During a recent interview with The Cool Kids, Chuck Inglish likened Gary, Indiana to Detroit, calling the cities brothers. Speaking with Freddie Gibbs about his Indiana home town helped flesh out the observation. As laid out by Gibbs, Gary is a town in need of help, help he and his family are trying to provide.
By now you must know that Gibbs is a dude without a filter. He brings the same clear-eyed, hard-nosed approach to explaining his home town. His reveal about the sorry state of the Jackson family homestead is particularly shocking. Find out more below.
Complex: What surprises people about Gary?
Just how desolate Gary is, and that people still live there. As soon as we got in the van, my manager was like, “This is like a third world country.” And then his dude says, “This is like a fourth world country!” The economic breakdown in Gary is fucked up. When you go to places like Gary and Detroit, you see the economic problem in this country and who it’s really affecting.
I know the recession hit those places hard…
Yeah, there’s been a recession. [Laughs.]
Before it affected other places…
Yeah, before all of this bullshit and all of that, it’s been an economic issue, which leads to crime and other things.
You were saying that you’ve seen some shoot outs in some of those clubs?
I mean, anytime there's a big congregation of people in Gary, eight times out of ten there’s going to be some type of violent act.
Things going down at the club?
You can go there and see for yourself. You could see that there ain’t shit to do but fuck and fight. The smallest, slightest thing can make a person mad to the point where they want to go to their car and shoot you. They feel like they ain’t got nothing else to live for. There’s nothing there. They’re waking up everyday in them same 53 avenues and that shit will do something to your brain, because you don’t know nothing else. You don’t know how to release your mind from that, use your imagination to carry yourself out. That’s what I did with the music; I used my creativity and my imagination to get me out of the situation I was in. If you don’t have an outlet, you might get taken out.
Do you still keep close ties to Gary?
Yeah, I basically live there. I just live in L.A. to handle my business. My family and all of my friends, they’re still there. I ain’t never detached myself from Gary. I’m there every month because I got grown people there that I take care of. But that’s how it’s always been for me. I’ve always played that role in my family. The breadwinner.
What are some positive things about Gary?
We have good, neighborly people in Gary. Those Midwest values, you know what I’m saying? My mother and my stepfather, they’re in the process of starting a church. Not just a church to preach to people on Sunday, but something active in the neighborhood to do things for the community. I’m trying to help them with that because, like I said, people just don’t have an outlet. If you provide some type of hope for them, I think they’ll be more motivated to do better. Because when you seeing nothing but destruction around you everyday, that's what you’re going to settle for. I just wasn’t one to settle for that. I think things can improve.
What are people like in L.A. compared to Gary?
Weirdos. [Laughs.] Nah, man, the crazy part about it is, it don’t always be the people from L.A. that are the weirdos. It's people that come there from other places. They get turned out by the weird shit that goes on. There’s good people out there, too. It’s definitely not the same, but I love it. I live there. I ain’t going nowhere. The weed, the weather, and the bitches—you can’t beat that.