Madlib & Freddie Gibbs – Bandana: #569 of best 1,000 albums ever!

Madlib & Freddie Gibbs - Bandana

So why is Madlib & Freddie Gibbs’ Bandana on this best 1,000 albums ever thing?

Madlib is one of the more fascinating figures in hip hop, a DJ, music producer, multi-instrumentalist, and rapper extraordinaire, and a highly eclectic and rangy one at that. His collaborations with MF Doom as part of Midvillain alone are legendary (note: look for albums from this duo coming up on the best 1k albums ever project for sure).

The background of Bandana is pretty interesting in that its music, via All Music, was originally created by Madlib for Kanye West, but “Ye” (as he’s now known) only used one of the tracks. I find that a lucky turn of events, as Freddie Gibbs scooped up the music that turned into Bandana’s 15 tracks and did his own super unique, aggressive/provocative, masterful rapping thing with it.

“Crime Pays” is hypnotically good, an oddly compelling swirl of percussion instruments, keyboard sounds, chimes, soul samples, and Freddie Gibbs seemingly boasting about and lamenting a life of crime and drugs at the same time. Sonically, I can ask for no more out of a hip hop track – it’s so strange and (apologies for the pun) addictive at once, and Gibbs can change up his rapping cadence and tempo in a way that very few can.

“Flat Tummy Tea” has a fantastically aggressive underground vibe, sinister and head bob-y at the same time. I absolutely the adore the little organ flourishes that tag lines amidst Gibbs steamrolling through verses with aplomb. Cocaine finds its way into the lyrics here and on numerous other Bandana tracks, as aside (see: the admittedly incredible song title, “Half Manne Half Cocaine”).

“Giannis,” featuring Anderson .Paak, has a nimble, high energy feel and seems to be at least in part about the Giannis, that being Mr. Antetokounmpo, the “Greek Freak” NBA phenom. And then… it also seems to be about cocaine (Hey, ‘caine paid the bills) amongst other things.

Some stats & info about Madlib & Freddie Gibbs – Bandana

  • What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rap, Hip Hop, Alternative Rap, Underground Hip Hop  
  • Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
  • All Music’s rating4.5 out of 5 stars
  • When was Bandana released? 2019
  • My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #569 out of 1,000

Madlib & Freddie Gibbs’ Bandana on Spotify

A lyrical snippet from Madlib & Freddie Gibbs’ Bandana that’s evocative of the album in some way, maybe

Yeah, I been struggling my whole life, yeah. I pour it up and get my soul right, yeah.

What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?

Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.

But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.