Born Leslie Edward Pridgen on 6 August 1978, Freeway took his stage name after the drug lord “Freeway” Rick Ross. He grew accustomed to rapping by participating in freestyle battles in high school.
Roc-A-Fella numerous members, Just Blaze, Bink! and Kanye West produced Freeway’s debut album. Philadelphia Freeway charted at number 5 on the US billboard 200. After internal issues in the State Property group, Pridgen formed his own crew entitled Ice City. They issued the album Welcome to the Hood, which met with little recognition.
Freeway went on a hiatus due to crises of both professional and religious nature. He came back in the rap scene with the album Free at Last (2007). Next was the project Philadelphia Freeway 2 (2009), that reached number 14 on the Billboard US Independent Albums chart. In the same year, he recorded a song for the game Grand Theft Auto: The Lost and Damned.
Freeway made use of his creativity and around the year 2010, he announced a self-titled new clothing line. In addition, he founded his own label record called Free Money. The next album Diamond In The Ruff (2012) was rated 65/100 by Metacritic. It featured collaborations with artists such as Rick Ross and Black Thought. Freeway released the album Free Will in 2016 through Babygrande Records.
“Being part of the [Roc-A-Fella] dynasty, we set a standard so I know the next thing I put out gotta be better than the last thing that I put out so I approach everything with that mind frame. When I’m workin’ on an album, I like to get in zones and just keep going,“ Freeway declared in an interview with Billboard.
Photo Source: Discogs