When the parents of Roc La Familia split (your call as to who wore the pants), most of the Roc roster faded into deeper obscurity. Others in the Philly clique State Property kept grinding to keep their name in the streets, mainly Beanie Sigel and Young Chris of the Young Gunz. However, Freeway has arguably been on his deen the most, churning out a sequel to his debut earlier this year and the “Month of Madness” mixtape grind involving 30 songs in 30 days in late ‘08.
Stepping into the acting combat boots as well, Freeway recently reunited with some of his SP fam for the film What We Do to keep traces of the old dynasty alive by paying homage to his classic track of the same name. The emcee caught up with GIANT to discuss the project, along with the film’s director Tron Anderson, as well as moving forward and the current state of the Roc family ties, despite mom and pops being divorced (however Biggs fits into that equation).
GIANT: What do you make of the song’s legacy, Free?
Freeway: “What We Do” is definitely a big song that impacts a lot of people. I still perform it to this day and I still get the same reaction as the first day I performed it so I definitely feel like it’s a part of my legacy.
GIANT: So how did the film come about?
Tron: I’m a fan of Freeway and I loved the song so I came up with a concept inspired by the song. It spoke vividly of the struggle of what’s going on in the streets—family issues, brotherhood, hood values and all that.
GIANT: With a couple of films under your belt now, is acting a big part of your future plans, Free?
Freeway: Definitely. We’re gonna do What We Do Part 2 and we’re also working on another album called The Stimulus Package with [G-Unit producer] Jake One. We’re gonna do a Stimulus Package movie with the album sorta like what Jay-Z did with Streets Is Watching.
GIANT: What’s the theme behind The Stimulus Package and how will the movie then reflect that?
Freeway: The whole thing with the album is we’re bringing back real hip-hop. We’re what the game is missing right now. I’m not taking nothing away from nobody but we’re bringing it back to where hip-hop was when I was growing up and what I fell in love with in hip-hop and the movie is gonna revolve around that concept.
Tron: We’re gonna give the fans a bunch of vintage rap and visuals along with it, so you put the two together all in one package, making it a “stimulus package” for the common-folk.
GIANT: What is it about that you fell in love with back in the day that you wanna bring back?
Freeway: I just love the realness of it. I loved the fact that when people came out, they had to be hot for you to listen to them—it wasn’t no bunch of bullshit. Everybody couldn’t do it. It was conceptual—it made you think.
Tron: The dance part of it made me fall in love with it. The beats delivered a certain sound that made you break out into a break dance or “cabbage patch,” whatever the case was.
Freeway: And also, when I was coming up, big albums got you to remember what was going on at the time. When Snoop came out, you can remember the mood you were in and what was going on—the part of your life and the things that you was going through. Nowadays, rappers drop albums and it just don’t mean shit. If you wanna drop an album, it’s just another album out.
GIANT: There’s been talk of you signing with Cash Money. Will The Stimulus Package be your first release there?
Freeway: Nah, that’s gonna be on Rhymesayers. The Stimulus Package was already in motion before we started working on that. The Cash Money deal isn’t official yet.
GIANT: Despite Weezy’s success, Cash Money has lost most of its roster over the years. Why make the move over there?
Freeway: Basically, what it is is I got a relationship with Baby and I’m launching my own label called Free Money Records. I feel as though personally that Cash Money will be a nice home for it.
GIANT: What about the rumors of Roc Nation signing State Property? Have there been any discussions?
Freeway: I heard the same rumors. I communicate with Jay but as far as State Property being signed to Roc Nation, that’s definitely a possibility but it’s not official yet.
GIANT: Is SP still a united front?
Freeway: Yeah, definitely. We still all good. I was with Young Chris last night and Beans earlier in the week.
GIANT: What’s the relationship with Jay like right now?
Freeway: That’s Big Homey. Whenever I reach out to him, I get right at him. It’s all love.
GIANT: What about Dame?
Freeway: Dame’s cool, too. I haven’t talked to Dame in a couple months, but last time I talked to him, it was all love—he was doing his thing. Dame’s still good.
GIANT: And how are relations with Just Blaze, who produced “What We Do?”
Freeway: Just Blaze—he’s a good dude. He helped me a lot with my career. I haven’t talked to him in a minute but it’s all love with me and I’m sure it’s all love with him.
— Devin Chanda