Just in case Cocaine Piñata was somehow getting stale in your stereo, Gangsta Gibbs decided to serve us with another street-soul collaborative EP titled The Tonite Show.Teaming up with Oakland based DJ/producer The World’s Freshest aka DJ Fresh, Gibbs sticks to what he knows fusion elements of jazz, soul, R&B, and funk into a street narrative, right before the summer hits. The Tonite Show is a shining example of how underrated yet talented Freddie Gibbs can be, as cohesion, production, and lyricism are showcased on each of the project’s ten tracks.
The intro actually does what an intro is supposed to do, and spends less than a minute setting the theme, setting, and tone for the rest of the EP. From the piano riff to the shit talking, both concepts will show their face several times throughout ten tracks, but what sets Gibbs apart from other rappers is the ability to avoid repetition. Case in point, he takes a break from the soulful jazz elements prominent on “Keep It Gangsta”, with “G Like Dat” a track obviously inspired by the West Coast G-funk sound displayed by artists such as YG, Nipsey Hussle, and Kendrick. On “Bitches, Dope, and Dollers ft. G-Whiz” Gibbs brings back the jazz, this time replacing the piano with a saxophone and southern trap flair befitting a Dungeon Family, Big K.R.I.T, or J. Cole (minus the Ambien effects).
The interlude and latter half of the EP is where the project really takes off, sounding more similar to some of Gibbs previous work such as 2012’s BabyFace Killa and the aforementioned Pinata album. The minute and half long interlude is so poignant, fusing a chopped up Erykah Badu sample with more saxophone and trumpet sounds. Whereas the first half solely featured Gibbs save for “B,D,D”, he goes a less monolithic route on tracks six thru ten. “On Me ft. Problem” is about what Gibbs and Problem talk about best- gangsta shit. Out of nowhere Gibbs decides to an ode to his female fans by wasting a perfectly amazing beat on an E-40 collaboration. “P*ssy Got Slap” is such an unnecessary addition to the album, and there really isn’t a need for an E-40 verse in 2014, even if it is halfway decent. Kudos to DJ Fresh however for keeping the spacey, futuristic, trap sounds going through the entire EP.
The Tonite Show definitely ends on a high-note, as “I Wanna Do It ft Sir Michael Rocks” and “I Be On My Grind ft Trae the Truth” both exhibit Gibbs and Fresh’s major talents: lyrical finesse and smooth but slapping instrumentals. Besides, I’m always hear for a Trae the Truth feature. Ultimately, the album’s ability to stay true to the integrity of Gibb’s discography while showing hints of modicums of evolution, diversity, and growth is a powerful testament to artist’s too stagnated by their signature sound. (Jermaine!) You can cop the Tonite Show here, on Itunes or check out the live stream on Spotify.
Best Tracks: “G Like Dat”, “I Wanna Do It”, “I Be On My Grind”, “Bitches, Dope, and Dollers”