If the glory days of the Roc-A-Fella dynasty are still a vibrant memory, then there’s no forgetting the trim-bearded, raspy-voiced spitting lyricist Freeway. He’s been off the scene for a while, but now he’s back with a new album, Free At Last. He also has a new single, “Roc-A-Fella Billionaires,”Â featuring his boss man and close friend, Jay-Z. All this is just a teaser for what the Philly native has in store on his sophomore release. Rap-Up.com authorities got the chance to pull over with the busy Freeway and ask him a few questions on his single speeding up the charts, his pilgrimage to Mecca, and his thoughts on Jay and Dame parting ways.
Jay-Z and 50 Cent executive produced your album. How did that happen?
Well, you know my relationship with Jay and Roc-A-Fella. Me and Fif always been cool. He reached out to me like, “Whatever I can do to help your project out, let’s do it,”Â and we made it happen.
What songs did 50 produce?
We got a joint with me and him on the album called “Take It To The Top”Â. It’s crazy. Ya’ll gonna love it.
How was it working with 50 compared to working with Jay?
50 is a good dude. It’s just like working with one of my homies. He don’t really be on that extra how he could be because of who he is. He just be chillin’ and he works.
During the whole Kanye and 50 album release duel, who were you rooting for? Kanye is your label mate and 50 helped produce your album.
I was sitting back like everybody else.
You’re lying. You had a favorite.
I’m not lying. They’re both good albums.
Are you going to use the Internet to market and promote this album?
I mean record sales are low and it’s affecting everybody from the big dogs to the little dogs. You know Kanye did 900,000 his first week and his second week he did one-something. It affects everybody, but it’s all about good music. I have good music and I have a fan base that appreciates my music. I’m doing it for them.
What’s your favorite track on the album?
The whole album. It’s like trying to pick a favorite child. Everything is from the heart and it’s been a minute, so I had a lot to say. I got a lot of stuff across on this album. Hopefully ya’ll love it from the intro to the outro. The intro is called “This Can’t Be Real”Â where I talk about what I was doing before I got in the music business. The outro is called “I Cry”Â and I just break down some parts of my life when I had to cry. I’m letting people know more about me.
You haven’t released an album since 2003, when you did Philadelphia Freeway. Do you feel like the split between Dame Dash and Jay-Z slowed down your career?
It definitely had a toll on it because during the transition of them breaking up, we didn’t really know what was going on until the last minute. Then it took a minute for the whole Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam thing to get back running how it should be. Definitely took a toll on it.
Do you think Dame and Jay will ever clear the surface?
I don’t know. I wish because there’s nothing like it. You never miss a good thing until it’s gone.
What else have you been doing during the past four years?
I’ve been doing a lot. As you know, I’m Muslim, so I made my pilgrimage to Mecca. I went over there and it was a beautiful experience for me that affected my life a lot. I got a couple of businesses. I got a rim shop in Philly called Philadelphia Freeway Custom Motor Sports. I’m just grinding, making myself relevant. Staying on my job.