and Ross scuffle that happened at the BET Awards, I personally think you guys should battle it out through a basketball or football game. Who would win in a 5-5 basketball game: CTE or Maybach?
FG: (Laughs) I mean shit if it’s a football game, you know these niggas definitely have the size. I don’t know if anybody has been balling lately. I know I haven’t played ball in a while. I don’t know. I saw Ross’ big ass shoot some jumpers on Worldstar. (Laughs) Maybe his big ass will be able to play the perimeter or something.

What kind of potential does Freddie Gibbs have as an artist?

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