More About FreewayNorth Philly's native son Freeway has seen a lot since the 2003 release of his certified Gold Roc-A-Fella debut Philadelphia Freeway. Greeted with equally heavy doses of critical acclaim and hood love, Free found himself touring the world and sharing the spoils with the hottest crew in hip-hop, a meteoric rise that would prove to be not without struggle, sacrifice and consequence. Indeed, a lot has changed since then, and through it all, Freeway has remained, quite literally, on his grind.
That grind, as much a part of Freeway's legendarily gruff delivery as his gritty lyricism, pours through every groove on Free's long-awaited sophomore set Free At Last. Set for a November 20th release on Roc-A-Fella Records, Free At Last chronicles Freeway's struggles to navigate an increasingly hostile and competitive musical environment, while remaining true to the streets, his friends and family, and most importantly himself.
"The past four years, a lot's been goin' on with me, personally," explains Free. "I'm a Muslim, and I had the opportunity to go to Mecca, and that really brightened my horizons; the break-up at the Roc, that had me stagnant for a while to be honest; meanwhile, the music is changing, that's how music is, constantly changing. As far as for me, I didn't change anything in terms of my style, I do what I do. I'm a reality rapper, always have been, so I got a lot to say about what's goin' on. I let it all out on record. That's why my fans love me."
Co-executive produced by hip-hop's two greatest giants - long-time friend and mentor JAY-Z and newfound ally 50 Cent - and featuring a virtual who's who of raps brightest stars including guest spots from Scarface, Rick Ross, Busta Rhymes, Jadakiss, Too Short, Paul Wall and production from JR Rotem, Cool & Dre, Don Cannon, Bink, Dame Grease & more, Free At Last is a tour-de force, deftly recapturing that signature Roc-A-Fella sound while infusing it with a hunger and electricity that's been missing since, well, Freeway's last album.
"The industry's goin' through changes, and it's about a lot of bulls**t right now," says Freeway of the new project. "Since I first came out, I've been watching very closely. Radio, video don't support anymore. So I've been floodin' the internet with freestyles, hittin' the streets. The blogs and the networking sites are the new streets, obviously. That's where the fans are. They want to hear your music, and you gotta give it to them. They'll let you know real quick what they think!"
To that end, Free At Last is Freeway's emancipation proclamation. Instead of pursuing a traditional single strategy, Free is following the heat generated from this summer's street banger, "Rocafella Billionaires" featuring JAY-Z - and the new heat rock burning up the blogs "Step Back" featuring Lil' Wayne - by releasing three new tracks simultaneously: "It's Over," "Still Got Love," and "Lights Get Low" featuring Rick Ross. The tracks have been serviced to top DJ's around the country as exclusives, and are available to stream at rocafella.com.