Freeway: Quiet Riot
Having made moves in the midst of the turbulent Roc-A-Fella endeavor, Free linked up with one of Hip Hops most shrewdest business minds 50 Cent (strangely not given an executive producer credit) and Free At Last had a lot of eyes on it. With questions ranging from, What does Jay think? to Will Free go to G-Unit? the game was eagerly anticipating the second coming of Philly Freeway.
Now, after a highly appreciated album, Freeway sits down with HipHopDX as he talks about what hes learned by being in the game, how the game can clip you if one is not focused and sends a few jewels for his hometown to stop the violence.
HipHopDX: You sound hungry and convinced youre supposed to be in the game on This Cant Be Real. When Roc-A-Fella was going through its turmoil did you think that youd have to resort to a different means of coming out with your own project?
Freeway: I mean, at the time, I just basically didnt know what was going on with the Roc. It was really hectic at that point. But, when I did, Jay came up to me and said, I got you covered. Once he told me that, I got focused on what I needed to do. I knew what I had to do. It was tough, though. I aint gon sit here and just fake like it wasnt tough. I was trying to get myself together, so I put it down on wax and I think it came out pretty nice.
DX: How do you think success has changed you for the better and for the worst?
F: When I was younger, I was kind of wildin out so I know that for the better, Im focused. I know what Im supposed to do. I dont think that there it could change me for the worst.
DX: How have you grown since your first album and what do you think people can learn when listening to Free At Last?
F: The ones that get my album can definitely learn that Im more mature this time around. I have that reality rap. I really do speak about everyday life. Ive seen a lot of things in my life and I really express that on this album.
DX: Whats the song that really resonates with you?
F: I would have to say that the song, I Cry, is that. I really kept it real. A lot of people wouldnt really go at it like that. But thats the song that does it for me.
DX: [Laughs] Does everyone in Philly have the beards because of their religion or has it become a trendy thing to do?
F: I think its because were Muslim, its an attribute that goes along with the religious culture.
DX: How cutthroat is the rap industry and what has the worst thing that youve seen in this game that would make a grown man cry?
F: Its real cutthroat. You have to stand your ground. Ive seen cats get a deal, contract signed on the table, you know?! The next day, they got clipped, aint on the label no more. Gone just like that. This business is fickle and if youre not constantly feedin it, itll get a different meal.
DX: When they remember you, what do you want them to say about Freeway?
F: I would want the people to say that I had a lot of good music. I think people are noticing the work that Ive been putting in and that I am indeed working hard. I would want the people to say that he was timeless; that his work was the same. Id want them know that I am good dude and that theyd say that I was humble and know that I have a good heart.
DX: The Roc is moving really strong on the back of this American Gangster album how important is this album to the company and the crew as a whole?
F: Its definitely important that everyone who came out was successful. Roc-A-Fella is definitely on the grind. We have the Roc Boys mixtape coming out and thats going to be another good look.
DX: A lot of people were confused when you linked up with 50 for this album. What did you learn from working with him?
F: Me and 50 have been good. How we got up was from doing a lot of road work together. When real recognize real, its definitely that. Fif extended the hand out to a brother and was willing to help. The guy is a really good businessman; hes always consistently on the grind. Ive learned a lot from him and Jay, both. Once I get this album out, once I do that, I want to get things situated for myself. I want to get some things of my own. I have my own credit card in the works TheFreewayCard.com and I got the rim shop [Philadelphia Custom Motorsports].
DX: Philly is kind of like a war zone right now and youve been fortunate to be able to be put in a position to speak to a lot of cats back home. What do you want to say to the cats out here whove been wildin out?
F: Id really tell the cats back home to just really put the guns [down]. I mean, theres nothing that I can do just as one man, but really, they just wildin out. Its definitely crazy and it all needs to come to a stop.
DX: Can a man who has success be happy with success alone?
F: I think its more than just that. Success is fleeting. I know people who got a lot of money and theyre not even happy with their life. There are more things pressing than just success, but that success ties into your happiness. With success, you still got to be worried about your family, their health and all that. Its more than just success a lot more than that., you have life. You want to see your kids grow up, you want to see your parents living good, you know?