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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Artist of the Day: Freeway

Forget Eminem and his obscene lyrics about raping, killing and talking poorly about his momma and his former wife Kim. Hip Hop artist, Freeway, grew up in a crime-ridden area, but you wont hear him bragging about the streets of North Philly at all in his music. Freeway did address his hometown in an interview, however; “North Philly is low class…Don’t nobody go to work in North Philly, everybody is on Section Eight, kids don’t go to school, and its easy to hustle down there because there’s a bunch of abandoned houses and lots, so its easy to get away from the cops, as long as you know the routes.” Freeway does something unique to hip-hop artists throughout his music—he has a “been there, done that” attitude showing his listeners that a bright future exists outside of the ghetto or perhaps just that dark street corner or a terrible childhood.

Freeway told reporters “I got a song on my album called ‘What We Do’ talkin’ about all the things that we do in the streets is wrong but, of course, there are reasons why we’re doing the wrong things that we do. That’s an example of the stuff on my album. It’s soulful and real-like, you can feel everything. I’m not just rhyming over beats like, I’ll shoot you and we can dance all night. It’s not like that, everything got a meaning.” And everything really does have a meaning for Freeway, including his long beard that he keeps for his Muslim faith.

Originally named Leslie Edward Pridgen, Freeway signed with Roc-A-Fella Records after seen rapping at a nightclub. Since then, Freeway has only moved upward by working with Jay-Z, Kanye West, Bink and Just Blaze.

“This is a lot of hard work and I don’t get to see my family and my two kids as much, but it’s worth it. On top of feeding my family and paying my bills, its worth it just to go in the studio and tell my story and lay it down on music for people to appreciate- that feels good to me.” –full interview on

Who’s Who: Freeway
Formed: 2000
Label: Cash Money Records
Latest Release: Philadelphia Freeway 2

-Sarah Saltzman

Currently listening to: “Laughing With” by Regina Spektor

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