Crime Pays // Freddie Gibbs & Madlib (MadGibbs)

MadGibbs’ most head-knocking single from the teasers to Bandana entails a classically low-fi and earwormy beat from Madlib, with fiery bars and several flow switch-ups from Freddie. It’s a song that makes one thing absolutely clear: Bandana season is in full effect.

Must Peep Monday #22

Back in March, for the first installation of our now-defunct “New Music Sunday” series, I declared that Bandana season was upon us, as Freddie Gibbs and MadLib awoke from their collaborative slumber with “Flat Tummy Tea.” That statement rings even truer when considering the long-awaited followup to Piñata drops in only a few days. 

Since then, we’ve been blessed with three other singles: “Bandana,” “Crime Pays,” and “Giannis,” the latter two will appear on Bandana. Each track built up more hype than its predecessor, and here we are, four days out from an album created by a duo that happened to drop one of the best rap albums of the decade the last time they linked up.

And on this massively hyped album, “Crime Pays” is fourth, batting cleanup. It’s the only single so far to be graced with a music video – a video that opens with highlights from Piñata as if they’re flashbacks from a Madlib-fueled trip on ecstasy.

“Crime Pays” immediately jumps out of the speakers as a special track, as Madlib’s production rings clear in perfect synchronization with Freddie’s bars. It’s like prime Lob City; Madlib as Chris Paul and Gibbs as Blake Griffin, together causing warfare above the rim with their explosive teamwork. 

Gangsta Gibbs is in elite form on this one, with an entrancing “Crime pays, n*gga, crime pays,” refrain that’s more earwormy than it’s simplicity would imply. He turns up towards the center of the track, going off about he’ll put you on a “shitbag” and tops it off with shots at A$AP Rocky. 

This kind of Freddie is exactly what fans have been looking for -a couple of less-than-exciting performances in 2018 dampened some expectations, but if “Crime Pays” and the other singles prove anything, it’s that we’re in for a ride on Bandana. 

If you’re a hip-hop fan and somehow missed this drop, do yourself a favor and check it out now. “Crime Pays” is a signal flare, and the release of Bandana on Friday will see the MadGibbs duo set the rap game on fire.

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