For the last month, rumors have spread that rapper Freddie Gibbs was signed to Young Jeezy’s CTE label. Although Gibbs kept tight-lipped over the last few weeks, he went on record Saturday [April 9] to confirm the deal at a show in Chicago, just across the bridge from his hometown Gary, Indiana.
Gangsta Gibbs made the announcement on stage in an a capella rhyme that ended with “streets need my whole fam, and I’m really bouta hurt ya’ll f---- n----s, I done cliqued up with the Snowman.” Before concertgoers were able to fully process what Gibbs was saying, the DJ dropped “Lose My Mind” and Freddie was joined onstage by Jeezy. The ecstatic moment, punctuated by Freddie being christened with a CTE medallion chain, brought an end to all the speculation.
“We just have mutual respect for each other’s music,” Gibbs told BET.com, about the makings of the deal. “Slick Pulla basically put everybody in the [CTE] clique up on what I was doing because he was listening to it. Shouts out to Slick and we’ve just been chopping it up back and forth for a couple months and we just made it happen.”
Freddie hasn’t had the best experience with labels. He suffered through a counterproductive deal with Interscope in 2005 before being subsequently let go about six months later.
“For the most part the label situation [at Interscope] didn’t do nothing but make me stronger,” he says without regret. “I was bitter about it because you know I felt that whatever I was doing over there was dope. I’m just glad I went through that to further my knowledge on the game to help myself progress.”
Although some skeptics criticize his decision to sign with CTE, speculating that the label can’t do much more in the way of advancing his career, Gibbs is optimistic.
“I believe in what Jeezy stands for,” Gibbs said. “And I believe musically, together, I don’t think that we can be faded.... Jeezy ain’t never dropped no wack album. But at the same time I’m not a d--- rider so I’m not gone just f--- with a n---- cuz he hot. I’m going to f--- with a n---- I believe in and a brand I could trust.”
In the meantime, Freddie is rapping up his remaining tour dates with Mississippi rapper Big K.R.I.T. and preparing to drop some of the projects he’s been working on, including his Baby Faced Killa LP, A Cold Day in Hell mixtape and a secret concept album he’s completed with a prominent West Coast producer.
(Photo: Lucas Zielasko/Gibbs Family)