He survived the crumble of Roc-A-Fella with a successful solo career intact, established his own brand name, and gained the respect of fans from around the world. There isn’t a thing you can tell Freeway about hard work. The Philadelphia native is on the verge of releasing his fourth solo album, Diamond In The Ruff , slated for a Nov. 27 release date. Thought most of his State Property brethren have fallen by the wayside, Free has kept his name hot through independent projects and mixtapes. Earlier this month, the bearded MC released a full length tape, Freedom of Speech, in conjunction with clothing company Rocksmith and online retailer Karmaloop. With just a few weeks before the album impacts retailers, VIBE sat down with the lone ranger to discuss his new music, working with Just Blaze again, State Property, meeting Nas after he dissed him, and more.
VIBE: What was your mindset like going into this joint? I know you were working on several mixtape at the same damn time.
Freeway: Yeah, I did so many. I’m always working, so I would do a record and put it to the side for the album, and that’s how I’ve been working. I got a chance to work with Just Blaze again. We got a record on the album called “Early.” I got three records from Jake One. You know we got crazy chemistry.
What other producers did you snatch up?
I did three records with Bink, who helped me create history during the Roc days. A couple tracks from Needlz, a couple new producers, my man Mike Jerz, one of my in house producers.
You’ve done countless mixtapes and have multiple albums under your belt but did you touch on anything you’ve never rapped about before?
I might have touched on some of the subjects but it’s from a different perspective. I got this record called “The Thirst,” produced by Jake One, and the hook is like ‘We dying of thirst/trying to work.’ I think a lot of people can relate to it because there’s so many that feel stranded right now. They feel stuck. Honestly, you could have a billion dollars and still feel trapped, so that’s where I was at when I did this record. CONTINUE READING…