Interview: Freeway And The Jacka Share A Common Bond On ‘Highway Robbery’

Despite what set, hood or coast one calls home — real recognize real. That’s why Philadelphia and Bay Area native, Freeway and The Jacka, respectively, have been collaborating and mobbing together for about a decade now.

Free and The Jacka recognized their musical and spiritual bond after they linked in the studio in 2002. Since then, the pair of MCs recorded a slew of material, which birthed their first collaborative LP, Write My Wrongs (2013). Most recently, the duo released their sophomore album, Highway Robbery. While promoting their 16-track LP, Free and The Jacka came through VIBE’s office to chop it up about balancing music and religion, the future of State Property and Mob Figgaz, Beanie Sigel and C-Bo and their latest project.

What’s good fellas? First off, I wanna say that “Sunnah Boy” is dope. I like that.
Jacka: I appreciate it.

How did y’all meet? One wouldn’t expect a Philly cat and Bay Area cat to link up like this.
Jacka: We met in like 2002 or 2003. Freeway came to the Bay and I was working on a solo project. I reached out to him. He got on one of the tracks. And, we just kept in contact. Really, he was hella cool. I would see him in different places and we just clicked.

That says a lot about you Free. In 2003 you was rolling with the hottest label in the game.
Freeway: Yeah, but I just connected with Jacka. It was organic. Once that vibe is there you roll with it.

So, Jack. What up with Mob Figaz? Will ya’ll get back into the studio?
Jacka: We’ve been recording. C-Bo just came home. He’s going to want tracks from us. But, he the type that like, when he want it, he wants it complete. But, he just came home, so he chilling with his family now.

Free, what about State Property?
Freeway: Yea, me, Chris and Neef have been recording. We’ve been in the studio.

How many songs do y’all have?
Freeway: We got like six or seven songs.

Have you spoke to Beans?
Freeway: Yeah, they just moved Beans to a halfway house. So, he chilling.

What did ya’ll talk about? Is he in good spirts?
Freeway: He’s in good spirits. It’s all love. He just ready to come home.

Do you know when he’s getting out the halfway house?
Freeway: It’ll be soon.

No doubt. So, tell me about the album, Highway Robbery.
The Jacka: Actually, those songs are from like 2006, 2008. We’ve recorded so much material together that we had to do something with all these songs. We released a project last year called Write My Wrongs. It was the same thing. We had all these tracks that we didn’t want to waste.

So, these songs are from about six years ago? Damn, you can’t tell.
The Jacka: We wasn’t’ going for a certain sound or nothing like that. The album is timeless.

What’s you favorite song from the album?
Freeway: Mine is “Gun Language.”

That hook is deep, which brings me to another question. How do you two balance music and music?
Freeway: There’s the haram. It’s something that’s not lawful in sharia. But, most of the scholars agree that music is haram. And, all I’m trying to do is be a good Muslim. Everything I do I try to do.