Albums to watch


Freddie Gibbs and Madlib


Following a string of successful EPs, Indiana rapper Freddie Gibbs and Oxnard DJ and producer Madlib release a full LP

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Madlib Invazion
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  1. 9.0 |   PopMatters

    The truly impressive thing about Piñata is that when the album is at its top level, it’s nearly untouchable
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  2. 8.9 |   Earbuddy

    Easily the best hip-hop album of 2014 so far
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  3. 8.3 |   Consequence Of Sound

    Piñata might not even work as a front-to-back listen, but it’s a damn near guarantee you’re going to get good raps over left-field beats
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  4. 8.3 |   A.V. Club

    Piñata may not be Madlib’s best personal handiwork, but it’s well tailored to suit his partner’s impressive rhyming abilities
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  5. 8.0 |   Clash

    The unlikely partnership of bohemian LA beatmaker Madlib and snarling MC Freddie Gibbs reaches its apex with ‘Piñata’
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  6. 8.0 |   NME

    Nothing here is polished or computer perfect: instead the beats stink and stumble, full of unnerving soul strings and off-centre drums
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  7. 8.0 |   Pitchfork

    United in their uncompromising, independent-as-fuck visions, they put together something hardcore hip-hop heads on both sides should feel
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  8. 8.0 |   Slant Magazine

    The MC is completely comfortable holding down the fort, his street tales rarely overblown, his boasts simple and in your face
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  9. 8.0 |   The FT

    Looped samples and jazzy textures provide a dreamlike backing to the Indiana rapper’s mid-ranking tales of street life
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  10. 8.0 |   All Music

    Piñata winds up excellent overall. Extra points are added for being a peerless success while still giving fans of Mobb Deep, Slum Village, Young Buck, Odd Future, and David Banner enough familiar touchstones for easy access
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  11. 7.5 |   The 405

    Into the later stages it can become grating that some of the samples aren't given the breathing space they deserve and Gibbs' subject matter begins to tire
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  12. 7.0 |   Rolling Stone

    At its best, Piñata recalls the dark-alley vibes of Raekwon's classic, RZA-produced 1994 debut, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx
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  13. 7.0 |   Beardfood

    Refreshing in a world of stale EDM influence
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  14. 7.0 |   Spin

    Madlib has served as midwife to street-rap epics before but Gibbs may be the first MC to try to add context deeper than his own paranoid churlishness
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  15. 6.0 |   The Guardian

    It doesn't always seem a perfect fit – Gibbs' rough edges scrap up against Madlib's strings, and sometimes Piñata sounds like a low-key affair
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Freddie Gibbs and Madlib: Piñata

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