Lovable Rappers

People like Method Man. They like U-God. They like GZA. But with all due respect to his Wu-affililates, folks LOVE Ghostface. Ghost’s crime-ladden tales have always been glued together by his vulnerability and insecurity. Whether it’s his weeping for famished children in Africa or his diabetes, Ghost’s narratives have always been fully-loaded and brutally honest metaphors delivered through his coarsely extemporaneous flow.
In general, rappers just aren’t lovable. However, I hypothesize that a few albums from his current effort, Freeway will be the next rapper that people heart. Often off-rhythm and always willing to sacrifice a syllabically perfect word-match in favor of a deeply rooted reflection, The Stimulus Package suggests that Freeway is steadily forming his reputation based on his perfect imperfections. Over Jake One’s bold organs on “Follow My Moves”, Freeway’s voice cracks as he nervously compares and contrasts his life’s dichotomizing economic stages*. On “Free People” Jake One primarily ditches the percussion so the Philly-born rapper can pound Virginia Woolf-esque thoughts off of the top of his brain and have them be the center of attention. Meanwhile, Freeway’s jittery flow juxtaposes near perfectly with the always steady Bun B on “Sho’ Nuff.” Even the lackluster tunes like the cliche “Microphone Killa” are primarily saved by Freeway’s lyrical sparring with Jake One’s horn-heavy production.
When Freeway spits fierce testaments pertaining to his ascent in the city of Brotherly Love and all of the tumult that stained his tenure with Jay-Z and Co. he’s never afraid to gush. Maybe I’m gullible, but Freeway is earning my trust. If–a few albums from now–he wanted to drop a soul album, which preceded an action figure, I’d probably buy into it.

Freeway feat. Bun B-“Sho’ Nuff”

Freeway-“The Product”

*it’s also interesting to note that Birdman appears on “Follow My Moves.” I didn’t do any research but I’m willing to wager that this is the first time Birdman has appeared on a Rhymesayers-distributed album. I’m sure the hard-line backpackers cannot be thrilled with this, though I assume they do love Jake-One(surely one of RS’s consistent bread-winners) so they’ll make a concession. This dynamic would probably be similar to a pitbull going to a tea party hosted by house-cats.

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