By Rob Markman
Headliner: Fred the Godson
Representing: Bronx, New York
Mixtape: Gordo Frederico
Real Spit: Fred the Godson continues to grow from a rap rookie to a hip-hop heavyweight, both figuratively and literally. The Bronx, New York lyricist has always embraced his size and his latest tape, Gordo Frederico, is just the latest nod to Fred's bulging buzz.
It all started in the predominately Spanish-speaking BX neighborhood that Fred grew up in.
"The whole time I was young, comin' up, it was like, 'Frederico, Frederico,' " the "Monique's Room" MC told Mixtape Daily about his bilingual nickname, which is a play on his birth name and his weight. "Then I put on a couple of pounds, so they started calling me gordo, so I put 'em both together: Gordo Frederico."
Picking up where he left off with his 2011 City of God tape Fred startsGordo with the lyric-laced "Intro" and then comfortably hops into the bouncy "Put in Work." On the pounding "Stuntin' On You," the Godson does what he does best, delivers cleverly laid metaphors over booming beats. "Just came from Cali, 'cause my rhymes is raw/ The only time you see L.A. is the Final Four," he spits while simultaneously throwing a nod to UCLA's storied college basketball program.
"Spike Lee" finds Fred linked with Jim Jones and on "I Go" the rotund rapper recruits the Queen Bee, Lil Kim, who contributes an intense verse. "Lil Kim go hard, right?/ Now, if Frank was alive, he'd probably have me on 'Mob Wives,' " Kimmie Blanco spits reminiscing on her fallen mentor, the Notorious B.I.G.
Fat Joe shows up for the dark-sounding "Gun Game," but it's on "One Life" where Fred shows real range. R&B singer Jeremih supplies the heartfelt hook, while Frederico chronicles his come up in the streets. His growth is real.
With Gordo Frederic Fred the Godson shows that he's in it for the long haul, laying a strong foundation for what is shaping up to be a promising rap career.
Joints to Check For
» "High Life" — "It's just a record, especially being a fan of hip-hop, thinking about how things have changed... so I just tried to set the record straight and give a couple of bars on my thoughts."
» "Go Dumb" — "It's a straight club joint, got a good knock to it. It got some energy to it, so we gonna take it there; something real fly and flashy."