Philadelphia rapper Freeway first burst out into the scene back in 2003 during Roc-A-Fella’s records glory days. He debuted with the stellar Philadelphia Freeway, and continued his rap frenzy with Free At Last. Leslie “Freeway” Pridgen is definitely known for his ways with words paired with rollercoaster rhyme schemes. He’s able to tell you his life story with a five-minute long verse, and it’s impressive.
The 39 year-old recently made a pit stop at Hot 97’s Funkmaster Flex show where he stepped into the coveted freestyle booth, and gave the masses an almost 10 minute freestyle. During the rap session, he spoke about everything from his health scare with kidney failure to growing up in the grimy streets of North Philadelphia. Everything he touches upon is personal, and its delivery is seamless.
“It’s a new day I got some sh*t to tell ya/I got my sh*t together I suffered kidney failure/And my boy locked up I wouldn’t get to bail him/if he wasn’t upstate I wouldn’t get to mail him/ grew up in the trap crack paraphernalia/,” he rapped.
However, this isn’t the first time the Philly artist has been open about his health struggles. In an interview with why.org he revealed how he found out he had kidney failure, and a frightening time onstage at the Made in America festival in 2015 where he could barely perform due to the pain.
“Before I perform, I always get nervous. It’s just part of being an artist,” he began. “But I never felt how I felt that day…I felt like I couldn’t do it.”
Later that day, he was ushered to a hospital where the doctor diagnosed him with kidney failure. Additionally, he also suffers from high blood pressure. For him, it was pivotal to be transparent about his illness to his fan base; not knowing the effect it would have on them.
“When I came out with my story, you’d be surprised how many people came to me – it was people that I dealt with at least a couple times a month – that had kidney failure. I didn’t even know. They never said nothing to me or told nobody,” he said. “It’s a disease, you know, and ain’t nobody running around saying I got a disease and I’m sick.”
Watch his full sonic confessional above.