Freddie Gibbs is an outspoken guy. Every time we speak with him, he’s got plenty to say about your favorite rapper. He recently stopped by the Complex office, and more than lived up to his rep. We asked him about his recent EP The Lord Giveth, The Lord Taketh Away with Statik Seletah, his upcoming mixtape Cold Day In Hell, and signing to Young Jeezy’s CTE.
We were also eager to find out what happened when he ran into Lil Wayne, Lil B, and DJ Khaled after taking shots at them in previous interviews. If that wasn’t enough, Gibbs also divulged details about the last fight he got into, gave thoughts on rappers like Drake throwing up gang signs, and spoke about how Big Sean and Wale’s music belong in the lost and found box...
Interview by Insanul Ahmed (@Incilin)
[Freddie Gibbs is reading Complex’s June/July issue with Rick Ross and Andy Samberg on the cover]
Enjoying the magazine?
Just looking at these goofy ass Maybach Music dudes.
What’s wrong with Maybach Music?
I don’t got no problem with Maybach, I like Maybachs. I can’t afford one.
I meant Maybach Music.
Ohh, Maybach Music. [Mumbles.]
You’re not a fan?
I bump CTE. I bump Young Jeezy.
What about your friend Pill?
I ain’t got a problem with Pill.
But you don’t bump his music anymore?
Do I bump Pill’s music anymore? I still bump Pill. I don’t want people thinking I got a problem with Pill.
Do you like “Pacman?”
“Pacman?” That’s the name of his song? I ain’t heard that shit. I like Pill’s old shit man.
Like “Trap Goin’ Ham”?
Yeah, I like that shit. He’s got that song “Coastin’” that I really like. So yeah I fuck with Pill.
We’ll come back to that in a minute.
Nah, fuck that, let’s talk about it! Nah, I’m just playing. [Laughs.]
I actually want to talk about CTE—
—You want to talk about Maybach Music Group?
[Laughs.] No, I know you want to talk about CTE.
Gibbs talks about signing with Jeezy
You’ve always talked about how you used to be on Interscope and how you’ve been through a lot of label drama. Was there any hesitation to sign to another label?
It’s always hesitation because you don’t know what they’ve got in store for you. It really takes trust. I had it in my mind that I wasn’t going into a situation unless I was getting what I wanted. I got what I wanted messing with Jeezy.
It wasn’t about no money or anything of that nature, it was just the fact that I feel I can take my music to the next level because that’s the most important thing. When people lose sight of that and get sidetracked by all of the other bullshit, it goes downhill. But as long as I keep the music and the shit in the lab first, I’ll be fine.
Is that why you trusted Jeezy?
Yeah. He had his own lane of music and I have my own lane. We combine the two, and I think that’s something great. That’s the main reason. Musically, that was my main focus. To be honest, I didn’t want to sign up under a rapper. I didn’t really want to do that because I can count the number of rappers I really respect on one hand. Probably with fingers missing.
You only respect three of four rappers?
Not no dudes I would sign under. But there’s rappers that I’ll fuck with and I’m cool with.
So there’s only a handful of rappers you would sign with.
Right. Not even handful, it’s a couple and Jeezy was one of them. And he gives me control of the shit I want to do. I don’t think CTE knew I was doing the Statik EP. They probably saw it on the Internet like everybody else. The thing is, I move. I don’t sit and wait for him to be like, “Hey man, do this.”
Every show I went to with Jeezy has been a packed, crazy house. So shit, if you call that a slump, put me in a motherfucking slump.
I learned that on my own when I was at Interscope. The mentality I had [back then was], “I’m signed. All I’ve gotta do is rap.” But [now I know] I need to put things in motion for myself. [At that time with Interscope], at the end of the day, they don’t give a fuck about you. You just a tax write-off.
But that’s not the situation at CTE. I’m not comparing the two because Interscope is a bunch of corporate motherfuckers and these is thug niggas. So it definitely ain’t the same situation. Everything Jeezy does is only going to enhance what I do.
And you mentioned there’s kind of a hesitation with signing to labels. The thing about Jeezy is that lately he’s been in a slump...
That’s what everybody says.
Did that influence your decision?
Nah, cause I ain’t sign with him cause he had the hottest song on the radio. That didn’t really matter to me. I already loved his music and respected him.
But is it fair to say he’s in a slump?
I’m not going to say he’s “in a slump.” I can say that he’s not as visible as other people. I mean shit, he’s got three platinum albums. Nigga probably took a break. A slump is if somebody is not making the same quality stuff. I think he’s still making the same quality stuff, but it might not be on the radio a hundred times an hour.
But he’s dropped three of four mixtapes and lots of singles.
I wouldn’t say he’s in a slump. I think he’s just been chilling, doing his thing, and gearing up for his TM103 album. The man’s been on the road doing shows. Every show I done been to with him has been a packed, crazy house. So shit, if you call that a slump, put me in a motherfucking slump.
When you signed to CTE, it was right after Ross signed a few people to MMG. It almost looked like a chess move on Jeezy’s part.
Yeah, it looked like that. But trust me, the shit we’re doing has nothing to do with the shit going on over there. It looked like that, but he ain’t trying to build no big Voltron robot to go against this nigga’s Voltron robot. It’s definitely not like that. It’s just thug niggas fucking with other real thug niggas.
Last time we spoke, you brought up the photo of Lil Wayne kissing Baby...
I ain’t got no problem with Lil Wayne. Jeezy just did a song with Lil Wayne.
Does the stuff you’ve said before ever come up?
About how he kissed somebody? That’s well-known. I just said something about it. People be like, “Oh, you dissed him.” I didn’t. I like that “Ballin” song Jeezy got Wayne on. Lil Wayne makes good music, he’s one of the best rappers. You can’t take that shit from him.
He’s like a nigga in basketball. You can play basketball, but off the court the nigga probably snort cocaine or is gay or some shit like that. I ain’t knocking your game on the court. Your off-the-court shit, it is what it is.
Have you ran into Wayne yet?
Yeah because I was in the “Ballin” video. I don’t have no…I love Lil Wayne. I grew up on the Hot Boyz. The shit that he do out of the booth, that ain’t got nothing to do with me. And I wasn’t the only person that commented on that. But I ain’t got no issue with that nigga man, he didn’t do shit to me.
Who else have you run into?
I just saw Wiz. Me & Curren$y did a show in Chicago and Wiz was there. Wiz was looking kinda scared of me. I was like “Wiz! You can come on, we ain’t gone hurt you.” He’s like “Okay man.” He seen all the niggas from Gary, Indiana. I’ve got like five or six dudes with me and they’re certified niggas. Most of these niggas will have like 30 niggas with them, but only two gonna fight. They just gone stand back. Trust me, I’ve seen it.
Last year you spoke out against DJ Khaled rapping.
I just didn’t like the fact that he was rapping. I just met that nigga at the King of Diamonds.
Shit happened. What a motherfucker gone say to me? He was like, “What’s up Gibbs, I fuck with your shit. Congrats.” And it’s love. That motherfucker’s the biggest DJ in Miami, I respect his shit. I just didn’t like that he was rapping. I don’t think a lot of DJ niggas should do that because it’s corny and it takes away from the time and effort that niggas like me put into the craft. You don’t see me with no motherfucking turntables.
I like DJ Khaled, he’s funny as fuck. I seen him at King of Diamonds and there were bitches all around him. That nigga was in a Phantom. You gone get some pussy if you’ve got a Phantom. I can’t hate on a nigga with a Phantom. When I seen him rap I was like “Aww….”
But that doesn’t mean these niggas is bad people. But they ain’t gone beat my ass when they see me. It’s just criticism. It just happens to get out and then some people take offense to it. There’s motherfuckers out there that don’t like my shit. It’s cool. Just don’t call me a bitch or a fag or nothing. Don’t disrespect me and it’s all good.
You’re known for being the outspoken guy. But Khaled is one of Jeezy’s people. Does Jeezy ever tell you, “Yo, chill with that.”
I mean, Jeezy and Carbon 15 [of CTE]... yeah, they kind of tell me [that]. They’ll be like, “Yo Gibbs, he’s alright.” But at the same time they want me to do me. I know they do business with certain people, it is what it is. To be frank, I ain’t gonna fuck with everybody Jeezy fucks with.
I fuck with him, but that don’t mean I gotta fuck with everybody he likes. And he might not fuck with everybody I like. We two different people. But we gone respect the people we’re each doing business with. I’m not gonna walk into no video shoot that he’s doing with these motherfuckers like, “Aww, this nigga a fag,” or “This nigga a bitch,” even though he might be that.
Lil B told me, “You know what man, you right. I’m not gay man. It’s love Gibbs, man.” He thought I was about to dig into him, like do him like my song. But I’m not about to take my time to be dissing this nigga.
You were also talking about Ross before and how his rap persona was fake. When you first signed to CTE, was Jeezy aware that you were saying stuff like that?
I don’t even think he gave a fuck. It’s the same thing with Rick Ross, the nigga can rap. He makes good songs. I don’t have no personal problem with him either. All I did was comment on some shit that’s already known. Certain people just act like it didn’t happen.
I wasn’t saying, “He’s a bitch ass nigga, fuck his family, and I’ma fuck him up when I see him.” Nah. I wasn’t on some shit like that. I was just pointing out, “Okay, yeah, you like that shit, but did you also know this? Did you see that too?” I was championing some shit like, take some things into consideration. That’s all I was saying.
He’s a black man, feeding his family, and taking care of his. I ain’t knocking that whatsoever. And no one’s gonna come to me with no issues or no problems so I just say what I wanna say. Motherfuckers know where to come find me. They know where I’m at. If they’ve got an issue with something I say in print, on the Internet, or in a song...motherfuckers know where I’m at.
Gibbs talks Lil B, Big Sean, & Wale
Has anyone ever approached you about something you’ve said?
Some people said they would, but they didn’t.
Archie Bonkers (Freddie Gibbs’ manager): Yeah, like some of Lil B’s people said they would on Twitter.
Don’t even get me talking on that gay ass…
What’s wrong with Lil B?
I don’t got no problem with Lil B. I met Lil B.
Where did you meet him?
Somewhere in Cali at some rinky-dink, lame-ass, fake nigga industry party. All that shit was some bullshit, I just called it on that. And he told me, “You know what man, you right. I’m not gay man. It’s love Gibbs, man.” He thought I was about to dig into him, like do him like my song. But I’m not about to take my time to be dissing this nigga.
A motherfucker asked me a question [about his album title] in an interview and I was like, “That shit is corny, that shit is lame, I think he’s just doing some marketing shit.” Which he was. Nigga probably isn’t even gay. He might be gay, I don’t give a fuck if he is or isn’t.
Don’t get it twisted, I’m not knocking no gay people or gay-bashing. I just see a young black dude putting a message out there like, “I’m gay.” I think that a motherfucker with a platform like that should use that for something other than that.
I’ve got little cousins like, eight or nine years old and I feel sorry for them motherfuckers because of the rap that they’ve got to listen to now. This new shit for them is fucked up. I be looking at it like, “Damn, man. When I was coming up we had Rap-A-Lot, Death Row, and real shit like that.”
So you’re not a fan of the new school rappers?
Some of them I like. I guess I’m in that class. There’s certain niggas I fuck with, like Big K.R.I.T., Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock. I like Odd Future. I like they shit. They got they lane and they stay in it, they don’t try to be something that they’re not. And they actually make some good music. I like that nigga Frank Ocean, he’s dope as fuck. Their manager, Chris Clancey, that’s my nigga. I’m with some of the shit that comes out. It’s just like, if it’s too weird or fucked up for me or if it don’t got it’s own message, I just don’t fuck with it.
I don’t mind a motherfucker being weird. Odd Future, them niggas is definitely weird as fuck. But what they’ve got, it’s their shit. They’re not weird as fuck and trying to be gangsta or trying to be playas. Them niggas is weird and they’re weird. That’s what’s up. I got this street shit over here on lock.
The problem I think with rap right now is too many niggas without an identity. They don’t know what they want to be. If there’s a certain trend that’s hot, they gone run with that. If everybody throw on nut-tight jeans, that’s what these niggas do. And that shit is lame to me, that’s all.
I don’t think motherfuckers got their own identity and purpose. And nobody got no integrity. Niggas be rapping like other niggas, I don’t understand that shit. Sometimes it’s hard for me to tell the difference between Drake and Big Sean, so I be like, “Is this a Drake song or a Big Sean song?” I don’t know man, I don’t be fucking with shit like that.