20060413

At Last

Freeway: What You Know About Dat
Freeway: I Never Testified
G-Unit Radio #19 - Rep Yo Click

Let's keep this short: Free’s a fickle listen. Even though he’s on hella pneumatic breath patrol, he needs a very specific sound for his rhymes to work. “I Never Testified” and “What You Know About Dat” are two of the best milks on his new tape, but they’re still lacking something. The beats for Tip Harris’ hit and Kanye West’s smash are undeniable in grandeur and specificity. They’re designed for the artists that rap over them and immediately became a part of said artist’s identity. Free needs breathy soul vocals to match his exhale (“What We Do”). He need’s crunching snares and cymbal splashs (“Come Again”). He needs organs (“Line ‘em Up”). He needs a specifically East Coast sound (Philly, WHATEVER) -- that inexplicably inimitable Roc-A-Fella sound (“I Gotta Have It”) that has completely melted away in the wash of Dame Dash and Jay-Z’s annulment. In other words, where in the world is Chad "Wes on Track" Hamilton, when we really really really need him. Neither of these songs carry that fire. So they fail.