Gift of Gab is one of the most respected lyricists in the game. His work as leader of Bay Area vets Blackalicious helped put the alternative rap and backpack scene on the map in the late ‘90s, and their last album, 2005’s The Craft, was rightly heralded as a masterpiece in the league of their heralded album Blazing Arrow. His solo efforts -- 2004’s 4th Dimensional Rocketships Going Up and 2006’s Supreme Lyricism -- are widely regarded as underground classics, and his new supergroup The Mighty Underdogs, with Lateef The Truth Speaker and Headnodic, is already creating a major buzz. Gab is also member/owner of Quannum Projects, the ultra-hip indie hip hop label responsible for all of his projects as well as those by Chief Xcel, DJ Shadow, Lyrics Born and Lateef. Yup, the man ain’t afraid of a little hard work.
And Gift of Gab surely put in work when he stopped by The Engine Room in Hollywood to blast us all to kingdom come with a freestyle so fast, so furious, so passionate, and so completely off the top of his head, we were left speechless and dumbfounded. Seriously. He also had a lot to say about where the artform stands in hip hop today and what it takes to be a good rhymer. So make sure to watch this webisode as Gift of Gab schools us all on real hip hop.
Stay tuned for upcoming editions of Freestyle 101 with Japan’s Tigarah, Trife Da God of Theodor Unit, Project Blowed’s Thirsty Fish, The Pack, Def Jux’s Hangar 18, MC Frontalot and many more every Tuesday at 3 p.m. EST. Plus, check us out on MySpace, dig our behind-the-scenes photos, and rant in our Forums.