After a year of tumult, Freddie Gibbs is finally finding the space to be open again. The 34-year-old rapper recently faced the prospect of spending the next decade in prison after being arrested for a sexual assault charges in Austria. Gibbs was ultimately acquitted and once he found himself back on native soil, he went quiet.
Last month, Gibbs released You Only Live 2wice, his shortest album to date. The eight-track EP found Gibbs back in his element in the role of a street hardened rhymer with jewels for life disguised as moments of bravado. In a recent interview with Complex, his first in over a year, Gangsta Gibbs gave some of his first lengthy comments about his rape trial, creating You Only Live 2wice while in jail and more.
“I didn’t touch ‘em,” he said before pointing the finger at a former friend who he alleges did have some kind of sexual encounter with the woman who accused him. “I didn’t have any type of sexual or intimate contact with these females whatsoever, so for him to put something on my name as heinous as rape is just—it’s outlandish.”
“A lot of people were scared to deal with me because they didn’t know what was gonna be the outcome of the situation. When somebody accuses somebody of that, it’s just like “whoa, sh*t, well did he do it?” So even though I was acquitted of all charges, I found myself having to explain myself since I got out. I have to tell people, I have to explain the story. I wish I could just give it to you on DVD. But I gotta tell everybody look, this sh*t did not happen this way, I didn’t buy my way out of this, I didn’t pay to get acquitted. Man, I got acquitted because I actually did not do this.
I just gotta get my name back. I feel like a lot of people backed off of me because of this sh*t and that was kind of f**ked up. Luckily, by the grace of God and my fans they still support me and they still love me because they know my character. But I had a lot of people—I ain’t gonna say no names, but it was a lot of people that was sayin’ oh yeah ‘free Freddie Gibbs’ and blah blah blah, but then when I came home it was like ‘oh, whatever.’ I feel like a lot of people in hip-hop and sh*t, they just want to be part of a moment. But then it’s business as usual. But when you in a situation everybody wanna post sh*t on Instagram—none of these people called me, I ain’t get support like that. The people that supported me, I know who they are. So it’s a lot of fake sh*t going on with that situation.”
Elsewhere in the interview, he goes in depth about what went into the creation of You Only Live 2wice, how he was hurt by missing Father’s Day with his daughter, his acting ambitions, the inspiration for 2wice’s album cover and more. “It’s just God, man,” he said about enduring it all. “I don’t even know if it’s luck man, I think I got a purpose to be here for something. I’ve turned something that I love to do into a business, and that works for me. To me artists coming up in the game chase fame, when you can just become a smart businessman and monetize everything.”