Freddie Gibbs, Rittz

Hailing from Gary, Indiana, a place whose murder and crime rates have ranked it several times at the top of the "Most Dangerous Cities" list, Freddie Gibbs is the true definition of a street survivor. Raised on Gary's east side, Gibbs lived the hard life firsthand in a run-down industrial community plagued with vice and ignored by the establishment. After playing at Ball State on a football scholarship, Gibbs was kicked out of college. Over the next few years he went through court-ordered boot camp, joined and got discharged from the military, and held down a series of 9 to 5 jobs without success. Feeling like the system had failed him, Gibbs turned to hustling; pimping and selling crack out of a local house. Inspired by rappers like UGK, The Geto Boys and 2Pac, Gibbs started rhyming about his life and the issues facing urban youth in Gary and the countless other impoverished cities just like it.

The Steel City's most famous musical residents to date are the Jackson Five, whose name still adorns a marquee on a falling-apart theater in Gary's blighted downtown. His desire to rep the Midwest and his city led Gibbs to start recording mixtapes and pushing them online as well as the streets, where he quickly began garnering fans drawn to his original style, diverse flows, and deeply personal lyrics about his experience as a young black man growing up below the poverty line in a forgotten American city. Freddie has worked with respected producers like Statik Selektah, DJ Burn One, Cardo, Big K.R.I.T., Block Beattaz and Lil Lody among many others. Gibbs' influences from Houston rap and Pac manifests in his ability to alternate between chillingly tense street stories of violence and laid back comedic tales about women and weed. Ultimately Gibbs shows and proves with his rhymes, which demonstrate the promise of a legend in the making. His skills, wit, and street credibility establish Freddie Gibbs as a true artist. He's ready to represent for Gary, the Midwest, and anyone who relates to the struggle of inner city life. As Gibbs tells it: "My music is definitely on some gangsta shit. That's what I was raised on and what I witnessed. How can I speak on anything else?"

The Atlanta metropolitan area stretches on for at least 30 miles beyond the Georgia Dome and the World of Coke. Peachtree Street (conspicuously void of actual peach trees) stretches up through several counties, changing its name a number of times, confusing the tourists and the transplants. Furthest to the north of the metro area, sits Gwinnett County; sprawling and well-populated by a mix of out-of-towners hoping to indulge in a slice of that oft-mentioned American Pie: a house in a subdivision with a yard for the kids. After closer observation though, it's apparent that the suburbs of Gwinnett are the digs to many who don't fit the cookie cutter, Stepford lifestyle. The county, more frequently being referred to as the Northside, boasts both million dollar homes on golf courses as well as drug hubs in neighborhoods riddled with gang activity. The Northside, essentially, is in stark contradiction to itself. Rapper Rittz is the Northside.
Raised in Gwinnett County, Rittz embodies the same level of irony and self-conflict as his hometown. Born into a musical family, he, his twin sister and their brother had always been exposed to the inner workings of music. The fact that their parents were heavily into rock and roll ensured that the kids were always around instruments or in studios. The family moved from small-town Pennsylvania (Waynesburg) to the Atlanta outskirts when he was eight years old, and once Rittz got to junior high, his musical tastes evolved. Atlanta's booming bass and rap movement had traveled north on I-85 to get the entire metro area jumping.

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Freddie Gibbs, Rittz with Futuristic, Sincerely Collins, Hosted by Bootleg Kev & Dub Phx w/ Madd Rich in the mix

Thursday, August 15 · 7:00 PM at Club Red