For over a decade, Freddie Gibbs has been a staple figure in the hip hop scene, first from an underground view and now as a major label artist. Hailing from Gary, Indiana, Gibbs has navigated the often-challenging music industry landscape, persistently honing his craft and finding his voice, to become one of the best rappers alive.

Now, with the release of his fifth studio album $oul $old $eparately, Gibbs celebrates his first major label release – a well-deserved accomplishment after years of dedication.

“I learned a lot about myself” Gibbs told Okayplayer shortly after the album dropped. “I learned that it’s going to take a lot to break me. I’ve been through so much, and just to hear it, it’s damn near kind of eerie. But then, this album just really showed me how strong I was. As a man, as everything. It showed me how good of a rapper I am, and that I know how to pick my spots and do the right thing.”

Gibbs’ career took off in the early 2000s with his first mixtape, Full Metal Jackit. While it wasn’t until he signed with Young Jeezy’s CTE World that his career began to gain traction, Gibbs’ lyrical talents and work ethic were evident from the start. After departing from Jeezy’s label, his collaborations with renowned hip hop artists such as Madlib and The Alchemist have led to highly praised projects like Piñata and Bandana, as well as the Grammy-nominated album Alfredo.

Despite his undeniable MCing talent, Gibbs’ journey to success was not without its obstacles. From being dropped by Interscope Records in 2006 to navigating numerous label changes, Gibbs remained focused on his goals. In June 2020, he signed with Warner Records, laying the groundwork for his first major label release, $oul $old $eparately.

This concept album revolves around the fictional ‘$$$ Resort and Casino,’ allowing Gibbs to delve into themes of risk-taking and personal growth. Drawing from his own experiences, he reflects on the sacrifices made in pursuit of his dreams and considers the true meaning of success in the music industry.

Freddie Gibbs: With my business model and the way that I work, I never thought that it’d probably work on a major label. I didn’t know because there’s certain things that come, requirements that come with being on a major—radio records, commercial success, things of that nature. Those are things that I never really chased in my career. To get it now, it’s just all about timing. Last week, my record was no. 3 added at radio. I never had a record added at radio.

Freddie Gibbs Bet on Himself and Won | The Ringer