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On The Road To Allah

Arguably one of last year's brightest hip hop moments was when Jay-Z brought all of his signees to Funkmaster Flex's Hot 97 program for a massive freestyle session.
Κείμενο Busta Nut

Arguably one of last year’s brightest hip hop moments was when Jay-Z brought all of his signees to Funkmaster Flex’s Hot 97 program for a massive freestyle session. Although Beans and Bleek did their thing, it was a then -unknown kid named Freeway who stole the show with endless flows, raw wordplay, unorthodox rhyme schemes, and an incredible voice. He sounded like Ghostface on crack. I thought he was literally crying on the mic. Heads all over started bumping Free’s freestyles like they were new songs, and his cameos on Jigga and Beanie Sigel’s albums made him a sure contender for the rap rookie of 2002 title. Meanwhile, all I wanted to know was why he rocks the Osama beard. When asked to drop the science behind the Black Amish look, the young Philly thug delivered a heartfelt, albeit candid reflection on rap and faith.


VICE: First off, tell me what’s up with the full beard? It that some Philly shit?


: Nah, see I’m Muslim. I just came back from doing a photo shoot for Roc-A-Wear in Arizona and every time I go to the airport they be checking me real hard, making me take my shoes off and all that shit.

You talk a lot about religion in your rhymes, but not in the same way certain so-called ‘conscious rappers’ do it.

That’s a part of my life, so I can’t leave it out. Like in that Beanie joint [“Think It’s a Game”, off The Reason]: “Purpose of man: worship Allah then you die.” That’s what I believe is the whole purpose of life. You’re here to worship God, then you die and hopefully your good deeds outweigh your bad deeds and you make it to Heaven. In Islam there’s something called being on your deen. When you’re on your deen (having faith) that’s when you’re doing everything you’re supposed to do. You pray five times, you don’t get high, you don’t drink. So like me being from the ‘hood and everything, it’s a lot of people just like me that’s young, that know they Muslim and that pray, but they’re still caught up in the streets. They caught up in the dunya (the world).

Are you on your deen?

Not right now. See, my whole goal is this music thing. I always wanted to do it since I was little and I’m good at it. So let me get in there for a minute and let the whole world hear what I got to say. If God gives me enough time, if I don’t get killed or nothing, I want to raise my family. I want to be on my deen and live the rest of my life like a Muslim.


Freeway on the State Property

album, out now on Criminal Records/Roc-A-Fella