Freeway is preparing to release his upcoming full-length Diamond in the Ruff through Babygrande Records. The bearded MC enlisted longtime collaborators such as Bink! and Jake One. Fans should be excited to hear that Free is also working with Just Blaze again for the album. With only a few weeks until the November 27 release date, Free sat down with VIBE to discuss his reunion with Just, meeting Nas and more. Check out some excerpts below.
On reconnecting with Just Blaze for "Early":
I don't remember exactly when but I had reached out to him and apologized for everything that happened with me getting upset with him because he wasn't on my Free At Last album. That was childish of me. It was actually egged on by people around me. I got nothing but respect for Just. He did a lot for me for my career; he opened up a lot of doors for me, and gave me a lot of good records. He gave me a lot of good situations like the Mariah Carey record.
On how "1-900-Hustler" came together:
I remember just hearing it and knowing I had to at least try to record something. I was there when they were working on it, so they gave me the OK to go write my verse. I took it home to write to it, and when I came back to lay my verse, Jay was like ‘This is your introduction to the world so I got to make it special.’ He was like ‘I got you! Trust me.’ He put the little elevator music right before my verse came on, so it was crazy.
I remember my first time actually performing “1-900-Hustler.” It was a club in Philly called Pegasus. Beans and Bleek were doing a show and it just ended. My man’s cousin gave me the mic and was like ‘Do your verse off “1-900-Hustler” now’ and everybody was getting ready to leave off stage, but they went crazy when I spit my verse.
On meeting Nas after dissing him on "Ya Get Out":
Yeah I got a chance to meet him. Cool story, so everybody knows I dissed Nas a couple times when he was riding for Jay or whatever, but I always loved Nas’ music. But I was riding for the team no matter what. So we was at the video shoot for "Roc Boys" after he and Jay got cool. We were leaving out at the same time, so I stopped him and I was like 'Yo I love your music dawg' and he was like 'I love your music too.' So he gave me a pound and we embraced each other. I just seen him in Philly a couple weeks ago performing at the Electric Factory.
It hurt but it was like helping me be a man at the same time, like you do things that you don't want to do but you got to do it.