Breakthrough: Freeway “1-900-Hustler”

Line One.

Sometimes, a standout verse is all an artist needs to get to the next level. Just ask Freeway. On Jay-Z’s “1-900-Hustler,” the Philadelphia rookie earned his keep with lines like, “First things first, watch what you say out your mouth when you talkin on the phone with hustlers…” and “Jon Benet, your daughter missing tonight!”  To usher in our new series, Free explains to Rap Radar why his verse was off the hook.

I was just getting off house arrest. I  just started going to N.Y. with Beans while they was recording The Dynasty and all that. We was in the stu and Jay and Beans was like, ” I got this joint.” Jay and Beans was originally gonna be on it, but Beans was like, “I think you should kill this joint. I think it would be good for you.” And Jay was like, “Yeah, yeah! That shit’ll be crazy! Jay and them had the concept for the record already and the whole “1-900-Hustler thing.” I was just getting off.

I was on house arrest for—actually being a hustler, so it just fit perfectly. They setup the part where I was gonna come in at and they put the lil’ violin music before it. I wrote the verse and I came back, laid it, and it was a wrap! I remember the first time I was in a club and uh, Bleek and Beans was in there. We was in Philly performing. And they was like “Yo, just do the verse a capella.” I did that shit and the crowd went wild and its been a wrap since then. I wasn’t really nervous, I was excited about, like, being on the album and making it happen.  I just felt like I was just doing me. Like, my style is a lot different than a lot of people. People at the time was like, “this verse is nice, but I don’t know if people gone want a whole album of his voice.” I was still getting mixed feeling about it, but it turned out to be the shit!”— As Told To Brian B.Dot” Miller 


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  • Maurice Garland

    Convicts feat. Geto Boys-“1-900-Dial-A-Crook” (1991)