At any point in the last ten years, a pairing between Freddie Gibbs and ScHoolboy Q would have made total sense. Now it’s finally happened. The two rappers have teamed up for a new song called “Gang Signs”.
Instead of lurking in the shadowy, dark-alleyway production that ScHoolboy typically reaches for on his own projects, “Gang Signs” is built from a minimal, lounge-y instrumental that’s more akin to the Alchemist beats on Gibbs’ 2020 album Alfredo. Although the instrumental is quite plain and simple on its surface, Gibbs’ effortless, choppy flow is on full display here as he finds hidden pockets and curvy angles in the type of rhythm most rappers would just cruise over.
The ever-dexterous ScHoolboy doesn’t slouch either. The Top Dawg Entertainment rapper swerves between pointed one-liners (“At the Grammys still strapped” ) and smooth stretches where he pulls out the double-layered vocal technique that’s always given his delivery its signature wooziness.
The cartoon music video for “Gang Signs” was illustrated by Gabriel Alcala and features Freddie as “Rabbit” and ScHoolboy as “Turtle”. Check it out below.
Last year, Gibbs’ Alfredo landed at No. 9 on our Top 50 Albums of 2020 list. He also dropped a great track with Big Sean and Hit-Boy called “4 Thangs” and appeared on new albums from Conway The Machine and Benny The Butcher. In addition to this collaboration with ScHoolboy, he linked up with The Colleagues last week for a solid new song called “Gimme the Loot”.
Things have been a little quieter in ScHoolboy’s camp while fans wait for a follow-up to 2019’s CrasH Talk. He didn’t release any solo material last year, but he did appear on a Black Thoughts EP and that guest-heavy Gorillaz project, Song Machine: Season 1—Strange Timez. Back in the fall, he teased that an album would be arriving sometime in 2021, though.