I don’t think Freddie Gibbs stopped spitting the whole set he played at James Cabaret last Thursday night — except, that is, to puff on his blunt and say what’s up to Welly. Live, this man is an incredible performer. He gives 100% energy when he performs. Honestly, Wellington can sometimes get the run-offs from touring artists doing Australia and Auckland. Sometimes they’re tired or out of place; often they’re just working. Freddie was an exception to this. And to be fair, began the Evil Seeds Grow Naturally tour in Wellington; on our deadest night of late, Thursday. There was so much uncertainty as to whether it would be a good show at all. So, politics aside, the show was electric to see and Wellington was fortunate to have Gibbs; who, when he performs transforms the energy in the air to maximum.
New Zealand first heard about Gibbs after he featured on David Dallas’ Rose Tint album with the track ‘Caught In A Daze’. In that time new fans have branched out to his catalogue for themselves, and fallen in love with releases’ like, Cold Day In Hell, Baby Face Killa and his latest album, ESGN – Evil Seeds Grow Naturally which features Have U Seen Her feat Hit Skrewface, and One Eighty Seven amongst others.
From Gary, Indiana [USA] Gibbs has an allure that’s pretty G — the kind that isn’t made-up for the music, rather, he is a gangsta who does music. At the show, he lifts up his hoodie to reveal a finely-cut body, stating: ‘Y’all got the last motherfuckin real gangsta-rapper all the way from America in this motherfucker.’ Between songs he wouldn’t stop and take a break, but instead spit a capella. The whole set went by seamlessly and too quickly. Being allowed backstage, thanks to the hosts of the show, Make Music Aotearoa, I was asked for my lighter, randomly. Will I get it back? I asked. ‘Freddie Gibbs will give it back’, the man smirked. ‘Yeah whatever’, I said, ‘Just give my lighter back after.’ There would be no after though. Mid-show, I looked up at Gibbs addressing the audience:
Gibbs: ‘Say fuck the Police’.
Crowd: ‘Fuck The Police’.
He then lit a large blunt on stage, with my lighter. Fuck it, I thought. He can have my lighter. I wondered what planet he came from where citizens could live with such a freedom. Back in my world, Wellington, Planet Earth, red and blue lights still make me nervous — even when I’m not doing anything wrong. But Gibbs wasn’t giving two shits. Wherever he’s from, I want to go there… I bet there’s an abundance of lighters there too.
Gig photos courtesy of JAM Photography (By Anna Jamieson)