Thuggin' (EP)

Last updated
Freddie Gibbs & Madlib, "Thuggin'", cover art, Nov 2011.jpg
EP by MadGibbs
Released November 21, 2011
Recorded 2011
Genre Hip hop, jazz
Label Madlib Invazion
Producer Madlib
MadGibbs chronology
(2012) Shame2012
Freddie Gibbs chronology
Cold Day In Hell
(2010) Cold Day In Hell2010
(2011) String Module Error: Match not found2011
(2012) Shame2012
Madlib chronology
O. J. Simpson
(2010) O. J. Simpson2010
(2011) String Module Error: Match not found2011
(2012) Shame2012
Singles from Thuggin'
  1. "Thuggin'"
    Released: November 21, 2011

Thuggin' is the first EP by hip hop duo MadGibbs, which consists of Indiana rapper Freddie Gibbs and California hip hop musician Madlib. It was released on November 21, 2011 through Madlib Invazion. [1] The EP served as a preview for their 2014 full-length debut, Piñata .

Extended play musical recording longer than a single, but shorter than a full album

An extended play record, often referred to as an EP, is a musical recording that contains more tracks than a single, but is usually unqualified as an album or LP. EPs generally contain a minimum of four tracks and maximum of six tracks, and are considered "less expensive and time-consuming" for an artist to produce than an album. An EP originally referred to specific types of vinyl records other than 78 rpm standard play (SP) and LP, but it is now applied to mid-length CDs and downloads as well.

Hip hop music music genre consisting of a stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping

Hip hop music, also called hip-hop or rap music, is a music genre developed in the United States by inner-city African Americans in the late 1970s which consists of a stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping, a rhythmic and rhyming speech that is chanted. It developed as part of hip hop culture, a subculture defined by four key stylistic elements: MCing/rapping, DJing/scratching with turntables, break dancing, and graffiti writing. Other elements include sampling beats or bass lines from records, and rhythmic beatboxing. While often used to refer solely to rapping, "hip hop" more properly denotes the practice of the entire subculture. The term hip hop music is sometimes used synonymously with the term rap music, though rapping is not a required component of hip hop music; the genre may also incorporate other elements of hip hop culture, including DJing, turntablism, scratching, beatboxing, and instrumental tracks.


MadGibbs is an American hip hop group formed in San Francisco, California. The duo consists of Gary, Indiana-based Freddie Gibbs rapping and Oxnard native Madlib producing. The two formed MadGibbs in late 2011 and have since released four extended plays (EPs) under that alias, and later a debut studio album in 2014, credited as separate artists as Freddie Gibbs & Madlib. A follow-up second album, titled Bandana, is slated for a 2019 release.



On November 18, 2011, at the Madlib Medicine Show live event at Mighty in San Francisco, California, the producer brought out Freddie Gibbs and announced their debut collaborative EP titled Thuggin'. [2] The project has been concealed for at least six months until it was made available for sale at the event. [3]

Gibbs also debuted the title track and "Deep" off his collaborative set with Madlib. [4] Following the surprise performance, five hundred copies of the limited-edition EP were sold out at the venue. [1] According to Gibbs' manager Archie Bonkers, the EP was exclusively on sale at Madlib's shows, but was made available for retail purchase on November 21, 2011 through Madlib's Madlib Invazion imprint. [5] The EP contains two main vocal tracks, instrumentals and two bonus beats. [4] On January 16, 2012, the single's video, directed by Jonah Schwartz, premiered online. [6]

Speaking with Jay-Z's Life + Times, Freddie Gibbs decoded a few lines from "Thuggin'", explaining how he extracted from personal experiences in Gary, Indiana for the track: "The song is 'Thuggin'. First line, I say, 'We're not against rap, but we're against those thugs.' Speaking about how society wasn't against rap music but against the thug element of it. I felt like that's what I represent," he said. "What I'm rapping is what I'm living. I'm using rap as a vehicle to get me away from that type of living." [5]

Jay-Z American rapper, businessman, entrepreneur, record executive, songwriter, record producer and investor

Shawn Corey Carter, known professionally as Jay-Z, is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer, entrepreneur, and record executive. Considered one of the best rappers of all time, he is regarded as one of the world's most significant cultural icons and has been a global figure in popular culture for over two decades.

"You may get to that level, selling drugs and engaging in certain activities in the street," he continued. "You might end up selling drugs to one of your family members, hell, you might end up shooting one of your family members. The drug and the crime shit really deteriorated our community - my community, at least. And then I say something about my uncle was addicted to drugs in the verse. That's real shit. That's a true example of a king to a fiend, someone who was a prominent and hard-working guy in the community that went from not having work and being addicted to crack cocaine." [5]

Critical response

Thuggin' was met with generally positive reviews from music critics. JC Poppe of DJBooth wrote of the title track, "Gibbs continues to deliver charismatic personality filled verses that include jewels like 'why the Feds worried 'bout me clockin on this corner / when there's politicians out here getting popped in Arizona.' To those that lost their mind over Watch The Throne's 'Otis', 'Thuggin' is truly the simple sample chop based song to get excited over." [7] Nathan S. of Refined Hype wrote, "Of course I'll take a "187" Gibbs gangster banger any day, but hearing the man flow over some more ambient Madlib production on "Thuggin" is a dope reminder of just how good of an emcee the man really is. He can flow over anything without losing any of his gangsterness, and it says just as much about Madlib that he's willing to work with anyone from MF Doom to Gibbs." [8]

Music criticism

The Oxford Companion to Music defines music criticism as 'the intellectual activity of formulating judgements on the value and degree of excellence of individual works of music, or whole groups or genres'. In this sense, it is a branch of musical aesthetics. With the concurrent expansion of interest in music and information media over the past century, the term has come to acquire the conventional meaning of journalistic reporting on musical performances.

<i>Watch the Throne</i> 2011 studio album by Kanye West and Jay-Z

Watch the Throne is a collaborative studio album by American rappers Jay-Z and Kanye West, released on August 8, 2011 by Roc-A-Fella Records, Roc Nation, and Def Jam Recordings. Before the album, Jay-Z and Kanye had collaborated on various singles, and with the latter as a producer on the former's work. They originally sought out to record a five-song EP together, but the project eventually evolved into a full-length album. The project features guest appearances from Frank Ocean, The-Dream, Beyoncé and Mr. Hudson, as well as posthumous vocals by Otis Redding and Curtis Mayfield. It also features vocal contributions from Kid Cudi, Seal, Justin Vernon, Elly Jackson, Connie Mitchell, Charlie Wilson and Pete Rock, among others.

Otis (song) 2011 single by Kanye West and Jay-Z

"Otis" is a song by American hip hop artists Kanye West and Jay-Z, from their first collaborative album Watch the Throne (2011). The song posthumously features soul singer Otis Redding, whose version of "Try a Little Tenderness" is sampled in the song. The production was covered solely by West. The track was premiered by Funkmaster Flex's Hot 97 radio show and was released onto the Internet the day afterward. Lyrically, the song has the two rappers sharing lines discussing wealth, decadence and fame. The track received highly positive reviews from music critics who praised the trading off of verses by the two rappers and the Redding-sampled beat, which was compared to the style heard on West's The College Dropout. Several publications placed the song amongst the best of the year.

Ryan J. of The Smoking Section wrote, "The Thuggin' EP and its Gibbs-assisted tracks, 'Thuggin' and 'Deep', provide further evidence that Gibbs isn't just special, but he's also doing something right. Rap isn't some sequestered genre built upon scratches and soul samples like it once was. It's constantly evolving, blurring its already muddled gray area with each passing artist leak. Gibbs understands how to evolve with the times, even if his rhymes and rhyme patterns sound vaguely similar. Plus, as Hip-Hop critic Tom Breihan once said about Gibbs' rapping, 'he just doesn't fuck up, ever.'" [9]

Track listing

1."Thuggin' (Vocal)"
2."Thuggin' (Instrumental)"
  • O. Jackson
  • J. Sherylee
3."Riot Call (Bonus Beat)"
  • O. Jackson
4."Deep (Vocal)"
  • F. Tipton
  • O. Jackson
5."Deep (Instrumental)"
  • O. Jackson
6."Cold On the Blvd (Bonus Beat)"
  • O. Jackson
Total length:14:19

Related Research Articles

The Alchemist (musician) rapper

Daniel Alan Maman, professionally known as The Alchemist, is a Jewish American record producer, disc jockey (DJ) and rapper. He began his music career in 1991 in the hip hop duo The Whooliganz under the moniker Mudfoot, along with now-actor Scott Caan. After rising to prominence in the late 1990s, as a close associate of Dilated Peoples and Mobb Deep, he went on to produce for many of hip hop's leading artists in the 2000s, and has been hailed as one of the genre's leading producers. He is currently working as a DJ with Action Bronson. He produces for many artists, most of his recent production is for a close group of frequent collaborative rappers. He focuses on producing entire albums for rappers and Instrumental projects of his own.

Madlib rapper, producer

Otis Jackson Jr., known professionally as Madlib, is an American DJ, music producer, multi-instrumentalist, and rapper. He is one of the most prolific and critically acclaimed hip hop producers of the 2000s and has collaborated with different hip hop artists, under a variety of pseudonyms, including with MF DOOM, as well as J Dilla. Madlib has described himself as a "DJ first, producer second, and MC last," and he has done several projects as a DJ, mixer, or remixer.

Freddie Gibbs American rapper from Indiana

Fredrick Tipton is an American rapper better known by his stage name Freddie Gibbs. After initially being signed to Interscope Records in 2006, Gibbs recorded his debut studio album under the label, however, he was eventually dropped and the album was cancelled. Gibbs later signed with Young Jeezy's CTE World label and released a number of mixtapes through the label, including 2012's highly acclaimed Baby Face Killa. After leaving CTE in 2013, Gibbs formed his own label, ESGN and released his debut studio album of the same name in June 2013. Since then, he has gone on to release four solo studio albums, as well as one collaborative album with Madlib as MadGibbs and nine mixtapes in total.

Jay Rock discography

American rapper Jay Rock has released three studio albums, 10 mixtapes, 12 singles and 30 music videos.

<i>Madlib Invazion</i> (EP) 2000 extended play by Madlib

Madlib Invazion is the debut EP by Oxnard based hip hop producer and rapper Madlib. This EP contains production from Madlib and features vocals from fellow Lootpack member Wildchild and label mate MED among others.

Travis Mills Pop artist

Travis Tatum Mills, previously known by his stage name T. Mills, is an American recording artist and actor from Riverside, California. Following his name change from T. Mills to Travis Mills, Mills hosted The Request Show on Apple Music's Beats 1.

<i>For the Record</i> (Torae album) 2011 studio album by Torae

For the Record is the debut studio album by American rapper Torae, released on November 1, 2011 via his own imprint Internal Affairs Entertainment, in conjunction with Fat Beats Distribution. It was preceded by the collaborative project Double Barrel in 2009 with producer Marco Polo.

CTE World

CTE World, is an American record label founded by American rapper Young Jeezy. As of December 2012 Young Jeezy had officially signed a distribution partnership between Corporate Thugz and Atlantic. USDA member Boo Rossini currently serves as the label's President.

<i>Shame</i> (EP) 2012 EP by MadGibbs

Shame is the second EP by hip hop duo MadGibbs, which consists of Indiana rapper Freddie Gibbs and California hip hop musician Madlib. Preceded by their 2011 EP, Thuggin', it was released on July 10, 2012 through Madlib Invazion in both digital and 12-inch vinyl formats. The 8-track EP includes two vocal tracks, "Shame" featuring singer BJ the Chicago Kid and "Terrorist", as well as instrumentals, a cappellas and two bonus beats by Madlib.

<i>The Diary</i> (J Dilla album) 2016 studio album by J Dilla

The Diary is the posthumous sixth studio album by American hip hop recording artist J Dilla. The album was originally intended for release in 2002 via MCA Records under the title Pay Jay. This long-lost album is the final batch of unissued material that J Dilla had assembled for release during his lifetime. It also represents his first rap album released since Ruff Draft (2003) and Champion Sound (2003). Unlike previous full-length releases – from Jay Stay Paid (2009) to Dillatronic (2015) – all edited with unreleased instrumentals, The Diary is a collection of Dilla's vocal performances over his production and that of other producers, such as Madlib, Pete Rock, Nottz, Hi-Tek and Karriem Riggins among others. The album also features vocal performances by Snoop Dogg, Bilal, Kokane, Frank n Dank, Nottz, Boogie and Kenny Wray. Recording sessions for the album took place from September 16, 2001 to April 2, 2002 at The Spaceship in Clinton Township and Studio A in Detroit, and it was mastered by Dave Cooley at Elysian Masters in Los Angeles.

<i>ESGN</i> 2013 studio album by Freddie Gibbs

ESGN is the debut studio album by American rapper Freddie Gibbs. The album was released on June 19, 2013, by ESGN and Empire Distribution. The album features guest appearances from Daz Dillinger, Spice 1, Jay Rock, G-Wiz, Hit “Skrewface”, Big Kill, Lil Sodi, Problem, Y.B., D-Edge, G.I. Fleezy and BJ the Chicago Kid.

Chris Webby American rapper

Christian Webster, better known by his stage name Chris Webby, is an American rapper from Norwalk, Connecticut. Chris Webby has released many mixtapes such as the DJ Drama-hosted Bars On Me (2012) and his EP There Goes the Neighborhood (2011), which peaked at number 101 on the Billboard 200. He has worked with various artists such as Freeway, Mac Miller, Joell Ortiz, Big K.R.I.T., Method Man, Prodigy, Gatzby, Bun B, Tech N9ne, and Kid Ink. In 2013 he and his label Homegrown Music signed a deal with E1 Music. He then released Homegrown, another EP, in November 2012. Webster released his debut studio album Chemically Imbalanced on October 27, 2014. Most recently, Webby has released the compilation album, Next Wednesday, that features some of the many tracks he released throughout 2018 as part of his Webby Wednesday series.

<i>Deeper</i> (EP) 2013 EP by MadGibbs

Deeper is the third EP by hip hop duo MadGibbs, which consists of Indiana rapper Freddie Gibbs and California hip hop musician Madlib. It was released on September 24, 2013 through Madlib Invazion. Following up on their EPs Thuggin' (2011) and Shame (2012), it serves as the final EP in the trilogy before the release of their full-length LP, Piñata (2014).

<i>Piñata</i> (Freddie Gibbs and Madlib album) 2014 studio album by Freddie Gibbs and Madlib

Piñata is the first collaborative studio album by American rapper Freddie Gibbs and record producer Madlib. It was released on March 18, 2014, by Madlib Invazion. Entirely produced by Madlib, the 17-track LP features contributions from Raekwon, Earl Sweatshirt, Danny Brown, Domo Genesis, Scarface, BJ the Chicago Kid, Ab-Soul, Casey Veggies, Meechy Darko and Mac Miller, among others. The album was recorded by Josh "The Goon" Fadem and Glenn "G-Wiz" Browder between January 2011 and October 2013. It was mixed and mastered by Dave Cooley for Elysian Masters, except for "Shame" and "Terrorist", mixed by Kelly Hibbert.

<i>Understand Me</i> 2013 EP by Problem

Understand Me is the debut EP by American hip hop recording artist Problem, released on December 10, 2013 under Diamond Lane Music Group. The EP follows up six months after the release of his ninth mixtape, The Separation. The eight-track project is a collection of new and previously released material, including "Like Whaaat," "Say That Then" and the title track. The EP features production from League of Starz, Mars, P-Lo of The Invasion, Yung JR and Iamsu. Guest appearances on the EP came from Glasses Malone, Bad Lucc and Mars.

Clyde Carson American rapper

Clyde Carson is an American rapper from Oakland, California. He was originally known as a member of the hip hop group The Team. After the group went on hiatus, he was the one member of the group to break out as a solo artist. He was signed to rapper The Game's Black Wall Street Records and Capitol Records in 2006. While signed there he released the EP Doin' That. However, he wasn't signed to them for long, before deciding to go back to releasing music independently via Moe Doe Entertainment. After returning to just that label, he has released two EPs: Bass Rock and Playboy. He also released the song "Slow Down", which was featured on the video game Grand Theft Auto V.

<i>Knicks</i> (Remix) 2014 EP by MadGibbs

Knicks (Remix) is the fourth EP by hip hop duo MadGibbs, which consists of Indiana rapper Freddie Gibbs and California hip hop musician Madlib. Preceded by their 2014 album, Piñata, it was released on October 20, 2014 through Madlib Invazion in both digital and 12-inch vinyl formats. The 6-track EP includes two vocal tracks, "Knicks (Remix)" featuring Action Bronson, Joey Badass and Ransom, and "Home" featuring singer BJ the Chicago Kid, as well as instrumentals and two bonus beats by Madlib.

Freddie Gibbs discography

The discography of Freddie Gibbs, an American rapper, consists of three solo studio albums, two collaborative studio albums, thirteen singles, eight extended plays, ten mixtapes and one compilation album. In 2013, Freddie Gibbs released his debut studio album ESGN. This was followed by the collaborative album Piñata with producer Madlib in 2014. The following year, Gibbs released his second solo album and third album overall, Shadow of a Doubt. His most recent studio release is You Only Live 2wice, his fourth album overall.

Samuel T. Herring American singer

Samuel T. Herring, also known as Sam Herring and by his rap moniker Hemlock Ernst, is an American performer and rapper from Baltimore, Maryland, better known for being the frontman of the synth-pop band Future Islands.


  1. 1 2 Battan, Carrie (21 Nov 2011). "Freddie Gibbs and Madlib Made an EP Together, and It's Here | News". . Retrieved 31 Mar 2014.
  2. "Photos: Madlib, Freddie Gibbs, San Francisco". . 21 Nov 2011. Retrieved 31 Mar 2014.
  3. Weiss, Jeff (21 Nov 2011). "Madlib & Freddie Gibbs form MadGibbs for 'Thuggin' ' EP". . Retrieved 6 Apr 2014.
  4. 1 2 "Freddie Gibbs & Madlib | Thuggin' EP". 21 Nov 2011. Retrieved 31 Mar 2014.
  5. 1 2 3 Horowitz, Steven J. (19 Nov 2011). "Freddie Gibbs & Madlib To Release "Thuggin'" EP". . Retrieved 31 Mar 2014.
  6. Breihan, Tom (17 Jan 2012). "Madlib & Freddie Gibbs – "Thuggin'" Video". . Retrieved 31 Mar 2014.
  7. Poppe, JC (21 Nov 2011). "Freddie Gibbs & Madlib - Thuggin' | Stream". Retrieved 6 Apr 2014.
  8. Nathan S. (21 Nov 2011). "Thanks Sweet Baby Jesus! Freddie Gibbs x Madlib "Thuggin" (Listen)". Retrieved 6 Apr 2014.
  9. Ryan J. (21 Nov 2011). "On Freddie Gibbs & Madlib's "Thuggin'" EP".