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Album Review: Bandana by Freddie Gibbs and Madlib

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Bandana is a collaborative project between American rapper Freddie Gibbs and American producer Madlib. This is their second collaboration together, with Piñata being the first project back in 2014. Judging by the album, these two artists work really well together and have dropped a solid album this year.

The first track is Obrigado and it is an introduction track. The first part is a small clip from Freddie Gibb's uncle. The second part took me some time to actually realize the speaker was speaking English. Obrigado is Portuguese for "thank you." The title of the track could also be a play on words of the Japanese word "arigato."

The next track, Freestyle S**t, starts off with a sample from Touch & D-Stroy by Tony Touch. If this is your first time listening to Madlib, he uses a lot of samples from various different songs, movies, shows, etc. The beat incorporates the horn section from an older song from the 1970s. Freddie Gibbs talks about the days where he used to have to deal in order to get by, but now he's able to make music and has a better life than he once had.

Half Manne Half Cocaine is a two part track, with Half Manne being the first part. Freddie Gibbs has a pretty clever rap scheme going on in the first part, and he is mostly talking about his wealth and women. The second part, Half Cocaine, switches up the beat. Freddie Gibbs also likes to mention several different fictional characters or real life people in his music. He made a Breaking Bad reference by mentioning one of the main characters, Walter White.

The next track, Crime Pays, is my favorite and it is probably one of Freddie Gibbs' best tracks. Everything about this track is flawless. He has a great rhyme scheme, the flow and delivery on this are on point, and it has a chill beat in the background. The beat used in this track samples Free Spirits by Walt Barr.

Massage Seats is one of the shorter tracks on this album. The track is very busy sample wise, but Madlib is still able to make it work out. In the first verse of this track, Freddie Gibbs is basically describing his expensive, or luxurious lifestyle.

Palmolive was a highly anticipated track for me because of the Pusha T and Killer Mike feature. I was a little disappointed that Killer Mike was only given the chorus and wasn't given his own verse like Pusha T. I really like the beat used for this track, but I'm a little disappointed about the "anti-vax" line Freddie Gibbs gave on this track.

After that we have Fake Names. The track starts off with a high pitched beat. After a few bars into Freddie's second verse, the beat changes to something a little more cheerful and happy. The track talks about life on the street and the struggles they have to face when taking it on. We see the narrator from the first song close out this track.

Flat Tummy Tea is another hard hitting, loud beat. Just like the last song, there is a beat change in the middle of the track. Freddie says that this song isn't about police brutality, but that fueled him to write this track. He also mentions that he wrote most of this song while he was locked up in jail. He wasn't even able to listen to the beat while writing it up, so he just had to use his memory of what he heard. Even without the beat, he delivers his lines pretty well, especially in the first verse.

Situations is the next track. Just like all of the other tracks, there's nothing really new presented on this track. He talks about similar subject matters and mimics some of the flows that he has used on earlier tracks.

Giannis is another favorite track of mine and it was a single for the album. The track also features Anderson .Paak. The track has a nice, old style piano beat. Anderson .Paak gives a nice break in between Freddie Gibb's verses, but also killed his verse on this track. He is able to match the vibe and story Freddie Gibbs is giving throughout the album.

Madlib slows it down with Practice and uses the song Make It On Your Own by Donny Hathaway. In the track, Freddie mentions his infidelity and how he messed up and wronged his family. This could reference this one woman who put him on blast on Twitter for getting her pregnant, but nothing has been confirmed whether or not this track is about that.

Cataracts uses an amazing soul/funk sample on this track. It's such a simple flow that he's using, but the rhyming and delivery is perfect. It's a very catchy beat, but he talks about some of the same things he's been rapping about during the entire album. He does mention a Cadillac during the chorus to bring it back to the old-school feeling on this track.

In Gat Damn, Freddie actually talks about something different. In the first verse, he mentions that he misses his uncle who passed away and wants the people he met in prison to be freed. He also talks about his time in jail for the false accusations. Ever since he was released, he's wanted to be an advocate for the victims who are afraid to speak, as well as the people who have been falsely accused.

Education uses the same sample that Kanye West used in Nas' album, NASIR. The song was called Bonjour. This track briefly goes over the history of unfair treatment of African Americans in the United States. It also goes over the theory of how the education systems keeps them from 'winning', or getting ahead in life.

The last track off the album is Soul Right. In the first verse of the track, Freddie quickly mentions a person who was shot and killed in his car.

If you enjoyed the album, consider purchasing it below!

What did you think of the album? What were some of your favorite tracks from the album? Let me know in the comments section!
Overall Rating: 8/10
Favorite Tracks: Freestyle S**t, Crime Pays, Fake Names, Giannis, Cataracts, Gat Damn


  1. songs about cocaine and fat tummy tea? guess this is way out of my normal wheelhouse :) good writeup tho!!

    Joy at The Joyous Living


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