By Hayden Wright
Freddie Gibbs served time in an Austrian prison while sexual assault charges pended against him. The rapper was acquitted of all charges and released from prison last year, and he’s begun a comeback tour with his album You Only Live 2wice. He recently spoke about his rollercoaster year and how his new material started in prison songwriting sessions. Piecing it together as a free man was the challenge.
“I pretty much wrote everything in my cell in Austria,” he told Complex. “I just wrote things down, wrote ideas, because I didn’t think that I was gonna be able to rap again. You just never know man, so I just wrote a lot of shit. And when I got home I got production and just went in and pieced it together like a seamstress. Everything that I wanted to say I got it all out in this project.”
At just eight tracks, the album runs a little short but the rapper says that’s by design. He lamented previous projects that ran long, and says “short and sweet” is his new motto in the studio. Gibbs says that incarceration helped him open up lyrically on this album, and illustrated his point by referencing “Alexys.”
“I dated a girl named Alexys and she was the first girl I got in a foreign car with,” he recalled.” Those little experiences like that, those small liberties that you take for granted, you see that when you’re behind bars. I took a lot of people for granted, I took my baby mother for granted, so that’s why I spoke a lot about her on the project. I think this is one of my most open projects.”
Gibbs also discussed his legal situation abroad, claiming that the rape allegations levied against him were a strange case of mistaken identity.
“[There’s] a lot of people that I can’t trust no more and this experience that I went through in Austria shows that. My best friend stopped talking to me in the midst of this,” he said. “He was the original one charged with the crime. I wasn’t even involved in this, I didn’t even have sex with the girls. He had sex with ‘em — I’m not saying he raped ‘em or anything of that nature, I just feel like if he would have handled his business a year ago with these charges, then myself and my family wouldn’t have went through this, because this is a time I didn’t do anything, I didn’t have anything to do with these females.”