Freddie Gibbs & Madlib, Lucki Ecks, Impala Sound Champions | Metro | Hip-Hop | Chicago Reader
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Freddie Gibbs & Madlib, Lucki Ecks, Impala Sound Champions Recommended Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard 18+

When: Fri., March 7, 9 p.m. 2014
Price: $21
Freddie Gibbs is from Gary, Indiana, but he’s widely considered one of the last artists worth paying attention to who makes the kind of unalloyed, don’t-give-a-fuck gangsta rap that came out of Compton in the mid-80s. Los Angeles producer Madlib whips up crackling, dusty beats full of arcane crate-digger samples and fantastically stoned vibes, which in combination with his links to J Dilla, MF Doom, and the Stones Throw label have made him a pillar of hip-hop’s avant-garde. They’re an unlikely team, but it works. Gibbs raps with a harder, darker edge than any of Madlib’s other collaborators, and Madlib’s warm, vinyl-style beats are a world away from the chilly electronic feel of Gibbs’s recent ESGN, but the two of them achieve an easy synergy that’s especially notable considering that neither has really switched up his style to accommodate the other. Their recent full-length collaboration, Piñata (Madlib Invazion), is basically flawless, and standout track “Thuggin’” (released as a single in 2012) has a slow-burning menace that’s all the more compelling for how casually it expresses itself. —Miles Raymer Lucki Ecks and the Impala Sound Champions open.

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