As the wheels spin out and the Allard K1 begins to fly through the corners of street, the audience pulls back to see “1985” as the first stop for Alfredo. A record that takes class up to another level in hip-hop, Gibbs and Alchemist are elusive but demand a chase to follow through each track. With guitar that reigns like bells and a simple, but persuasive percussive display, “1985” is the opening crawl to a city that sprawls and paints both the beauty of the sunshine on the skyscrapers and the ugliness of the foreboding underbelly.
Gibbs illustrates “Man, these niggas be lookin’ like baby mamas in these Maserati’s, bitch, I fuck up your face with a razor, how I make sure your motherfuckin’ family can’t view your body. Nigga thuggin’ and shit, put my blood in this. Prick my finger, Alfredo, Illuminati.” He continues to draw gore similar to chum in the water, “1985, Michael Jordan, bitch I travel with a cocaine circus. Flow God level, like when HOV Speak I make a song weep.” While seemingly as if he was a hitman in the initial moments; that is nothing when compared to the track “Frank Lucas” that recruits Buffalo bruiser Benny The Butcher as an enforcer that eliminates any fragrance of mercy.
The instrumental here is lethal, but much like death; exciting and dangerous. Alchemist is able to somehow transport the listener with melodies and samples where even the most pure at heart can turn into a deranged monster. Gibbs describes here, “Bunny Rabbit gang, we be robbin’ shit like the Romper Room, catch an Uber or a Ly-zift, I sent the bri-zick. The feds wanna turn the witness, I plead the Fiz-ith.” With a plethora to dissect in just these short few lines, Gibbs is intentionally funny here but still eager as ever to stomp someone out.
It is no secret that Gibbs has been having an incredible career over the past few years with his dual albums with Madlib, solo projects that opened rib cages, and now to become one of the strongest vocalists in the genre today. So with the final blast of sound, “All Glass” is a musical parallel to the christening scene in Godfather. As the enemies fall and the shells begin to crack against the pavement, the instrumental is holy and resembles more of a choir than sin.
Gibbs orchestrates “Yeezy’s on but I ain’t never seen a Sunday Service, they dealing with some Afghani gangsters and made a purchase. Don’t do no crimes with no rappers, nigga you know the verdict…” Before leaving the room and showing the mutilation that occurred, he finishes by stating, “A nigga from the G with a foreign automobile, and county sheriffs and the feds wanna put me under the jail. Had to step back away from the scale, these snakes moving in tall grass. Ball til I fall, never pass the ball with my bald ass.”
Whether pasta or pounds, Alfredo is a combination that while makes sense in the head, is so well executed on paper that it is a miracle heist in performance. A record that combines both capacity and force, the vigor of both parties involved are less like rival crime families, and more like a syndicated organization.