Barrelling off the stage following an explosive headlining set at Sideways Festival in Helsinki, Freddie Gibbs makes his way to his backstage trailer to relax with the warm food and Patron waiting for him, trailed by a post-show backwoods. He's relaxing in the corner, uploading a photo I snapped of him from the show to his Instagram when I enter the room and greet him and his crew. They're only in Europe for the day, having flown overseas specifically for his appearance, before having to jet back to the States at 5am for a Bonnaroo set on his birthday. It's a hectic schedule and I manage to snag a moment to talk, among the frenzy of it all.

Even after an incredible set that saw Gangsta Gibbs premiere new unreleased and never-before-performed music, Freddie smiles specifically when showing me photos of his baby girl Irie Jane Gibbs, who he recently welcomed in April. Since her arrival, Helsinki is the farthest he's been away from his daughter and it's clear the fact has slightly unnerved the new father. It's a softer side of Gibbs than the rapper who just shut down the stage. I'm speaking to Freddie the family man.

While scrolling through the photos in his phone, he jokes that Irie's full head of hair looks like Michael Jackson's. I kid back saying that MJ was from Gary, Indiana too, so it all makes sense. We both laugh as I turn on my recorder and bring it back to the music.

It's been an elevated year for rap and it's been an elevated year for Freddie Gibbs. Tell me about how this year has been an advancement for you.

Definitely. Man, I never knew that I was going to be making this much money rapping, so that's good. And I have the potential to make a whole lot more, which is scary. At this point in my career, I really feel like I've built something and I feel like I really did it on my own. I take a lot of pride in that. I really established myself in the rap game as a staple at this point. When you talk about gangster rap, you've got to talk about me. And I've worked hard to get to that position. It's like making the NBA All-Star team, or some shit. When you talk about top five rappers, you've got to throw me in there.

And on top of all that, you had a daughter. Tell me how that has, maybe not softened you, but changed Gangsta Gibbs.

Having a child definitely changed my whole perspective on life. You can't really do the same shit that you used to do when you were younger. When it comes to my business, it just put me in a mind state to make moves for my daughter's future now. At first, I was just living for me but now I've got to take care of somebody else. From a business stand-point, it makes my mind think about doing whatever I need to do to expand myself to set up her future. When I'm done, I want her to be able to take over my company and do something with it.

And you've been anticipating that. The last time we spoke, you were talking about how you wanted to be more of a role model for the young ones coming up and set an example on your next project.

Definitely. You've got to grow up and especially now. I have a young lady that I've got to raise. I've got to be everything to her. I've got to be the man that she looks to as her standard. When she thinks about a man, she should think about her father first. That all comes with time. I think it's the perfect timing with that for me. I've been in the streets doing the charity work too. I've raised three or four thousand dollars worth of school supplies for the kids in Gary. I supplied the football team of my high school with Adidas shoes. I'm probably going to do something else with them. I'm all about giving back, because I tore up a lot. Any chance I get to give back and show my love and respect, I'll do that.

So your upcoming project, Lifestyles Of The Insane, can we expect that this year?

I don't think that's going to be the name of my album anymore. I always be changing my album titles. This time, I'm not even going to say what the album title is, I'm just going to drop that shit.

Okay, nice. Are we getting that in 2015?

Yeah, I'm definitely going to drop some new shit this year. I don't know when but definitely this year.

What can we expect from the new stuff sonically and conceptually? Have you put that together?

My new stuff that I've been working on is versatile. That formula that I was using on 'midwestgangstaboxframecadillacmuzik' and 'BFK', I went into that frame of mind when I was making these records. A lot of these records are real melodic. I've been working with some new producers from Canada, Mikhail & Pops. They did the Pronto record. Shout out Toronto, all day. My homies from Toronto are doing the bulk of my project. They've been doing 75% of it. Surprisingly, I've been working with 808 Mafia too. That's going to surprise a lot of people when they hear me with some real bass-heavy type shit. But yeah, my new project is going to be real versatile. There's going to be something on that shit for everybody. There's a real thick, warm type sound to it.

Last year, Piñata was arguably one of the best rap albums to come out of 2014. But this year, rap has seen an elevation and we've gotten an influx of conceptual out-of-the-box projects like Kendrick's To Pimp A Butterfly and Chance's album Surf with the Social Experiment. Where do you think your upcoming album will fall in-between the variety of this year's music and what legacy do you plan to leave with it?

I hear those other names but I started that shit. I think a lot of cats took my blueprint with Piñata and they did their shit. Piñata came first. On a gangster street-level, nobody can do the shit that I do. Ain't no rapper in the game that could have done that Piñata album like that. There were times I was making it that I didn't even feel like I could finish it, you know what I'm saying? I pat myself on the back. I had the most under-rated shit of the year. I think a lot of ni**as heard it and they keyed into it. I think I woke a lot of ni**as up with that project so I look at myself as the godfather of that shit. I made something that's going to stand by itself in hip-hop. I probably won't make an album like that no more. Rap is all about growth. Right now, I'm just trying to grow and evolve. But when I made that, I felt like I made history, whether motherfuckers like it or not. My grandkids are going to make money off of that project.

And about the Pronto EP. The music was a different lane from Piñata - that evolution you were talking about. But those visuals were insane. How do you plan to outdo yourself visually now that you've gotten into a tub with snakes?

I always try to set the bar high when it comes to visuals, because I'm such a big movie-head. If you can listen to a song and not like it, but then see the visuals and like it, or vice versa, we're just trying to enhance. If I got a dope-ass record, I'm not trying to fuck it up with a video. A record like that, I fucked with it heavy, so I wanted to do something outside of the box. I don't fuck with snakes at all. I hate that shit. It's bullshit. But when it came to the concept, I was like, I'm going to go out on a limb and do something that I didn't think any other rapper would do. A lot of motherfuckers either fuck with it, or they think I'm crazy as fuck. That's the reaction that I want.

True. Preference or not, the aesthetic was crazy.

Shout out to my homie Nick Walker. This is what I'm saying, I set trends. I did the 'Pronto' video with him and then Nicki Minaj and Beyonce hit Nick up to do their video.

And their video broke the internet.

Hell yeah. And I just had snakes in it. You can't break the internet with just snakes. They broke it with ass and titties. Shout out to Beyonce and Nicki. Salute. I really love the work he's doing though. It's beautiful to see him do that, it was crazy. I love to see my homies win.

So you've been on your independent hustle and entrepreneur grind. You've got ESGN and your new weed strain Freddie Kane. What other business ventures are you working on or hope to tackle in the future?

Right now, I'm definitely about to roll out with the ESGN clothing line. It's going to be more than just some merch shit. It's going to be some good quality-ass clothes. And I've got some big shit coming up. Especially with the new project, I'm real locked in and focused on that. We just got a brand new studio. We're making real moves. At this point, I started from the bottom. I can't go nowhere but up from here. As long as I maintain my work ethic and humility, God's going to keep blessing me. So, I'm not worried about nothing man. Blessings keep dropping out of the sky and I'm not going to do anything to fuck that up. The only thing that really matters right now is my daughter and setting things up for her.

You two are too much on your Snapchat/Trapchat.

I'm the Trapchat king. Anyone that says Trapchat, they better pay Gangster Gibbs.

You're out here changing the Snapchat game with the Trapchat.

I'm a trendsetter. You've got to do innovative shit. It's more than just music. There's layers to everything I do. And once you peel them back, you become a fan for life. And I make cute babies.


You can visit Freddie Gibbs by heading here.