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REVIEW: Freeway, The Beat Made Me Do It

Freeway
The Beat Made Me Do It

Beats: XL
Lyrics: XL
Originality: L

Two years ago, Freeway was at a dead end. After his successful 2003 debut, Philadelphia Freeway, he disappeared before reemerging in 2007 with his overlooked sophomore project, Free At Last, during the final days of the Roc-A-Fella dynasty.

Fortunately, the raspy-voiced Philly rapper spent much of 2008 and 2009 building his buzz on the Internet to make sure his days weren’t numbered, as well. On his latest mixtape, The Beat Made Me Do It, hosted by DJ Don Cannon, Free recruits former G-Unit beatsmith Jake One to produce a prequel to their upcoming collaborative album, The Stimulus Package. And while TBMMDI doesn’t give away everything they have in the vault (all but four of the 19 songs come in at well under three minutes), it’s easy to hear that Jake One’s soulful selections provide the perfect backdrop for Freeway’s gritty delivery.

On “Feet On The Ground,” Jake flips the same Womack & Womack sample used on 8Ball & MJG’s 1993 classic “Pimps” as Free explains how he’s balanced hustling and rap to be successful. Likewise, Jake’s production on the sample-laden “Someone Knocking” is slow and harrowing—a splendid contrast to Free’s aggressive robbery tales. And “All By Myself” defines the working relationship that the producer and MC have: “We don’t need nobody help and we don’t need nobody else/To move this package, good business, Jake send it and I kill it,” Free raps.

The mixtape isn’t without its flaws, though. A lack of choruses leaves Freeway left to plod through the backend of the tape. It also finds him rapping his way through tired topics a little too often. “If I,” for instance, features Free asking women if they’d still be down if he had a different occupation. Still, after all the work he’s put in, TBMMDI is cohesive enough to make The Stimulus Package sound like a very lucrative idea. —Chris Yuscavage

  • General

    I’ll have to check this one out for sure. I thought his Free At Last was vastly overlooked. I still listen to that CD and I think that him and Jake One have a good chemistry with the shit they put out together…

  • Nike Addict 707

    freeway’s music is good, but c’mon, he looks like he’s on amish or somethin’ on this cover. lol

    • Nehemiah

      LOL Ive never seen any Black Amish before but if I did he probably would! I know he Muslim right?

  • http://www.spitboss.com KLAP215

    Can’t wait 2 buy this! I still keep playing FREE AT LAST it’s a classic to me! JAY-Z dropped the ball by not adding FREEWAY to ROC NATION!

  • Tiiz

    The hooks on this tape gave me a headache

  • Seatown

    Free and Jake One been a good callabo. The Seattle Times just did an interview with Jake…he’s one of Dre’s in house producers now. Nice to see him gettin some shine.

  • InfamousO

    What’s really hood? It’s the Infamous O and I’m back hustling mixtape reviews on a new corner. Sandman’s Heart of The City mixtape is the 1st. To my old fans welcome back and to my old haters i’ve missed the shit outta y’all!

    http://globalgrind.com/content/1158748/Mixtape-Review-Ex-ReUp-Gangsta-Sandman-Returns/

    • http://www.spitboss.com KLAP215

      Whats good O!??!!! Where u at 52nd and Marketst? Sandman thats my nigga… Sandcannon hosted PHILLY REMEMBERS BIG PUN NIGHT IN 2004! HOLLA@ME!

  • hallo

    what the fuck happenede to O’s mixtape massacre??? please bring him back, XXL reviews sucks nowadays… bums me out his blog just disapeared like that, I liked his reviews more than the other blogs on your site. Dude knew how to write, and he was funny. Not like every other review you read, shits looks the same.
    BRING BACK O!

  • js416

    so hes amish?

    • KLAP215

      FREEWAY IS MUSLIM , FREEWAY IS NOT AMISH FREEWAY IS MUSLIM!

  • hallo

    good news – big up O!

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