Freeway Talks New Album, Battling Cassidy and New Project with Just Blaze
There are a lot of new Philly rappers that people need to watch out for. What do you think of the new guys coming in? Is the scene motivating or influencing you?
It means a lot to me because I remember a point and time when it felt impossible to get a deal from Philly. When I was a young boy and I wanted to rap, it felt like it was impossible to get signed out of Philly. You hear the songs. People shout out New York! L.A.! Virginia! Compton! They never say Philly. They don’t even fuck with us. I know how people probably feel in little towns in the Midwest that nobody ever mentions. That’s how I felt in Philly at one time. But now, it’s booming. The whole new wave. Meek Mill. He’s got his Dreamchasers. Next girl to look out for, her name is Lee Mazin. She just dropped a mixtape called Lovelee and I am on there. We got a record together that is crazy. She’s on the come up. My man Chill Moody, he’s really doing his thing coming up in the city. Young Savage. Even Tone Trump, he’s got the situation with [Young Jeezy’s] CTE. He’s doing his thing. And a good thing about music now is everybody is not the gangster rapper. Everybody not shoot ’em up, bang-bang. You could be yourself. You could be original. You could really try to work hard at it. There’s a group called Ground Up that I did a couple records with out of Philly; they are doing their thing on the independent scene. And they actually sold out the TLA [Philadelphia venue Theater of the Living Arts] two times. I fuck with them. One thing about me is they be calling me “TLA Freezer.” Anytime anybody come to TLA to perform, I’m up there with them shutting it down.
With all the battle talk surrounding Meek Mill and Cassidy from the fans, many wanted to see Cassidy and Freeway go at it again. Would you ever return to the battle arena?
I don’t think so. That shit is risky. People still be talking about that shit ’till this day. I don’t really have nothing to gain from it. My passion is making good music and feeding the people my story. I got so much more to tell and so much more to say so that’s what I concentrate on. But I fuck with the battle circuit. I be going to the battles and everything. As far as me getting in there, I don’t think so. But that’s how I got on. When I said Roc-A-Fella pitbull, [that] was really me. Niggas come to the label trying to get signed and we would be in a room like this and niggas be rapping their heart out. And I be in there and Jay would be like giving me the head nod. I know plenty of people that wanted to murder me because I be killing they dreams. I was the guard dog at the joint. I really had to have my bars on deck because at any given time, a nigga could come to the office and get signed. And if they couldn’t get through me, then there’s no hope.
Some have also compared you and Meek Mill—you two have similar high-octane deliveries.
It’s all good. We are from the same city. [It’s] something in the water down there. The crazy thing [is] a lot of people be telling me the way how Meek got the city. They be like they haven’t heard it like that since when I first came out, when I first had it. [When] Philadelphia Freeway came out, every car was riding around playing Freeway. Every car. You couldn’t escape it. That’s how Meek got it right now. You can’t escape it. Not just Philly, everywhere. I am so proud of him because I’ve seen him come from the bottom to where he at now. I remember I was in his court case. I was in the courtroom with him when they were trying to give him all this time. And he only got 23 months. I was so happy for him because I knew it wasn’t over for him. I knew he had so much to give to the world and now he is doing it.
This is totally random, but I saw this on your Instagram and it threw me off. You want to hurry up and get married?
Oh, yeah. [Laughs] You know I am Muslim, right? In Islam, it’s half of your deen. You are not a complete man until you get married. I’ve done everything. “We been around the world twice, all we got is more ice and more nice,” like B.I.G. says. You know, [you] need that home base, man. I’m trying to get situated.