June 06, 2019

Freeway "Next" Feature in Vibe Magazine (June, 2002)

Freeway is ironing his jeans quietly, but he is anything but calm. He's in his room at the Time hotel in Manhattan prepping for his debut on BET's 106 & Park, where he and Beanie Sigel are scheduled to perform their breakout hit, "Roc the Mic." The Timberlands he requested are nowhere to be found, and Freeway, 23, is visibly upset... Born in West Philly, Freeway got his name because he moved keys through traffic. "There's a lot of people where I'm from who are Muslim and are caught up in the streets," he says. "In their hearts, they want to get themselves together, and that's the same situation that I fell into." Freeway's urgent rhyme style -- complete with occasional nods to the most high -- can be heard throughout the State Property album. Beanie Sigel's brainchild, State Property is a Philly crew that also includes rappers Oschino, Sparks, Young Chris, and Neef. "He ain't doing what everybody else is doing," says Roc-A-Fella CEO Jay-Z, who's backstage at the 106 & Park taping. Freeway's mentor, Beanie Sigel, has believed in him since they met at Philly's Dances Entertainment Center in 1997. "When I was about to sign with Roc-A-Fella," says Sigel, "I let Free know that, once I got my foot in the door, I'd come back and scoop him up. I didn't know if he believed me, but I got on, and everything was rollin'." It still is. Just as Freeway is about to go on stage, the Timbs arrive, and Jay-Z offers him some words of wisdom: "Lace your boots up -- get ready for war." That war may not always be righteous, but it will certainly be raw. - Vibe (6/02).