Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Review: Freeway - Free At Last


In 2003, Freeway dropped one of the craziest tracks I've ever heard in hip-hop, "What We Do." The beat is still nice years later, and I find myself still bopping my head to it. When he came out, Freeway got a fair amount of buzz, alot of it focussing on his being a practicing Muslim. (That focus was a little strange, since rappers from RZA to Mos Def have been forthcoming about being Muslim.)

After four years of mixtape and guest appearances, Freeway has come back with his sophomore effort, Free at Last, an album that is itself very sophomoric. The production is top notch throughout the album, but the content is average. The stand out track is the obvious next single"Take It To The Top," where 50 Cent shows up to croon an R&B verse to an 80s beat that sounds it could have been part of the Grand Theft Auto: Vice City soundtrack. A shout out to the ladies, "Take It To The Top" is the exception in an album chock-full of the tired subgenre of gangsta rap.

It's hard to live up to Freeway's fellow Roc-a-fella rappers like Beanie Sigel and Jay-Z, and this may end up being sandwiched between Jigga's classic American Gangster and Beanie Sigel's upcoming The Solution. Freeway's high voice tends to grate on the ears after a while.

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