Personnel: Freeway, Jay-Z, Beanie Sigel, Nate Dogg, Peedi Crakk, Nelly, Snoop Dogg, Young Gunz, Sparks (rap vocals); Mariah Carey, Faith Evans, Allen Anthony (vocals); Just Blaze (various instruments).
Producers include: Kanye West, E-Bass, Ruggedness, Bink, Just Blaze.
On PHILADELPHIA FREEWAY, rapper Freeway debuts with an enigmatic, instantly recognizable vocal style that eschews the gruff, slurring, tough-guy shouting of many gangsta hip-hop artists in favor of a punchy, higher-pitched style that often recalls the Old School pioneers. Don't be fooled, though--there aren't any block party anthems here; this is aggressive, hardcore stuff. Freeway has a take-no-prisoners approach that often sounds like a fist in the face. Just Blaze's production matches perfectly, using beats that contain elements of jungle to give each track a manic intensity. Standouts include "On My Own," for which Nelly provides a characteristically hooky chorus that imprints itself on the listener's brain after a single listen, and "Life," which uses an Eddie Money (!) sample to paint an unnerving picture of ghetto survival.
- RSD Release Date: DDD
- Format: Vinyl
- Released: 3/4/2003