It's been nearly 10 years since Chicago's Kanye West dropped "Crack Music" via his acclaimed second album, Late Registration, and now that violent spurts has the Windy City donning a new moniker, "Chiraq," newcomer from the Chi, 18, year-old Lil Bibby, hopes to deliver that same hard-hitting beat, no holds-barred rapping mentality found on 'Ye's track. He achieved just that with his debut mixtape Free Crack.
Combining a gruff and imposing voice with crushing delivery and flows that oscillate from Down South slow to Midwest speedy (though not quite Twista fast), Bibby is one of the hottest new artists to come out of the Midwest in a minute.
Bibby starts out taking a dope-boy stance with "Bibby Story," a Just Blaze-esque track that combines horns, bass and even a soprano saxophone. "I came from the streets, I should throw a couple bands back/ That's being generous/ These n----s illiterate and ignorant/ They not even completing sentences/ Yeah, I'm really listening/ I spit the s--t. You could picture it/ I'm killin' s--t, they feelin' it/Everybody gon' remember this, that Free Crack."
After the intro, Bibby gets trill on tracks like "Raised Up" and "Change," which should appeal to the Down South fans. The stentorian MC keeps his flow tight over the pounding bass and customary snare with lines like, "Pull up wit my shooters in the back seat/Black gloves, black skully and a black tee/All my young n----s strapped and they clap heat/Real talk we ain't for that little rap beef."
Producers like DJ L ("Bibby Story," "How We Move") and C NOTE ("Change") give Free Crack an abundance of hard-hitting bass combined with rapid fire snare that's become increasingly prevalent these days. But while it's a sound that Bibby flourishes with, it's a bit overused on this mixtape. When Bibby switches up his sound on songs like the melodic "If You Knew," which uses an old school drum pattern and poetic piano keys, it further emphasizes his potential in this game.
On the aforementioned "How We Move," something else that becomes apparent is Bibby's chemistry with fellow Chicago MC King Louie, who's weighty voice and ferocious slow flow adds to the thump of the track. The two link up again later on "Shout Out."
Hit-Boy gives one of Free Crack's standout beats on "Whole Crew," using what sounds like a chorus of tubas to create a thundering sound. Then "Ali Bomaye" producer Black Metaphor dropped another one of the effort's high points with the soulful, string-laced "Water." Bibby did his part to live up to the track with rhymes like, "Real hustler, I'ma get that regardless/I will not starve b--h/Work hard, my palms itch/I seen some garbage that f----d up my conscious/N----s they talk s--t, but these n----s harmless."
Bibby turns up a little extra for Chicago native and "I Don't Like" producer Young Chop on the self-explanatory banger, "Tired of Talkin'." The rookie sensation spoke on the snakes and the spoils that come along with fame. "I ain't tryna hear not a sound/N----s sneak diss when I'm not around/I peep s--t, I'm not a clown," rapped Bibby.
Overall, Free Crack is a solid rookie effort from someone that's got skills, credibility and heart. Bibby has already generated a buzz for himself, and with this tape he's about to be on a much larger radar. He's ready.
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(Photo: Lil Bibby Music)