Rap Album Reviews: Freeway “Think Free”
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I was first introduced to Freeway during the infamous battle between him & Cassidy. Though he didn’t emerge victorious, I seen him as an artist that had talent and was sure he was going to be around. During the summer of 2003, I got my hands on a copy of Philadelphia Freeway, his debut album and was thoroughly impressed with the album. It would go on to be a classic in my eyes, if not others. Fast forward 17 years and we are here with his sixth studio album? How is it? Scroll on to read my rap album review of Think Free.
The album opens up with a sample from The Game’s classic album Jesus Piece called “Freedom” that features Elijah Blake). Free talks about growing up in the city of Philadelphia and the struggles that he along with many others had to deal with which meant hanging out with the drug dealers and resorting to selling them.
“Had to post up with the stickers, that a stigmata?
If you don’t hustle where I live, then you don’t get nada
Was a disgrace to my mom, pulled my first case
Grinding in the crack house, on my 26th hour
No fresh pair of clothes, took no shower
I was posted like the Baker trying to flip the flour”
Coming up in the city of the Philadelphia, where majority of the population is predominately poor, he emphasized the fact that in order to make it, one must hustle like his life depended on it because essentially it did. Free did his thing with this intro.
Blood Pressure (feat. Lil Wayne)
The second record delivers some high energy production. Free raps at a fast pace and lets listeners know that he is still here after all of this time
Flame thrower, we be scorin’, we be reppin’
Till the game over
I’m a bitter rap legend in a Range Rover
Put the 6 and the 7 up my blessings
Mess with us, precious, so check his vitals
North Philly icon, built for survival
Lil Wayne comes in on the second verse and follows up with the hunger that I haven’t heard from him in almost a decade. This one will be added to my gym playlist.
The Nation (feat. Jadakiss)
A rather short record that find Freeway in a good pocket talking about the yesteryear and how the rivals were fabricating a lifestyle. Jadakiss comes through and what always amazes me is how he can implement a life lesson that sounds simple yet profound
“Tryna’ locate P yo’ where Donnie at?
I was kinda hoping that he would bring Bronnie back
violate me I bring the Tommie bac
You only get one life, you should honor that”
This is a dope track. I do wish that there was another verse though.
Blessed (feat. Faith Evans)
Very refreshing production. Free is counting his blessings. He makes mention of his previous run-ins with the law in 1999. Being released in 2000 & having the opportunity to rap alongside Beanie Sigel & his State Property crew. He also talks about his near death experience with kidney failure. He had to be on dialysis, which to those who are diabetic, knows that can be a serious issue. In addition, Freeway also had the privilege to ink a joint deal between his record label New Rothchilds & Roc Nation. A track that I thoroughly enjoy.
Freeway lets it be known that he has support from everyone including those that are Christian & Muslim on this track. He also talks about being a responsible family man by taking care of his kids. I noticed within the first 5 tracks that there is a lot of growth from him and this is great news to hear from a big fan of his music.
All Falls Down
Living an opulent lifestyle can have anyone believing that the love that they’re receiving from everyone is genuine. It is when the person is going through a hardship that the true colors of the fraudulent people begin to showcase their intent. Free touches on the fact that his phone was barely ringing when he was going thorough kidney failure. He also talks about how a foolproof plan doesn’t always end up the way that one would think it would.
“You was the man ’til your plan foiled
Now you sittin’ in a can ’cause your man ain’t loyal
He’s sittin’ on a stand with his hand on the Bible
Confessing to the jury how you whipped it to the oils”
I hope that those who are dealing drug understand the types of risks that are involved. This is a decent track.
Life On The Line
A former woman that Free was involved with & hip-hop are the topics of discussion on this record. He lets the person know that although he checks in periodically with her, the love isn’t reciprocated. Freeway grew up on hip-hop and he’s disappointed in the direction that it’s taken. It’s lacking substance and isn’t getting the respect that “she” properly deserves. Another solid track to me.
Cocaine White (feat. Fat Joe)
This record is the usual rags-to-riches story. Free talks about growing up in the hood and the surrounding people not being able to get jobs because of their prior records
“The way I rose from the bottom, the people oughta pay me
Fried rice type, sugar water baby
From the hood, all my G’s got felonies
They couldn’t make it to the Army or the Navy”
Fat Joe comes through with the “dope” line informing people that anyone that gets in his way are getting stopped or pushed back
“This is business, never personal
Either they put you in park, or they reversing you”
Not a fan of this record personally. The chorus isn’t fitting.
All The Way Live
One of my favorites off the album. Produced by E^ST & Bizzness, I wouldn’t be too surprised of this one getting a lot of spins in the Philly nightclubs. There’s no extravagant lyricism here, just a good track to nod your head to. Free keeps at least one banger in the tuck.
Real One (feat. BJ The Chicago Kid & Kamillion)
Another feel good track that talks about real scenarios that plague the Black community. From not being able to find employment to Blacks being killed by police in the streets, Freeway lets it be known that he keeps his ears to the streets and provides a voice to those who aren’t able to speak out.
Swagger On Mayo (feat. Lil Uzi Vert)
Still not exactly sure what this means. Not a fan of the word swag, mayo, or Lil Uzi Vert’s lyrics on this record. But I do appreciate 2 Philadelphia artists being able to coexist on a track and bridging the gap between two generations together.
About You (feat. Johnny)
A showcase of his softer side, Freeway talks about the difficulties that he has with his woman and how he’s willing to fight for their relationship to work. Grown man music right here. Johnny from Johnny and the Hurricanes provides the hook. Not sure who he is but hopefully we get to see more work from him in the future
Freeway closes out the album with a track that highlights himself as being an artist that necessary to the culture. Now that he has the joint venture with Roc Nation, he’s letting everyone know that you’ll hear more of him more frequently. It’s a cool track to end the album with.
The Verdict Is In…
Think Free is a testament that a 17-year veteran can still make an album that’s current a caters to various audiences. Do you have your own review of the album? Comment below