Freeway sits down with DNA on the Welcome to da World podcast to discuss his life and legacy.
Born in West Philly, and growing up in North, before he was Freeway, he was Leslie. Getting made fun of in school to getting picked with the girls for kids who didn’t know who he was, he talks the hardships of growing up before rap.
Being a sponge early in the game, Freeway got his start listening to the block OG’s. He was influenced by some of the guys on the block battle rapping, which lead to his early entry to the rap game.
Soon enough he meets Beanie Siegel at a local bar where they held rap battles. After a couple battles, Freeway told Siegel to pull him up on stage with him. Teaming up with Beanz, the dynamic duo destroyed every battling pair in their path, ultimately leading to the formation of a friendship between the two.
Soon after State Property, the opportunity of a lifetime formed, teaming up with Jay-z to be apart of Roc-a-Fella records. Freeway capitalized on the opportunity, killing his featured verse on the song 1-900-hustler, which made Jay-Z’s The Dynasty album. In return, Hov graved his song What We Do with a feature which led to a successful single and a nationally recognized debut album: Philadelphia Freeway
From music, to movies and video games, Freeway made a name for himself and his solo career began to take off. all was well until the falling out of Roc-a-fella in the early 2000’s. Freeway talks about how he had to adjust to doing everything on his own. “We was spoiled early on, chauffeurs everywhere, now I gotta get up and drive myself here, get up and go there” Freeway said.
Freeway was able to maintain longevity in the game, producing music and remaining a respected OG in the rap game for the upcoming artists coming out of Philly in the 2010’s: Meek Mill, Lil Uzi Vert, PNB Rock, Kur, and more.
Freeway also spoke on his newest initiative, Freedom Thinkers Academy. This program incorporates music, health, education, and culture. Speaking from his own experiences, he uses his recent health scares, educating the entire team on why it’s important to maintain a healthy heart and take care of your body, while coaching the artists apart of his program to find their sound and maximize their potential.
Freeway talks about how hard it’s been since 2020, dealing with COVID, limited travel before that due to his health conditions, and also opens up about the untimely passing of his son Jihad Pridgen,
Watch the full interview below:
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