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Rapper Freddie Gibbs is state's best new "band"

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Well, if he's a band, he's a one-man band, but Gary-born, now Los Angeles-based, hip-hop up-and-comer Freddie Gibbs was picked by alt-weekly Boston Phoenix last week as this state's best new band as part of their 50 Bands/50 States project. (By the way, I believe I'm now in the running for the Emily Dickinson Award for Most Dashes in a Single Sentence, Blog Division.)

So it's certainly an impossible task for some Boston music writers to pick the best that's around from around the country, but I like the idea nonetheless, not to mention the way they present the info — in this interactive map that, come to think of it, should probably use pop-ups instead of opening a new page every time we click on a state.

We'll tell you more about Gibbs in the near future, but we notice that Pitchfork is reporting about his upcoming collaboration with Wavves frontman Nathan Williams, that he's a candidate in MTV's Hottest Breakthrough MC of 2010 contest and that his debut EP, Str8 Killa, is due out August 3 (and follow this last link for a preview track from that EP).

Bloomington's Impossible Shapes won back in 2008, the inaugural year for the 50 States project. They broke up soon afterwards, but you can't fault the pick, even if they weren't all that new at that point, having released several excellent records on Secretly Canadian throughout the decade, after existing before that as a home-recording project based out of Indianapolis. (I'd direct you to the Phoenix's page for the 2008 pick, but it seems to have disappeared.)

So we give even more props for the 2009 pick of Grampall Jookabox, which remains a genuinely original group, and has the added advantage of still being around, although in a full-band form with the foreshortened name of Jookabox.

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