Universal acclaim - based on 19 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
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  1. Apr 14, 2014
    The truly impressive thing about Piñata is that when the album is at its top level, it’s nearly untouchable.
  2. Mar 18, 2014
    As Gangster Rap, Piñata is free of conceptual pretense; it’s a slice more than a thesis. It’s also a new benchmark for Gibbs and may end up as a career calling card. If nothing else, it quickly sounds like one of the year’s best.
  3. Mar 25, 2014
    Madlib produced albums tend to only get better with age, and I don't expect Pinata to be an exception.
  4. Mar 18, 2014
    Piñata may not be Madlib’s best personal handiwork, but it’s well tailored to suit his partner’s impressive rhyming abilities.
  5. Mar 13, 2014
    Piñata comes with just enough to reduce the daunting 17-track length to a non-factor, although it drags a bit with overt nostalgia toward the fourth quarter.
  6. Apr 16, 2014
    The finished product is brilliantly, beautifully schizophrenic.
  7. Mar 21, 2014
    Madlib and Freddie Gibbs are both total pros who knew exactly what they wanted out of Piñata, went out, and did it.
  8. Mar 20, 2014
    [Gibbs] expertly negotiates Madlib’s minefield, forcefully popping words off the producer’s gorgeously mined snares and snatched vocal loops.
  9. 80
    Gibbs’ coarsely inventive flow works perfectly with Madlib’s imperfectly human beats.
  10. Mar 17, 2014
    Startling numbers like the block-rockin' then dissolving "Real" crop up throughout the album and make this project even more than a sum of its parts, and with the track list flowing smoothly as attractive guests (Danny Brown, Raekwon, Scarface, Mac Miller, and the list goes diversely and gloriously on) come and go, Piñata winds up excellent overall.
  11. Mar 13, 2014
    Thanks to the talents of the artists involved, the album is more than a fun glimpse at the past. These beats and rhymes stick to your ribs.
  12. Mar 13, 2014
    It doesn't matter if Gibbs and Madlib were once considered artists playing to different audiences--united in their uncompromising, independent-as-fuck visions, they put together something hardcore hip-hop heads on both sides should feel.
  13. Nov 6, 2014
    There's no doubt that the reality rapper with "an ice maker for a heart" is steady "Thuggin'," but Gangsta Gibbs can also ride any track the Beat Konducta throws at him.
  14. Mar 13, 2014
    When Piñata's 61 minutes is up it instantly feels like you've heard it 61 times. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, it's more of a realisation that you knew what was coming and you enjoyed it
  15. Mar 20, 2014
    Piñata might be long, but it moves fast.
  16. Mar 18, 2014
    Gibbs' genuine reflections on being broke, losing the girl or simply growing up help to break things up a bit and add a welcomed bit of realness where both humour and originality are somewhat absent.
  17. Mar 17, 2014
    From the lyrics to the beats, the pleasure of Piñata is in the details.
  18. Mar 13, 2014
    The MC and the producer click in surprisingly satisfying ways on their first full-length album together.
  19. Mar 13, 2014
    Gibbs' rough edges scrap up against Madlib's strings, and sometimes Piñata sounds like a low-key affair. It also feels a little dated, because Madlib has been practicing this kind of project for a decade.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 219 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 10 out of 219
  1. Apr 4, 2014
    For fans of Madlib, and for those walking around still with an anticipation for a "Madvillainy" follow-up, this record from Indiana rapperFor fans of Madlib, and for those walking around still with an anticipation for a "Madvillainy" follow-up, this record from Indiana rapper Freddie Gibbs and the one and only master producer Madlib, is the closest piece of work we get to it. Simply put, that this is a pretty damn fantastic collaboration from the two.

    Gibbs is one hard-hitting rapper, with more rough, punch and hunger on the mic than example what a MF Doom would be spitting, or to say, your average rapper today. And he some what delivers quite monotone at times.
    Though I know Gibbs is a spitter, that I know, never denied his skills when it comes to his lyrics, flow and punch-lines. Though that, Freddie Gibbs is a rapper I've never fully been into or given a full try for the tapes released. Projects, songs I always ended up tagging them as a bit boring and redundant, maybe I should let it sit with me more?

    But, here, here this landed, here on, Gibbs managed to stick with some interesting concepts, raps, versatility. With this, he made me a fan, a fan I am at last.

    Madlib, as usual provides the MC with some beautifully, dusty, catchy layered production, such as the personal favorite cut of mine, "Shame", featuring a great, loving sample with a top off that a hook from the beast, BJ The Chicago Kid smoothly adding on his vocals. Too much goods going on, from the loops to just the vocals and lyrical- subject. A killer track, with a killer melody.
    **** a muddy, schizo, fast track with another ear-grabbing hook, and hard painted verses by Gibbs. A track that could have easily made it's way through OutKast's LP "Stankonia", sonically if whatnot.

    Gibbs is self aware about his flaws. What he once seen as right during youth and decisions made, seen later on becoming the wrong.
    Gibbs is relatable, and so strongly seen on the introspective track like "Deeper".
    Madlib's production through out feels dirty to it's backdrop, despite yet soulful and yummy as seen on the Odd Future affiliates Domo Genesis and Earl Sweatshirt appearance on "Robes". Sometimes, going from string sections and tingling instrumentals, to jazzy or in a more funky rythm.
    It's a warm feel, a warm ride with this.
    A ride, I'll confidentiality can say, will end up topping the year, when out of twenty-fourteen.
    A record that will get better with time, and can surely enough last the test of time.
    An LP I'll come back to.
    From humorous skits to gun-clapping, siren haunted tracks. This is one must experience to have, and to be sitting with phat.

    Freddie Gibbs & Madlib's "Piñata", is what's to love about hip hop and music overall.
    Full Review »
  2. Apr 7, 2014
    Really tough, this album is downright kick-ass, smooth gangster, dusty tape-deck wonderland. I feel like I'm listening to Madvillany's youngerReally tough, this album is downright kick-ass, smooth gangster, dusty tape-deck wonderland. I feel like I'm listening to Madvillany's younger cousin from Longbeach. The one who just got out of county for a possesion charge, and moved back east to live with family because, 'some crazy chicken-head claims she's having my baby'. And these songs are all the hood stories of the past few years back in Cali. Gibbs does a great job of painting a 40oz soaked picture of this compassionate thug. Who will cuss out a corner store clerk, and then give a kid a few bucks for a snack while he's walking out the door. Madlib's perfected execution of creating an aesthetic with his mixture of samples and snippets is as strong as ever, and he really shines on this awe-inspiring record. Without a shade of doubt in my mind, Piñata stomps on this years timeline as not only the best hip hop project of 2014 thus far, but possibly of the year all together. I couldn't be any more satisfied with it. Every listen, I finish this album just staring at the wall, thinking...we've got a classic on our hands here. REALLY. Full Review »
  3. Mar 27, 2014
    Wow! This was one hell of an album! Amazing production from Madlib (as usual) and I was never much of a Freddie Gibbs fan but this album justWow! This was one hell of an album! Amazing production from Madlib (as usual) and I was never much of a Freddie Gibbs fan but this album just completely changed my mind about him. Standout tracks for me were "Deeper", "Thuggin", **** and "Robes". I also like the diss track "Real" I love it how it is not a subliminal diss unlike a lot of diss tracks these days. Album of the year and if it was released last year, It would be the best album of 2013 too! I absolutely love this album and I am constantly bumping it! Cop it if you haven't yet! Full Review »