Unmistakably embedded in the roots of Philly rap, Freeway, born as Leslie Edward Pridgen, has crafted an enduring legacy within hip-hop’s robust tapestry. Staggering around the braggadocio of street life, the introspection of his Islamic faith, the open-hearted contemplations of life in the ghetto, and hard-hitting bars, Freeway’s discography is a blueprint of persistence and proofs of survival. His distinctive, gravel-toned delivery, combined with a skill for hard-hitting, meaningful lyrics, have anchored projects like “Philadelphia Freeway” and “Free At Last”. Albums that don’t just bind together hits, but stitch narratives of his own evolution, cultural identity, and inescapable dichotomies of triumph and struggle that color the fabric of hip-hop.
From partnering with Jay-Z on Roc-A-Fella Records to collaborating with artists like Beanie Sigel and Mac Miller, Freeway’s work oscillates across a spectrum of moods and themes, ranging from the anthemic street symphony ‘Flipside’ to the introspective reflection of tracks like ‘What We Do’. But no matter what the beat, one thing has remained constant, Freeway’s unyielding commitment to raw, authentic storytelling. A trait that has made him not just an artist, but a scribe, penning verses that echo the pulse of an era, a city, a culture.
So let’s get into it. From ‘Roc-A-Fella Billionaires’ to ‘What We Do’, here are the Top 15 Freeway Songs: Best of All Albums.
15. Roc-A-Fella Billionaires
The lyrics ooze the ostentation of a successful rap career – Swiss banks, diamond watches, and stacks of paper. Freeway spits about turning “a nick to a dime, dime to some millions”, telling an essential hip-hop tale of rags to riches. It’s all tied together with a catchy, confident hook, “Hey, big spender,” drawing listeners into Freeway’s money-making world.
14. Don’t Cross The Line
His raspy delivery of “Be assured this ain’t the place to fall, just be cool, don’t cross the line” resonates with a universal surviving instinct, a common narrative in the urban battleground.
13. You Don’t Know (In The Ghetto)
This joint takes you on a gritty tour where Free’s rhymes oscillate between raw, introspective, and motivational. Lines like “we learn to make crack like a chemist, man, better yet a chem tech” serve as a gripping commentary on survival instincts forged in the crucible of the streets.
It takes listeners through the trials and tribulations, the ups and downs, which he articulates with a storytelling prowess. His lyrics, “We thuggin’ for life gonna take it/ And then enough ain’t no mistakin’/But it’s for life, it’s my life/Not for the taking,” encapsulate the essence of his life—an unyielding dedication to survival in an unforgiving world, and the refusal to surrender control over it.
11. P.A. (feat. Mac Miller)
With Mac Miller, this joint reveals Freeway at his rawest. The Philly spitter, with the late Mac Miller in tow, keeps it 100 over an old school beat that slaps hard. Freeway’s flow is unrelenting as he drops bars about street life and ambition, perfectly captured in the lyric, “From the ghetto where dudes reach for their goals.” Mac’s verse adds extra heat, demonstrating why he was one of the most celebrated talents before his untimely departure.
10. Blood Pressure
The hard-hitting bars are filled with introspection and social commentary, touching on topics like systemic oppression, violence, and the struggle for survival. Freeway, being Freeway, doesn’t pull any punches, painting a picture that’s as raw and real as the streets that forged him.
9. She Makes Me Feel Alright
His verse, “Got her heart beating fast like the music/She trapped in the rhythm like a mule kick,” encapsulates his intense affection for his lady while playing with typical hip-hop tropes. He narrates a larger-than-life love story rooted in mutual understanding, demonstrating his ability to blend personal narratives with universal themes.
8. Throw Your Hands Up
The Philly artist serves some rapid-fire verses about his journey in the hip-hop game, with the chorus urging everyone to “throw your hands up in the sky and wave ‘em side to side.” Freeway’s visceral storytelling and insider knowledge of the streets are on full display here, elevating the cut to classic status.
7. All My Life
The streetwise spitter reflects on his struggle, rhyming with a grim determination that’s as heart-rending as it is inspiring. It’s a testament to his resilience and an ode to everyone who’s been on the grind, hustling all their life, providing a fascinating glimpse into his world and the everyday experiences that have shaped his reality.
This track produced by Bink! has lines like, “we undergone the pressure long enough it’s time we bust,” expressing his resolution to thrive, not just survive, despite adversities. It’s a poignant testament to his resilience and perseverance immortalized in verse.
He uses the metaphor of freedom to represent his fight for artistic expression and creative control. His lyrical prowess and the deeper undertones of the track highlight his understanding of the complexities of the music industry and life in general.
4. Full Effect
The rhymes are uncompromising, with Free laying it down like an OG, schooling the new jacks on how to master the game, and keep their hustle in ‘full effect’. His near-braggadocio realness and dedication to street code convert this track into a raw testament of the artist’s street cred.
3. Take It To The Top
Laced with bars about aspirations and struggles, he chills us with the line, “bottom of the pot mix the soda with the yola then take it to the top.” He paints the tumultuous journey of a dope boy determined to rise above his circumstances, crafting a stirring narrative that resonates deep within the hip-hop ethos.
The lyrics, filled with clever wordplay and gritty street narratives, exhibit Freeway’s ability to craft vivid images of urban life. It is a microcosm of his broader hip-hop ethos, focused on authenticity, resilience, and the unvarnished realities of the ‘hood.
1. What We Do
Free’s bars encapsulate the struggle and perseverance of the hood, laying bare the complexities of survival: “even though what we do is wrong”. The track stands as a grim yet eloquent depiction of street life, making it unforgettable in the annals of hip-hop history.