When it comes to the hardcore rap scene, few artists have brought as much intensity, authenticity, and lyrical prowess as Philly’s own Freeway. Born Leslie Edward Pridgen, Freeway has been a consistent force in hip-hop since his introduction as a vital piece of the legendary Roc-A-Fella roster. This rap prodigy’s discography is diverse, delivering fans a series of albums that rove from gritty street anthems to contemplative meditations on life.

Starting with his debut “Philadelphia Freeway” in 2003, Freeway began carving an indelible stamp on hip-hop culture, offering a unique exhibition of raw emotion, gritty narratives, and aggressive beats. As we traverse through albums like the piercing “Freeway” or the reflective “Write My Wrongs”, we uncover facets of his creative genius that continue to evolve. And with projects like “The Beat Made Me Do It” or the audacious “Free Will”, Freeway leaves no stone unturned, balancing commercial appeal while sustaining a robust lyrical pedigree.

Emblematic of the potent Philly scene from which he hails, his works such as “Respect” or the revisited classic “Philadelphia Freeway 2” as well as the recent “Think Free”, epitomize his commitment to the genre and his relentless pursuit of artistic progression. Amidst these illustrious releases, one should turn a keen ear towards the intriguing “Legendary” and the ever-revitalized “Philadelphia Freeway 2 (Deluxe Edition)”.

So let’s get into it. From raw beginnings to a legacy spanning nearly two decades and spun out dozens of albums, so we’ve narrowed it down to the Top 7 Freeway Albums ranked.

7. The Intermission

Released: 2014

Label: Babygrande Records, Inc.

Features: Meek Mill, Doc, State Property, Yo Gotti, Mon. E.G., Chic Raw, Freddie Gibbs, Fred the Godson, Trae Tha Truth, Wale, Slim, Clemmye

The Philadelphia MC flexed on the mic, showcasing his unmatched lyrical dexterity and gritty delivery, a recipe that had written his name in the annals of the City of Brotherly Love’s hip-hop history. True to its title, the album served as a pause between his major works, a moment to refuel the hunger for his artistry while stoking the fires of anticipation for his next moves. Echoes of Roc-A-Fella golden era could be found throughout the album, with Freeway keeping the flames of the iconic legacy alive. While it didn’t shake the charts like his debut, “The Intermission” was a testament to Freeway’s undiluted essence and his refusal to compromise his sound for industry trends. A brick in the edifice of his career, “The Intermission” underscored the MC’s endurance and the timeless allure of his brand of hip-hop.

6. Write My Wrongs

Write My Wrongs

Released: 2014

Label: Babygrande Records, Inc.

Features: The Jacka, Roblo, DJ Toure, Erk Tha Jerk, Phil Da Agony, Adam Sampler, Husalah, Lee Majors, Tynethys, Fed-X, DJ Child, Hollow Tip, T-Wayne, Pakslap

5. The Beat Made Me Do It

The Beat Made Me Do It

Released: 2014

Label: Babygrande Records, Inc.

Features: Jakk Frost, Beanie Sigel

With this joint, he proved that his craft was far from diminishing. The album resonated with a harder, grittier vibe, showcasing a deeper engagement with the struggles of urban life. Freeway’s bars remained tight and potent, spitting truths with an intensity that refuses to be ignored. “The Beat Made Me Do It” is a collection of street anthems driven by heavy beats and dense narratives, highlighted by the raw, piercing honesty of his delivery. Despite its lack of chart-topping hits, the album stands as a testament to the importance of storytelling in hip-hop. It might not have brought him commercial success, but the emcee from North Philly delivered a record that kept the essence of hip-hop: the beat and the story. Every track was a pulsating testament to the journey he’s been on in the hip-hop game.

4. Respect

Respect

Released: 2023

Label: Rekaya Music

The latest release from Freeway that garnered attention from loyal fans to bring it this high on the list, but it fails in comparison to his earlier works.

3. Free Will

Free Will

Released: 2016

Label: Babygrande Records, Inc.

Features: Rod, Raheem DeVaughn, Scholito, Young Buck

“Hot as Ice” and “First Things First” present Freeway’s raw, guttural approach — his lines are mired in the struggles of street life and the relentless march to success. It’s a record that doesn’t shy away from displaying his emotional vulnerability, offering glimpses into personal battles. Beneath the surface-level bravado, the album offers profound reflections on survival and self-determination, embodying his mantra of free will. Production-wise, it stays true to the classic East Coast boom bap aesthetic, a comfortable platform for Freeway’s gritty lyricism. His flow is signature — piercing and intense, cathartic in its realness. While “Free Will” didn’t claim the commercial heights of his previous works, it nonetheless stands as a witness to Freeway’s undying passion for hip-hop, emphasized by his potent lyricism and raw delivery.

2. Think Free

Think Free

Released: 2018

Label: New Rothchilds / Roc Nation

Features: Lil Wayne, Jadakiss, Faith Evans, Fat Joe, BJ The Chicago Kid, KaMillion, Lil Uzi Vert, Johnny

After battling health issues, Freeway crafted a project soaked in wisdom and resilience, enlisting heavy-hitters like Lil Wayne and Jadakiss to back him up. The production was polished yet soulful, a nod to the early 2000s sound that Freeway helped pioneer. It was more than just a comeback; it was a reclaiming of his throne, a reminder that flow and lyricism never age out. Yet, “Think Free” isn’t without its flaws. The features often overpower Freeway’s own performances, and some tracks lack the raw energy of his previous works. Despite these shortcomings, the album stands as a critical piece of Freeway’s discography, a testament to his tenacity and his unwavering insistence on his own relevance and impact in the ever-evolving hip-hop landscape.

1. Philadelphia Freeway 2

Philadelphia Freeway 2

Released: 2015

Label: Real Talk Entertainment

Features: Sheek Louch, JAY-Z, Beanie Sigel

This joint, y’all, ain’t just a sequel, it’s an ode to the gritty, raw, and relentless sound that defined the City of Brotherly Love. Rightfully so, Freeway leans heavy into his street narrative, delivering on his lyrical promise to keep it 100, whether it’s over the hard-hitting beats of “Crack Music” or the introspective reflections on “Street Life”. The album stands as a testament to Freeway’s perseverance in the game, even when commercial success ain’t necessarily in the bag. It may not have topped charts or sold millions, but it made a point, declaring Freeway’s undying commitment to his roots and his refusal to compromise his sound for mainstream appeal. It’s a salute to the pulse of the streets, the ethos of the underdog, and the spirit of Philadelphia hip-hop – no holds barred, straight no chaser.