“[It’s time to] put on for the city of Chicago…we have it all here.”
Some might remember the anticipation that builds internally when the Christmas tree is finally up and you see all the gifts under the tree, but you can’t open a single gift until Christmas Day. Tearing open that first present brings so much joy and relief.
Well, that’s what it felt like when Free Crack 2 finally dropped yesterday: Christmas in August.
Lil’ Bibby, member of XXL‘s freshman class (although he laments on “What You Live For” people don’t stay freshmen forever), has had a phenomenal year. Since dropping Free Crack in 2013 and getting the backing of Drake, he’s been working very hard to establish a place for himself within the music industry and doing so with what seems to be a cool, laid-back demeanor.
Folks from Chicago have a lot of pride and a little bit of extra ego, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing in this case. Those qualities certainly come through on the body of work. After all, in order to be the best you have to already think you’re the best, right? After a couple push backs, Free Crack 2 was finally made available to loyal supporters of the Chicago-based rapper yesterday. When you’re releasing a quality product, expectancy is always good, but knowing it’s worth the wait is even better.
The 15-track tape, hosted by DJ Drama, speaks heavily on Bibby’s ups and downs in two worlds that often collide – music and the street. “Dead Or In Prison” speaks specifically about taking advantage of opportunities to live better, for not only himself, but for his family as well. On the tape, there isn’t really a sense of the glorification of street culture, but more so, the simple telling of a story; Bibby is speaking his truth up through 20 years of age.
Sampling has long been apart of the hip-hop aesthetic and “What You Live For” samples “I Don’t Need No Help” from Valerie Simpson’s first solo album in 1971, Exposed. This small detail displays the dynamic integrative power of music.
We live in an era where music lovers and consumers in general want to know about the people they’re listening to or following, or at the very least, be able to relate to them in some way. Just take a look at Bibby’s timeline on Twitter: he consistently gets adoration from fans and in return, he shows gratitude. There’s a certain appreciation and respect that comes from hearing people’s stories. It really goes a long way. If you listen closely enough, you can hear the sincerity of what Bibby spits on every track in his gruff, guttural voice.
The combination of truth-telling lyrics and Paid In Full skits (which Bibby credits as being his favorite movie), makes the summary of the tape simple, more or less: it’s about the come-up, whatever way possible. Features are included from the likes of fellow Chicago rapper and friend Lil’ Herb and heavy-hitters Jadakiss, T.I., Juicy J, Anthony Hamilton and Wiz Khalifa, to name a few. You can check it out for yourself on DatPiff.
“Word around town, Lil’ Bibby got the streets locked.” I’d have to agree.