If you’ve been paying attention to the goings-on in hip-hop over the past few years, then you’ve probably noticed the relative prevalence of heavyweight collaborations. Just this past month of October saw the teaming-ups of Atlanta trapper Future & emo rap newcomer Juice WRLD, New York natives Dave East & Styles P, and Gunna & Lil Baby — the young progeny of Future and Young Thug.
Nearly all these collaborations were bolstered by hype across the industry. So you can imagine the amount of excitement hip-hop heads felt when Freddie Gibbs announced in September the completion of FETTI: a collaborative album with Curren$y, which the New Orleans spitter actually announced nearly two years prior via Instagram.
Given the fact that both Curren$y and Freddie Gibbs are two of the most consistent rappers in hip-hop, as well as the fact that The Alchemist — the legendary producer tabbed for this project — is one of hip-hop’s most consistent producers ever, FETTI’s highly-anticipated arrival comes with equally-high standards and expectations.
And needless to say, the trio does not disappoint.
FETTI runs about 24 minutes, which is both understandable, considering modern attention spans and the saturation of the music industry, and disappointing, considering just how enjoyable even a slightly-lengthier project could have been. Because of the short runtime, Gibbs and Curren$y don’t waste a beat or a bar. Much like their 2015 collaboration “Fetti” — from The Alchemist and Oh No’s Grand Theft Auto V-inspired soundtrack Welcome to Los Santos, and for which this album gets its namesake — The Alchemist’s lays jazzy foundations for Spitta, with his signature stoner flow, to set up alley-oops in the first verses, which Gibbs then slam dunks in the second verses with his own signature gritty flows, stone-cold lyrics, and drug-laced punchlines (“About to take a trip, I got coke and dope on my grocery list / Oxycontin pack, I be switchin’ rackets like Djokovic”).
When Spitta and Gibbs aren’t tag-teaming, they’re given a little room on their own tracks to stretch their legs — which, ironically for a collaborative album, end up being some of the most entertaining moments on the album. Case in point: “Now & Later Gators” has Freddie Gibbs putting on a comedically-soulful, old-school R&B performance about his pimpish lifestyle that’s reminiscent of the hilarious Teddy Pendergrass-like promo of his Freddie mixtape earlier this year.
The Alchemist’s stellar production serves as a perfect medium for the emcees to combine their seemingly incongruent styles — Curren$y’s relaxed, laid-back energy and Gibbs’ grimy, dynamic flows. The result is an album that doesn’t overstay its welcome, while displaying the strengths of three underground kings.