‘Shame’ Game: Watch Freddie Gibbs and Madlib’s Druggy Video
Rapper and producer's collaborative 'Thuggin'' EP is out now
BJ the Chicago Kid, who recently signed to Motown on the strength of his February debut album Pineapple Now-Laters, might be the unheralded hero on “Shame,” from Freddie Gibbs and Madlibs’ new Thuggin’ EP. Madlib’s dusty, soul-steeped production style isn’t inherently an obvious fit for Gibbs’ rapidfire, no-bullshit gangsta rap, but BJ’s old-school but not old-fashioned approach to R&B vocals, well — as glue that holds a track together goes, that’s nothing to sniff at. “It ain’t gotta be the walk of shame,” he sings on a hook that outdoes the Stone’s Throw label’s own Mayer Hawthorne for Delfonics-era silkiness fitted to contemporary language.
The video — directed by Jonah Schwartz, who also did the similarly hyper-real visuals for the EP’s title track — doesn’t follow a conventional walk of shame, however. Instead, as Gibbs rhymes about “gettin’ green by any means,” various women come by his urban home and enjoy his cocaine. As hip-hop journalist Maurice Garland points out, one of Gibbs’ guests wears a “Jesus Saves” T-shirt, where the cross is mixed with a dollar sign. Maybe it’s no surprise that she’s the one who hassles Gibb about his actions. It’s a video you can spend some time marinating in, and the only sure thing appears to be that despite the pillowy quiet-storm accompaniment, there’s plenty of shame to go around.