Fresh off joining the rest of State Property at JAY Z’s B-SIDES concert this weekend, Freeway is back with a new video. Dedicated to Freddie Gray, “Illuminate” follows Philly Freezer during his time in Baltimore and Washington, D.C. – from visiting Gray’s family to attending a Town Hall meeting and marching through the streets.
Debuted by BET, Free also spoke with them about meeting Freddie’s family, the tragedy of street violence and the possibility of a Roc reunion. Check out a few quotes below and peep the full conversation here.
What made you want to head down to Baltimore to get a feel for the climate right now in the wake of the Freddie Gray situation?
Well, you know, first and foremost, it’s f**ked up what’s going on with the brutality and everything. I’m definitely familiar with police brutality because in Philadelphia the cops killed my first cousin Raheem Pridgen. They said he had a gun on him, but he didn’t have a gun on him. It still affects my family to this day. So I’m familiar with the issues. Plus, throughout my career, Baltimore has always been a heavy supporter of not only Freeway, but Roc-A-Fella Records. I would always go down there. There’s also a lot of people down in Baltimore that I care about, that I feel close to, so I thought it was important for me to go down there and lend my voice.
Talk to me about what happened when you met the Gray family.
It was, you know, surreal. I got there early in the morning before the cameras and security and all that was out there. I went to their hood, I went to their projects. I was with Freddie’s cousin, godbrother. I walked through their neighborhood and listened to some of the issues that they had. Basically, it was just talking to the people. It was good to get their point of view of everything, telling me how the media was blowing everything up making it seem like just a bunch of people going crazy. They were telling me that, if you notice, the main thing that the people were stealing when they were looting was basic necessities. Like, they were stealing clothes and water and food — stuff that they need.
Let’s switch it over to something really positive: seeing the whole Roc on that stage last night. How did that feel?
Aw man, it felt like a million bucks. It was a great feeling to be back out there with my brothers and rock out with the fam. It almost brought a tear to my eye. That was the foundation that I built my career on. It was a great feeling. I know the fans appreciate it, because everywhere I go they ask, “Wassup with the Roc? When are y’all getting back together? When y’all doin’ this? When y’all doin’ that?” So for us to get back together to perform was a great thing.
So is this the end? Are you guys going to try and do more?
I mean, just stay tuned. Hopefully we get some more in, and hopefully this is the relaunch of a Dynasty. Hopefully. [laughs] I’m pushin’ for it!