Freddie Gibbs & Madlib - Bandana
Critic Score
Based on 27 reviews
2019 Ratings: #38 / 766
Year End Rank: #22
User Score
2019 Ratings: #6
Liked by 71 people
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The chemistry between Madlib and Gibbs is perfect and there’s a timelessness to these songs that will make you think of raw black cinematic worlds such as Super Fly or Truck Turner.

The Guardian

The rapper-producer duo follow up Piñata with another cinematic series of street stories delivered with lyrical majesty.


As the culture is currently enamored with more rhythmic patterns than the meat on the bone, Freddie Gibbs and Madlib have undoubtedly proved they can compete without compromising their composition standards.

Consequence of Sound

Bandana concentrates the grimy energy of Piñata into an even more potent punch, and the result is a knockout.

Loud and Quiet

For all the giddy, unruly energy, each song on Bandana flows together to make a poetic, poignant body of work.

The Line of Best Fit

It is an exceptional modern hip-hop album unafraid of exploring the darker sides of the modern rap persona, all whilst creating a rich, textured sonic environment within which it can be best ingested.


Fans of this dynamic duo's fantastic prior collaborative album will surely be thrilled by this sequel, which exceeds expectations as an inarguable masterpiece.


Equal parts gritty and flamboyant, with Gibbs both reveling in the fruits of his labor and watching them rot his teeth, Bandana stands toe-to-toe with the likes of Hell Hath No Fury, Reasonable Doubt or any other gold standard of the format you could name.


An LP more rounded and more stirring than the excellent first one.

A.V. Club

The first record was a grower, gradually establishing itself as one of the great producer-emcee efforts of the young millennium, but Bandana seems designed to dazzle, to assert a joint legacy.


Bandana may deal with some weighty topics throughout its 46-minute run time, but its impressive flow—both in Gibbs’ rapping and their well-thought-out tracklisting—leads to a compelling but relaxed listen.


I can't conceive of a rapper-producer duo who could curb each other's most extravagant impulses more than this one; accordingly, Bandana is not a second too long, not a sample too nostalgic and not a bar too rap-heavy.

On their second album as a duo, Madlib and Freddie Gibbs pull themselves deeper into one another’s worlds.
The Skinny

Two things that are never in doubt throughout the record are Madlib’s absurd skill for combining amorphous instrumental textures with hard snapping drums and Gibbs’ ability to lord over any beat put before him.

Rolling Stone
The hip-hop production wizard and charismatic MC team up for another head-spinning album.
The Needle Drop

Freddie and Madlib continue to bring out the best in each other on Bandana.

No Ripcord

In an era of hazy, spineless mumble rap, it’s so refreshing to hear two insanely talented, forward-thinking hip-hop artists back in the saddle for another Schedule-I romp in the game. Dig it.

Spill Magazine

Bandana is exactly what you would expect out of these two master-craftsmen in the best way possible.

Spectrum Culture

These are two men whose different styles, lives, and paths through the music industry are so divergent that when they come together, they create something completely unlike what they could do on their own. What results is one of the best and most interesting rap albums of the year.

Tiny Mix Tapes

Bandana, like Piñata before it, strikes me as deliberate and calculated, a realization of style that makes use of both artists’ backgrounds and techniques.


Listeners are given consistency and quality throughout.

Crack Magazine

At 16 tracks, it occasionally feels a touch too indulgent, but that’s easily forgiven when you wonder how many more records of this quality we might get if more of hip-hop’s key figures were as open-minded as these two.

The 405

While Piñata felt like a “Freddie Gibbs & Madlib album,” Bandana is far more driven by the MC. Madlib’s beats contain his hallmarks of soul samples and general haziness, but he mostly acts as a conduit for Gibbs’ emotions.

The Observer

The ever creative Madlib chucks in everything he can find to dazzle the listener. When this coheres ... it’s sensational. Often his work sounds too dense to compete with mass-market trap, and struggles to support Gibbs’s gruff rhymes.

This is a rare occurrence: An album is hyped up to be absolutely fantastic, delivers on its promise, and everyone seems to agree. Revel in this, because who knows when will ever see something like it again.
Warning: The surgeon general has determined...that the sounds you're about to hear...will always be your ear! (sleep well) kidding, this was something else! The first time I heard the Palmolive sample and instrumental, I started to actually cry! Didn't sleep thanks to this fucking album, but it was worth it!

I don't think simple words can describe and explain the true significance and quality of Bandana. I've read through many of the user reviews and I think ... read more
68 take?

Holy Jesus. This is not just a popular release. This is THE popular release. Like, how critically acclaimed can a album be?!

The top rated album of 2019!
Apparently the best hip hop record since To Pimp A Butterfly!
A 'modern day classic'!
The next Madvillany, if not BETTER!

Jesus, did this album suck you guys/gals off and then give you a goddamn Ferrari? What the hell is so special here?

Granted, I was going into this record with pretty high hopes. Freddie Gibbs is ... read more
it’s rare an album lives up to hype this big. but they did it. they actually did it
Edit: After giving it a few more listens, I think I may have overhyped it a bit. I loved it as much as I said for the first two or three listens, but since then this has worn off on me. I now find myself coming back to this a lot less than both Piñata and Madvillainy, and I find it difficult to actually convince myself to listen to it again. Still, this is a tremendous album and still one of the best to come out of the year so far.

Original Score: 94
Fuck Piñata. Fuck ... read more
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Track List

  1. Obrigado
  2. Freestyle Shit
  3. Half Manne Half Cocaine
  4. Crime Pays
  5. Massage Seats
  6. Palmolive (feat. Pusha T & Killer Mike)
  7. Fake Names
  8. Flat Tummy Tea
  9. Situations
  10. Giannis (feat. Anderson .Paak)
  11. Practice
  12. Cataracts
  13. Gat Damn
  14. Education (feat. Yasiin Bey & Black Thought)
  15. Soul Right
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Added on: February 21, 2019