It’s been roughly a decade since the world recognized Roc-A-Fella Records as the strong hip-hop unit it once was in the late ’90s and early aughts. The estrangement of the two figureheads — Dame Dash and Jay Z — produced a trickle-down effect that left some of the most skilled artists finding new homes for their work.
However, in the midst of the chaos, Philadelphia rapper and Roc alum Freeway has always maintained peace with everyone involved. That has proven to provide great returns, as Freeway just announced his joint venture deal with Roc Nation and his own imprint Newrothchilds.
Freeway will once again be making and releasing music with the man who put him on almost a decade and a half ago. However, he has managed to sustain a fruitful career as an independent artist and spokesperson for a number of causes. Here, he talks to Billboard exclusively about his return to the Roc and how his longevity in the game is fueled by his hustle and devotion to Islam.
Billboard: How did the situation with Jay Z come up in signing with Roc Nation?
Freeway: We’ve always maintained a good relationship with Jay and everybody over there. We did the B-Sides concert with him — I think that was probably like two years ago. When I was there with him, I gave him some music, just continuing the grind and everything. He was f–king with the music, and everything was all good. So then when I saw him again backstage at the Beyonce concert in Philly, I was like, “Man listen, Jay. I need this. I’m ready! I need this.” He was like, “It’s nothing. Let’s get it done!” And that’s it!
Really? Just like that?
Yeah, he was just like, “Let’s get it done.” Of course, there was a process getting it done afterwards, just like it is with everything. But you know, we got it done. It’s such a blessing.
Continue reading the interview at Billboard.