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by Freddie Gibbs & Madlib

Released March 18, 2014 via Madlib Invazion

Reviewed January 20, 2021

Top tracks (based on community voting)
Thuggin’ (63%), High (36%), Deeper (33%)

Where the legend began... 2014's Piñata saw Freddie Gibbs and Madlib come together as an unlikely-yet-undeniably-dynamic duo: skilled gangsta rapper meets sorcerer with a sampler. One and one suddenly made a whole lot more than two. The album was quickly understood as uncharted territory for hip hop and shed full light on the genre's endless collaborative possibilities. – DeVán (10/10)

The power of two gifted minds can often amount to a whole lot more than the sum of its parts, especially when the approach to art comes from entirely different perspectives. Fans of Madlib prior to Piñata understood from previous collaborative efforts with MF DOOM, J Dilla, and even Lootpack, that the masterful producer could cook up a beat for any sort of musical partner and still bring an entirely original and instantly recognizable flavor to the table. From there, it’s up to the other half of the duo to deliver an equally captivating complementary dish. The still up-and-coming Freddie Gibbs shows up to the potluck with a smorgasbord of precise lyricism, unwavering intensity, and rewind-inducing punchlines. The combination of these two musical juggernauts is a belt-loosening meal in and of itself, but the host of elite guest MC’s, from Scarface to Earl Sweatshirt, acts as the after dinner amaros to help digest one of the better hip-hop albums of the decade. – Pax (10/10)

Prior to Piñata, Madlib’s reputation was well-established already: legendary beatmaker, sampler extraordinaire, and one of the greatest producers of all-time. Gibbs was still somewhat on the come up, coming off the heels of his debut studio album, 2013’s ESGN. Piñata blew the door wide open, cementing him as one of rap’s elite as Gibbs showcases an immaculate flow, a deadly pen, and unwavering levels of bravado over some of Madlib’s smoothest and hardest-hitting production. This is not only a decade-defining release, but an all-time hip-hop record that will likely stand the test of time as well as any other. – Dominick (9.5/10)

Pinata is a genius release from gangsta rapper Freddie Gibbs and god-tier producer Madlib. Freddie Gibbs is consistently on fire with phenomenal flows and boldly presented lyrics focusing mainly on drug braggadocio, but Gibbs can get extremely personal as well. As always, Madlib’s production is perfection - luscious, jazzy, and ergonomic to the vocalist. – Jared (9.5/10)

DeVán: 10/10 | Pax: 10/10 | Dominick: 9.5/10 | Enth: 9.5/10 | Hadley: 9.5/10

Jared: 9.5/10 | Alan: 9.1/10 | Cam: 9/10 | Ben (Synth): 9/10


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