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Freeway: Free Will [PA] *

Track List

>Intro
>Addiction
>Hot as Ice
>I'm Back
>Highway - (featuring Rod)
>Kodak
>Illuminate
>Kane & Abel
>My Bm
>Bennie & Stella - (featuring Raheem DeVaughn)
>Work - (featuring Scholito)
>We Thuggin - (featuring Young Buck)
>Always Love You
>Legendary
>First Thing's First

Album Notes

Coming out the same year that Lil Boosie turned his kidney cancer into a fountain of creativity, MC Freeway used hip-hop as a cathartic outlet after suffering kidney failure, and the results are the bright and solid album Free Will. That bright bit might be the results of recording Broken Ankles, the 2014 EP he cut with vibrant mash-up producer Girl Talk, but there's also plenty of the fierce street talk that sounds like his 2016 mixtape Fear of a Free Planet, which just happened to feature conversations with the real gangster Rick Ross. "We Thuggin" with Young Buck is the best example of the latter as it sounds like David Banner had a bad day, rented a jackhammer, and we're all going to pay, but "Highway" comes close, giving the prosecution all they need with "got the product in a rental" while "right while you're listening, there's someone pushing white keys through your district" is all the reason the song needs to exist. The personal pours out on a number of cuts, and it's not necessarily kidney- or medical-related, although it does come from the angle of facing mortality and mopping up all the guilt you left behind. "Addicted" wishes it didn't pick a life of crime as "I was my poppa's favorite boy/Grow up to be like him/But I don't know what happen to me" weighs heavier than any gold chain the man could buy. "Hot as Ice" is the raw, 808-driven cut longtime fans want, and even the '70s-styled "Intro" deserves multiple spins, sounding as if the greatest Pam Grier movie is about to roll. Still, there's a whole lot of "I'm back!" talk pushed to the front, and a bunch of lyrics that suggest "y'all forgot" even after he just showed and proved. It's as if this is a needy mixtape, but that minor complaint aside, Free Will finds Freeway's great mix of cold and clever on the upswing, and packaged in a near perfect blend of old and new beats. ~ David Jeffries



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