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Q&A with Freddie Gibbs

Raw and Uncut

Freddie Gibbs, a rapper from Gary, Indiana, is brutally honest. In conversation, Freddie Gibbs is as explicit about girls, cocaine, and guns as the lyrics on his second EP, Str8 Killa. Formally signed to Interscope (around the same time 50 Cent was hugely popular), he was dropped before releasing a record, but not without gaining a slew of supporter like Bun B, Just Blaze, and DJ Premier. Freddie Gibbs performs at 330 Ritch on August 25th. He spoke with SF Station in a phone interview.

SF Station (SFS): Whatís wrong with hip hop and so right with Freddie Gibbs?

Freddie Gibbs (FG): Hip hop is watered down and fake. Freddie Gibbs is raw-uncut real shit. You have motherfuckers like DJ Khaled on rap songs.

SFS: Whatís your personal vendetta with DJ Khaled?

FG: I donít have a personal vendetta with DJ Khaled. For the most part I think he should put the mic down, because when Iíve seen him rap, I was highly offended. For the real motherfuckers that write these rhymes and put it together in the right fashion, to see these motherfuckers making a mockery off the game ó itís just something to speak on.

SFS: At one point you were not really interested in pursuing a rap career. Why were you against the idea? What changed?

FG: I just got sour on the industry with the shit that I dealt with when I signed with Interscope.

SFS: I read you had some tough times with Joe Weinberger (A&R at Interscope).

FG: He basically lied through his teeth pretty much. He sold me a dream, and I bought it.

SFS: You were saying it was the ďJew in him.Ē What do you have to say to criticism that youíre anti-Semitic?

FG: Iím definitely not anti-Semitic. Both of my managers are Jewish. I am the furthest thing from anything like anti-Semitic or racist. It is a term that I loosely threw around in reference to somebody taking advantage of me. I was wrong for saying that, but I meant what I said.

SFS: You started rhyming late, what is a different talent you acquired late in your life?

FG: None really since I started rapping. I get a lot more girls.

SFS: So youíve honed your skills with girls?

FG: I already had skills in that department. I was pulling hoes before I started rapping, but the rap definitely intensifiedÖ

SFS: Since moving from Gary, Indiana to Los Angeles, has the subject of your raps changed?

FG: Definitely not; Iím still connected with my neighborhood. I just live out here and do my business out here. The only thing that is changing is that I have more girls to rap about.

SFS: Are you going to move toward rapping about that then?

FG: No. Iím doing straight hardcore gangsta rap shit. I mean, yeah, Iím going to talk about the bitches all day. For the most part, Cali just got more hoes. In Gary there are only a certain number of bitches you can talk about.

SFS: Is it difficult with your success to go back to Gary and see all the despair and lack of opportunity?

FG: No, I havenít experienced the level of success that I want to. Itís just more ammunition, shit to rhyme about. When I go home and see that more businesses are closing down, there are still niggas getting shot, and still going to jail, weíve got to clean up our community. Iíve got to shed light on that.

SFS: From your perspective, what is it youíre trying to get across?

FG: To tell people about how I went about certain situations. I would admit that a lot of time it was the wrong way to go about it, but at the same time itís true. Hopefully, I can scare some kids away from the streets.

SFS: If youíre rapping about how bad it is, but then still participating, are you a hypocrite?

FG: I am doing what I have to survive. If I still participate in those activities or run with those people itís because I got to, not that I want to.

SFS: Does that mean when youíre making enough money in rapping you wonít be on the streets as much?

FG: You donít want to run that risk everyday. You donít want to deal with that bullshit. Dudes that say they do are fronting ó theyíre lying. The hardest part of this shit is finding a way out.

Freddie Gibbs performs at 330 Ritch on August 25th. Tickets are $9.43. Doors are at 9pm.