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You Only Live 2wice

by Freddie Gibbs

Released March 31, 2017 via ESGN / EMPIRE

Reviewed March 25, 2022

Top tracks (based on community voting)
20 Karat Jesus (67%), Homesick (43%), Crushed Glass (43%)

Freddie Gibbs’ You Only Live 2wice is a search for redemption. Coming off the heels of several months stuck in French and Austrian jails—stemming from sexual assault charges that he would be acquitted of—there’s an element of reflection throughout. This feeling relates not only to the accusations that could have ended his career if convicted, but also on the larger scale of how he sees himself and his legacy. Gibbs’ history of drug-dealing is a cornerstone of his lyricism and persona; You Only Live 2wice offers the insightful introspection into how the rapper’s lifestyle has transitioned from that into one of a successful artist, and his need to capitalize on that advantageous position for the well-being of those around him. Gibbs still brings the same swagger and flow amidst a plethora of bars, but even the most braggadocious lines serve to convey a matured man realizing a need to correct his sometimes reckless behavior. You Only Live 2wice does not signify a complete reinvention of Gibbs, and it’s nothing new sonically, but it might be his most personal work to date. – Dominick (8.6/10)

Change-of-pace records in essential discographies are largely overlooked, but tend to uniquely expand the appeal of a decorated music career; for Freddie Gibbs, You Only Live 2wice is that unique record. Prior to 2017, Freddie’s legacy was budding in the light of Piñata, his first collaborative album with ultramagnetic producer, Madlib. Piñata was its own major stylistic shift in comparison to the records, Baby Face Killa, ESGN, and Cold Day in Hell that made Gibbs a familiar face in hip-hop. You Only Live 2wice is an album written by the seasoned vet in a carceral state of banishment and solitude. The experiences inspiring the record completely spill over into its tracks, immediately making it Freddie Gibbs’ most personal and reflective body of work. An accelerated sense of maturity for Freddie defines You Only Live 2wice, as he looked to leave a life behind him while gratefully looking towards another. The album’s eight tracks make for a pleasantly succinct record, despite placing significant weight onto a couple middling tracks. – DeVán (8/10)

Dominick: 8.6/10 | Daniel: 8.5/10 | Alan: 8.4/10 | Pax: 8.1/10 | DeVán: 8/10

Ben (Synth): 7.5/10 | Cam: 7.5/10 | Hadley: 7/10 | Jared: 6.5/10


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