After Piñata, his 2014 collaborative release with underground producer Madlib, proved that Freddie Gibbs could play the left field like Ted Williams, the Gary, Indiana rapper joined Bay Area producer DJ Fresh, aka the World's Freshest, for the short but sweet bit of old-school boom-bap. Boom-bap and bitch slaps, actually, as The Tonite Show rolls unapologetically hard on numbers like "Bitches, Dope, and Dollars" (a Bone Thugs-like nocturnal track that advocates the ski mask way) and "I Be on My Grind" (imagine Twista's "Overnight Celebrity" redone for the cloud rap set). "Keep It Gangsta" is at the thematic heart of it all as Gibbs flows with that 2Pac bounce and "ride or die" mentality, while "G Like That" funks like Zapp and clubs like the Death Row label in their heyday. Add "Pussy Got Slap" with slang king and Bay Area Don E-40 as special guest, and The Tonite Show seems much more DJ Fresh-driven with all this West Coast business, but it's entirely fair, as this is an entry in the producer's collaborative Tonite Show series with Gibbs following in the footsteps of Mistah F.A.B., the Jacka, Shady Nate, and others. Also of note is the short run time as the ten-track release gets knocked down to a count of seven once the intro, outro, and interludes are removed. Still, those looking for Gibbs to return to that streetwise gutter music will certainly enjoy this short blast, and if golden age G-funk makes it all the sweeter, Fresh has a bag of West Coast tricks filled with enough DJ Quik and Dr. Dre references to keep those ears ringing. File this next to Snoop Dogg and Dam Funk's 7 Days of Funk and then celebrate the birth of the Indiana-Cali connection.
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AllMusic Review by David Jeffries