Wednesday, January 29, 2014

"Robes" ft. Earl Sweatshirt & Domo Genesis- Freddie Gibbs & Madlib

In 2012 with the release of Domo Genesis and the Alchemist's No Idols tape, the rap world was robbed of a potentially head-turning collabo: the knotty Earl Sweatshirt and rapid-fire Gangsta Gibbs. Both appeared on the well-received album, but the divide between the tracks they're on may as well have been a chasm.

The soulful "Robes" from Freddie Gibbs and Madlib's Piñata acts as a corrective. While Domo Genesis lazily sliding across a hazy beat has become commonplace, it's still disarming to hear O.F. partner Earl Sweatshirt take to it. Even with two phenomenal LPs under his belt, Sweatshirt (to his benefit) has no clearly defined aesthetic. So any new sound is revelatory for the listener and another challenge for Earl to attack and conquer. "I ball because I don't know how to cope with s***," he confesses over muffled horns and blunted drums. Earl's dense lines are as much an attempt to put up walls, as they are a mission to flat-out rap. Gibbs meanwhile is all business. Instead of kicking back and soaking up the track's sunny rays, he's continuing to "make foreign bread" and staying motivated. "I always got a job" he blurts during his dizzying verse. Everyone here is a professional; they're just in different fields.

Piñata is out 3/18 on Madlib’s Madlib Invazion label.

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