Thanks to the recent release of the joint album, Bandana, Freddie Gibbs is officially the only rapper to have secured multiple full-length collaborations with sample-genius producer Madlib (the other was 2014’s Piñata). That hasn’t stopped fans from comparing Bandana to Madlib’s other joint albums with top-flight rappers, especially 2004’s Madvillainy with MF Doom, the album that arguably put Madlib on the mainstream map. When asked about the similarities between his project and other Madlib collaborations during a recent interview, Gibbs gave a typically unfiltered, almost certainly controversial response that might explain why he holds the distinction cited above.
Appearing on Hot 97’s Ebro In The Morning show, Gibbs chopped it up with the host about a number of subjects, from his brush with prison time in Austria in 2015 to his real-life friendship with Madlib, but eventually, the conversation turns to the natural comparisons Piñata and Bandana draw to Madvillainy.
“I used to hate when people would be like, ‘Oh yeah, this Madvillain,’” Freddie admits. “I’m a competitive guy and I know Doom can’t rap as good as me at all. He can’t rap like this, fam. He made a good project.” When co-host Peter Rosenberg offers a halfhearted protest, Gibbs doubles down. “I don’t care… I was like, ‘I can rap better than this dude but can I make a better album than him.’ That was my focus. I gotta make something as great as he made.” While there will certainly be plenty of debate about whether he met that goal, the competition certainly helped produce one of 2019’s standout projects and a worthy addition to both of its artists’ growing catalogs.
Bandana is out now via Keep Cool/RCA Records. Get it here.