Baby Face Killa Enters The Underworld

Rapper Freddie Gibbs Shows Canada Love During Show At Cabaret Underworld

“Y’all want to hear some Canadian shit?” yelled DJ Izzo, the opening act for Friday night’s set at Cabaret Underworld. He was met with boos from possibly unpatriotic and restless fans that had waited since as early as 8 p.m. for the American indie rapper Freddie Gibbs.

Canadian hip-hop fans aren’t necessarily ungrateful for their Canadian content, even though they may have mixed reviews of Drake. Understandably, however, they’ll go crazy for foreign artists who show them love in their city.

Freddie Gibbs of Gary, Indiana spread his love for his northern neighbours, especially in Montreal.

Gibbs was in Montreal for very first stop on his North American tour and was pleasantly surprised at the 350 fans who moshed and rapped along during his show.

“I expected [to have] 200 people or 150 [at the show],” Gibbs said. “I didn’t know my first show [of the tour] would be packed like that. I totally didn’t expect that at all.”

“There’s artists that [are] on major labels that can’t pack out shows like this, so I’m glad to be doing it on my own. It’s definitely a blessing. I put in a lot of work to get where I’m at. I think I’m definitely in the top tier of emcees, of guys who can actually rap. I worked hard to be in that.”

“I fuck with the French culture here, it’s dope,” Gibbs told The Link. “[Montreal] is a dope city. It’s one of the dopest cities I’ve been to.”

Gibbs weaved his way through tracks from his mixtape days, such as “BFK,” “Deuces,” and “One Eighty Seven,” to more recent tracks such as “Thuggin’” and “Deeper,” both off his newest album, Piñata, a collaboration album with producer Madlib.

The rapper came up with the name for his latest album, Piñata, after a “crazy dream” he had involving a piñata filled up with cocaine, a representation of his upbringing in Indiana.

“I come from that lifestyle,” he said. “I wanted to make a title that kind of alluded to that, [I wanted to] put it in more of a slick way.”

Freddie Gibbs kicking it at Cabaret Underworld. Photo Shaun Michaud

Gibbs also opened up about his upcoming follow-up album Lifestyles of the Insane, due in Spring 2015. It was believed that “Eastside Slim” would be its title, but Gibbs admitted he may have been under the influence when he said it was.

Gibbs remarked on the amount of Canadian producers who will be heavily contributing to the album, including Jordan Evans and Matthew Burnett, who have worked with artists such as Lil Wayne, Jay Z, Eminem and Drake.

“2015 is looking real good for me,” he said. “The Canadian producers I’m working with, they’ve got my sound turnt up.”

Gibbs says he plans on dropping new songs from the project within the next few weeks. Near the end of his set, Gibbs performed select tracks from the project, much to the delight of the crowd.

Gibbs enjoys all Canada has to offer, from the musical talent to the women, but there was a time when the country didn’t love him back. He wasn’t able to cross the border until this year due to “issues with the law,” but thanks to his lawyer his love affair with Canada can continue.

“I’m a taxpaying law-abiding citizen now,” he said. “So, I’m just over here [in Canada] doing something positive, spreading this gangsta rap across the border and just keeping it thorough and innovative.”

The rapper also praised the Canadian hip-hop scene, shouting out big-name artists he’d love to work with in the future, while also praising the Canadian fans that have supported him.

“I like what’s going on here in Canada,” he said. “I want to work with artists like Drake, PartyNextDoor and The Weeknd.

“I’m into [Canada] and I’m glad that they’re taking to my music and really appreciating it. That brings me great joy, so I’m going to keep doing what I do.”

Video by Julian McKenzie and Shaun Michaud