Pittsburgh mash-up progenitor Girl Talk (given name: Gregg Gillis) hasn’t put out an official release since 2010’s full-length All Day. Since then, he’s kept up a pretty heavy touring schedule, but there's been no premonition of what would be coming next for him creatively. The cultural obsession with Gillis’ unique brand of Top 40-oriented collage music has certainly abated a bit since the release of Night Ripper; on a positive note, the imitation acts are no longer haunting college campus music festivals across the country. You’d reckon that the near-three year silence might have been the result of Gillis figuring out what his next move should be creatively, while still inciting crowds to rush the stage as skillfully as he always has.
This upcoming DatPiff-distributed EP with ex-Roc-A-Fella Philly rap treasure Freeway may be the first experiment of the next phase of his career. Gillis recently announced the project (entitled Broken Ankles) on Twitter. Previously, we’ve heard Girl Talk tackle rap production in the form of a one-off Jim Jones collaboration. Also, I'd hope that die-hard fans (and Pittsburghers) are familiar with the track he crafted for Steel City's best rap act, free-associative masterminds Grand Buffet, back in the early aughts. For Freeway, this will be the second producer-rapper EP he’s done, the previous one having been a collaboration with Statik Selektah in 2011. His last full length release, Diamond in the Ruff, was one of the finest and most slept-on rap albums of last year.
Gillis feels that his production ideas suit Freeway’s flow well, and if this new, peaked-out live clip of their new track, “Toleration,” is anything to go off of, the assessment seems correct. It’s big-beat production distinctly in the Girl Talk imprint, sounding something like El-P doing a beat for a mid-‘00s Hov album, and Freeway is growling something fierce over it, even if we can’t make all of it out yet. Watch the clip below: