Freddie Gibbs’s ‘Soul Sold Separately’ showcases lyrical ability, lacks a cohesive theme

26 October 2022 / by Owen Kropp
freddie gibbs
Album reviews
Freddie Gibbs Soul Sold Separately
Released: September 30, 2022
Label: ESGN
Hip-Hop / Rap
Action Bronson / Larry June / Pusha T
CIA, Blackest in the Room, Decoded

Freddie Gibbs is back in the conversation with his much anticipated album ‘Soul Sold Separately.’ 

It’s his first solo project since 2018 and comes with an almost overwhelming 25 different producers credited over the 15 tracks. 

Gibbs has quietly established himself as a top-tier lyricist with a talent for humorous hooks. While the charts may not show it, he is quite the influential figure in hip-hop currently and commands the respect of his peers. 

This project proves no different as it is filled with unique flows, creative lyrics and of course Gibbs’ trademark velvety delivery. 

Gibbs isn’t much of a producer himself and has previously tapped legendary producers like Madlib and the Alchemist for collaborative projects. They both contribute to this album alongside a host of other producers as well. 

It’s a bold choice from Gibbs to enlist such a variety of help but he really shines in displaying his adaptability here. 

On top of the army of producers seen on the project, Gibbs brings in a relatively modest number of features. Their impacts are pretty across the board as some execute their parts quite well while others fall flat. 

Moneybagg Yo and Offset phone their features in and deliver boring verses that really just show how much Freddie is on another level than them. 

Rick Ross, Czarface and DJ Soul are a nice variety of artists but they don’t really shine here. Their contributions are all fine for what they are but they certainly don’t bring out their best here.

Gibbs seems to do best with an R&B singer alongside him, and Kelly Price and Musiq Soulchild certainly prove that here. Both deliver great additions to their respective tracks and are a great contrast to Gibb’s low, smooth vocals. 

In an attempt to provide a cohesive theme to the project, Gibbs includes a series of skits at the end of multiple songs. The skits center around a fictional hotel and symbolize how a stay at a hotel is temporary and so is Gibb’s lifestyle. 

Overall, it’s a good mix of tracks that touch on some more introspective topics in Gibb’s life as well as more surface-level confident themes as well. However, it certainly would have been nice to see Freddie step out of his comfort zone a bit as this project feels really safe for him. 

The tracks are all pretty good but none of them really stand out too much. On top of this, aside from the skits there really isn’t a cohesive theme to this album and the songs tend to feel more thrown together rather than placed in a specific way. 

Gibbs does a great job of showcasing his ability to thrive over a variety of different production styles but fails to really bring it all together in a meaningful way. It’s good music but lacks any staying power and certainly leaves something to be desired.