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Exclusive: Freeway Talks About His Battle With Cassidy

In the 80s and 90s, Philly was known for producing some of the top DJs in the culture. DJs like Cash Money,  Miz and Jazzy Jeff set a standard that put “The City of Brotherly Love” on the map. If you were looking for a technician on the wheels of steel, you knew what city on the East Coast had them. Then the millennium rolled around, and Philly started to be known for something different. People started to finally zone in on the plethora of dope emcees being bred on those cheesesteaks, water ice and Frank’s sodas.

READ MORE: Beanie Sigel Ft. State Property; The Reunion

Roc-a-fella were one of the first to put a spotlight on these local rappers.

When they cultivated a crop of young lyricists, later known to the world as State Property, the Hip-Hop world took note. A movie, a clothing line and a new way of thinking and rhyme-flipping distinguished Philly from the pack of newbies cracking open the 2000s. A North Philly rapper by the name of Freeway was one of this crew’s top gunners.

Roc-a-fella was not alone.

Another Hip-Hop empire out of New York, Ruff Ryders, also identified Illadelphia as an incubator for rap music gold. They tapped a sexy shorty doo wop to be the darling of their crew named Eve. Eve came to the table, the pitbull in a dress, and did what few femcees have ever done at the time: She crossed over. But she also did that with the support of a whole team behind her. Features galore, she merged glamour and bars each time she took the mic. But there also was another: Cassidy.

READ MORE: The Ruff Ryders Announce a Reunion Show

When Cassidy signed to Ruff Ryders, he provided them with a different energy that shifted the Yonkers/ Bronx heavy energy that the label once had.

And this is where the magic starts.

The year was 2001 and Roc-A-Fella was on top of the world. The year prior, The Roc dropped Beanie Sigel’s classic The Truth, Memphis Bleek’s The Understanding, a compilation record with DJ Clue? and an album with Amil. 2000 proved to be a bankable year for The Roc, particularly with JAY-Z leading the pack with record that introduced State Property to the world, The Dynasty: Roc La Familia. This set up 2001 for an especially amazing year.

READ MORE: Neef Buck Dropped “Forever Do Me”; Album ft. Dave East, State Property & More

Clue? dropped another record. As did Beans… and history will reflect that JAY-Z solidified himself as an icon by releasing The Blueprint (let that breathe) and a live record with the illy Philly band, The Roots entitled JAY-Z: Unplugged. Needless to say Jay and Dame were stunting all over the place. And everyone wanted them… especially Hot 97’s number one radio DJ and tastemaker, Funkmaster Flex.

With an exclusive invitation up, The Roc took over the Flex show and one of the stars of the night was Philly Freeway. For almost 45 minutes, Freeway and his crew lit up the airwaves with bars after bars after bars. He killed it. But that might have bit him in the butt in the end.

The freestyle was a break from recording State Property record that included the entire crew: Beanie Sigel, Freeway, Young Chris, Oschino, Neef Buck, Omillio Sparks and Rell. That album produced the 2002 classic “Roc the Mic” that til this day sets it off.

READ MORE: Management for Freeway Confirms Successful Kidney Transplant

The energy around this night and the work that everyone knew was coming just a few months later, had JAY-Z on the phone (according to Freeway) stunting on Swizz Beatz.

While Freeway does not remember what was said, he did know that after that night they went back to the Bassline Studio for a quick moment to recoup. But shortly afterwards, he was whisked to another studio for another session. JAY-Z was like “Let’s go!”

They arrived at this studio and was met by Swizz Beatz, some members of The Lox and Cassidy (their new guy). Freeway says of that night:

“That was how it was back then. At any time, you would be called to battle. You had to be prepared to rap at any second. It didn’t matter where or who.”

When he walked in the room, he didn’t know Cassidy by face. But he “knew his name.”

“We knew who each other were. I knew him because he had a name for himself. He would call up Power 99, the radio station in Philly, and he would win all the freestyle contest on the air. There wasn’t social media like it is now and so, I didn’t know what he looked like. But I knew his name.”

Freeway and Beans had been battling all over the city. So it was likely that Cassidy, who is younger, would have know about them also. In fact they duo built them chemistry organically on the Philly battle circuit. Their first battle together was at a local teen club promoted by Philly legend Bobby Dance called “Dances.”

“I was in the crowd and was like let me rock with you. We been cool every since.”

But Cass and Free seemed to be on the opposite parts of each other’s world. Cass was at Central High School (one of the top schools in the city) and Free was in the cut. Without social media and acute geographical and neighborhood bias, their circles would not have met up.

“I believe the boah was from somewhere Uptown and I am from North Philly.”

Back to the studio… From The Roc, Beans, Chris and Freeway were repping. JAY picked Free.

And thus the history was made.

First Round: Cassidy rapped for a little over 1 minute. Freeway did almost 2.5 minutes.

Second Round: Cassidy rapped for a little over 2 minutes. Freeway did a little over 1 minute.

Third Round: Cassidy rapped for a little over 1 minute. Freeway did a little under 2 minutes.

Forth Round: Cassidy rapped for 1 minute. Freeway did a little under 2 minutes.

Fifth Round: Cassidy rapped for a little over 1 minute. Freeway did 2 minutes.

Sixth Round: Cassidy rapped for almost 2 minutes and the battle ended with Freeway asking for a beat to drop.

Freeway without doing a 6th round, rapped 52% of the battle.  To that point, some of his rhymes were from the early freestyle on the radio.

“I don’t want to sound like I am making an excuse, but I had been rapping all day. I don’t know what he was doing. After a while, I just went into my bag.”

Had he not been on Flex earlier, he would have probably had the rhymes in tow to go longer. Not only that, you can see there was a different mind frame that Freeway was in during this season. He was not focusing on battling, but more focused at the time being prepared for the freestyling that lead to a check. Also stylistically, they were different.

Cassidy had more punchlines and personal disses. As a rapper, I speak more personal, dealing with my reality and truth.”

It is true. As you watch the battle, Cassidy has a style most similar to battlers that break down and comes at their competition like a Lux, Mook, dare we say Goodz. Cassidy for all practical purposes is an opponent driven rapper, a style that is great for this current incarnation of battlers. Freeway, on the other hand had content that look at the complexity of urban life like a Shotgun Suge, Chess or T-Top.

READ MORE: Cassidy Returns to the Stage, But Remember When He Battled Freeway?

The vibe was intense that night, but what could be said was a victory for the hometown is that these two Philly rappers were the leading snipers for these big New York based rap crews. Paving the way for others like Meek Mill to take his place in the landscape of Hip-Hop elite… and for people like Troy “Smack” White.

Cassidy says that he basically started Battle Rap. I mean, then I can say that too. Smack and I have been friends forever and I freestyled and rhymed for him back in the day. Smack was every where getting every body rapping.”

“What they are doing now in the Battle Rap is incredible! I follow it.”

Some of the artists that Freeway actually likes may blow your mind.  As a follower, of course, he loves those who are typically on people’s Mt. Rushmore like Murda Mook, Lux, Hollow Da Don and Arsonal. But he also has a great appreciation for new stars like Geechi Gotti, Ave, Nu Jerzey Twork, Rum Nitty and T-Top. He not only is a fan, but friends with Brizz Rawsteen and Shotgun Suge. Two others that he keeps his eye on are John John Da Don and Tay Roc.

“I might come down if my schedule allows. I got a few shows around that time. If I can’t make it, I don’t have a problem buying the pay-per-view.”

READ MORE: Cassidy Returns To Battle Rap Vs. Goodz on SMACK/URLTV

Though Free is out on the road promoting his new album Think Free, the now Roc Nation artist shares a little more about commercial rappers that battle that simple was not captured on tape.

“I saw Cam’ron battle Tommy Hill. Cam won.”

Tommy Hill was another Philly flame-spitter and one of the founding members of the R.A.M. Squad, who was shot down and killed in 2011.

He also had a crazy battle with Queens Bridge vet, Cormega.

“Mega will probably say something different, but I won that one.”

The post Exclusive: Freeway Talks About His Battle With Cassidy appeared first on The Source.

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Layzie Challenges Migos To Battle Bone Thugs-N-Harmony To See Who’s Best

Members of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony and Migos are at odds. At the center of the developing tension are Layzie Bone and Offset. Twice this year, and most recently in an XXL interview, the Migos member declared that his trio is “the greatest group in the world to ever exist.” Previously, he had made similar claims, specifying that it was true of all genres of music. The Atlanta, Georgia rapper’s bold words come in a year when the YRN threesome achieved their second straight #1 album on the charts.

Layzie took umbrage with the claims and used several Instagram posts tagging Migos and its three members to let them know that they are no match for the legacy of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. “Nah homies, y’all ni**as [are] lil’ ni**as compared to [us],” said the Grammy Award-winning veteran MC out of Cleveland, Ohio. He added, “Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, we still all five live — Krayzie, Bizzy, Wish, Flesh and myself Layzie Bone — we the best, you dig?”

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony Tell Migos To Sit Down & Shut Up About Being The Best Rap Group

Offset responded, belittling L-Burna that he is incapable of putting serious money where his mouth is. The Quality Control/Capitol Records superstar joked that Layzie lacked a million dollars to make the wager.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

So here’s the OG that discovered @migos I will adjourn my case for today (unless a nigga push me) and let the music speak. I’m having fun…🥊

A post shared by Layzie Bone (@thereallayziebone) on

Today (December 18), Layzie pushed on, posting a 2017 video interview clip with Quality Control Music’s founders and the Rap Radar Podcast. In the video Pee, comparing Takeoff to Bone Thugs, and said that impressed him and partner Coach K to sign the group. Offset saw the social media post, and responded. He reiterated the financial narrative, suggesting “a bankroll challenge.”

A Video Traces The “Migos’ Flow” Back To Public Enemy, Bone Thugs & Biggie

Layzie has responded to Offset in the comments, calling him out as well as others like him, who put bills above skills. “Naw, ni**a, that’s what’s wrong with y’all ni**as: y’all think money equals respect. It doesn’t. This is a skills challenge: me against you, and my group against yours,” dubbing it the “Best Group Ever Challenge.” He urged, “Get [your] bars up, youngin’. You gone’ need that bread for early retirement, boy.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

I want y’all to see this shit @offsetyrn what nigga

A post shared by Layzie Bone (@thereallayziebone) on

Layzie posted the comment exchange, showing the public the discussion and attempting to take Offset (and Migos) to task.

Funk Volume Wagers $500,000 On Hopsin, Dizzy Wright & Jarren Benton Battling Any Label (Video)

As the social media war over “the king of R&B” pushes along, a very real debate and potential Rap Battle surrounding the greatest groups may be taking shape.

Members of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony and Migos are at odds. At the center of the developing tension are Layzie Bone and Offset. Twice this year, and most recently in an XXL interview, the Migos member declared that his trio is “the greatest group in the world to ever exist.” Previously, he had made similar claims, specifying that it was true of all genres of music. The Atlanta, Georgia rapper’s bold words come in a year when the YRN threesome achieved their second straight #1 album on the charts.

Layzie took umbrage with the claims and used several Instagram posts tagging Migos and its three members to let them know that they are no match for the legacy of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. “Nah homies, y’all ni**as [are] lil’ ni**as compared to [us],” said the Grammy Award-winning veteran MC out of Cleveland, Ohio. He added, “Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, we still all five live — Krayzie, Bizzy, Wish, Flesh and myself Layzie Bone — we the best, you dig?”

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony Tell Migos To Sit Down & Shut Up About Being The Best Rap Group

Offset responded, belittling L-Burna that he is incapable of putting serious money where his mouth is. The Quality Control/Capitol Records superstar joked that Layzie lacked a million dollars to make the wager.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

So here’s the OG that discovered @migos I will adjourn my case for today (unless a nigga push me) and let the music speak. I’m having fun…🥊

A post shared by Layzie Bone (@thereallayziebone) on

Today (December 18), Layzie pushed on, posting a 2017 video interview clip with Quality Control Music’s founders and the Rap Radar Podcast. In the video Pee, comparing Takeoff to Bone Thugs, and said that impressed him and partner Coach K to sign the group. Offset saw the social media post, and responded. He reiterated the financial narrative, suggesting “a bankroll challenge.”

A Video Traces The “Migos’ Flow” Back To Public Enemy, Bone Thugs & Biggie

Layzie has responded to Offset in the comments, calling him out as well as others like him, who put bills above skills. “Naw, ni**a, that’s what’s wrong with y’all ni**as: y’all think money equals respect. It doesn’t. This is a skills challenge: me against you, and my group against yours,” dubbing it the “Best Group Ever Challenge.” He urged, “Get [your] bars up, youngin’. You gone’ need that bread for early retirement, boy.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

I want y’all to see this shit @offsetyrn what nigga

A post shared by Layzie Bone (@thereallayziebone) on

Layzie posted the comment exchange, showing the public the discussion and attempting to take Offset (and Migos) to task.

Funk Volume Wagers $500,000 On Hopsin, Dizzy Wright & Jarren Benton Battling Any Label (Video)

As the social media war over “the king of R&B” pushes along, a very real debate and potential Rap Battle surrounding the greatest groups may be taking shape.

Source: AmbrosiaForHeads.com

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Pat Stay to Battle Tay Roc on URL’s Summer Madness 8 in London

Canada’s talented and imposing yet hilarious Pat Stay is set to battle URL’s top gunner, Tay Roc on SMACK/ URL’s Summer Madness 8. This card will be the league’s first ever abroad event held in London on Saturday, November 10th. Since the Don’t Flop (UK’s most dominant battle rap platform) hit a low a couple of years ago, leaving the British battle climate ripe to have other platforms emerge. One example is Canadian league King Of The Dot (KOTD), who has teamed up with Chalked Out to fill this gap. You know who is else looking to at least test the waters? SMACK/URL, the #1 English speaking league in the world.

Pat Stay ascension to the URL has been a long, patient road. Many believe it is overdue because he has put the work in. Stay has had classic battles on KOTD with many of the top battlers in the culture: Arsonal, Hollow Da Don, Dizaster, Head I.C.E, Math Hoffa, Charlie Clips, Daylyt, Bigg K, Serius Jones and a heated encounter with Calicoe. He has battled DNA on UDUBB, Aye Verb and Danny Myers on RBE, and both  John John Da Don and Tony D on the UK’s Don’t Flop. Battling artists that have been known to win on URL should give him insight on what to expect that Summer Madness stage (albeit a different dynamic as no one knows if the URL European fanbase differs across the pond).

If Pat Stay is able to have a strong performance versus Tay Roc next month, the demand for him to make his URL debut in America will be hard to ignore. And perhaps, we could expect to see him on a URL New York stage early next year. Pat Stay’s comedic ability is likely to play in his favor in England, but if Roc is able to get in his bag and rebuttal with unexpected jokes of his own it could hit twice as hard and turn the battle around possibly.

Anything can happen with these two.

While Tay Roc has proven over the years to be nearly unbeatable on URL in New York (having battled nearly every top name), some would say he has been less convincing on the road. His battle against Dizaster in LA was not his best performance. Also, despite being booed by an attentive and at times hostile Houston crowd when he battled Goodz, he still took away a 2-1 debatable win. Those domestic battles have done little to alter how anyone looks at Roc as a champion. But his battle against the Canadian born, Charron is one that people are pointing to as caution for The Gun Bar King. Tay Roc had a very difficult battle versus the KOTD/Wild ’N Out’s star on UDUBB.  Fans will look at Pat Stay and Charron as similar types of opponents. That would be pedestrian, as both emcees bring entirely different swag to the table. The only things that are similar is that they are funny, white and from Canada.

Another thing to note is that this will be his first ever international battle for Roc. And to go against the seasoned traveler Pat Stay will prove to be a difficult match-up, particularly in front of the much more neutral London crowd.

Salute to Tay Roc for taking a challenging and possibly awkward battle here. Roc has been developing his pen and pushing himself to be more than just the Gun Bar King. This battle represents a real opportunity for Roc to showcase the creative writing ability and personality.  Real Talk: despite his age, Roc is a bonafide vet, seasoned over the last 14+ years. Fans and critics need to remember that, as Roc’s superpower tends to make people cast him as the underdog. If Tay Roc is able to overcome what he has called himself his “biggest challenge yet” in a multi-faceted and adaptable Pat Stay in London, the case for Roc to be etched on Battle Rap’s Mt. Rushmore increases.

The announcement comes on the back of the Battle of Da Don’s headliner for Summer Madness 8, with Hollow Da Don set to face his name-sake nemesis in John John Da Don in what is sure to be a heated encounter and is long awaited. With only two battles announced to date for SM8, the card is already looking fire and has sent battle rap fans into a frenzy. It will be interesting to see how all the battle emcees adapt to an away URL crowd in London – now a long, long way away from New York’s home.

London fans, tickets available now from here to support the culture and allow battle rap to continue to develop. The Pay Per View is available as usual from http://www.watchbattlelive.com/

The post Pat Stay to Battle Tay Roc on URL’s Summer Madness 8 in London appeared first on The Source.

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