YES. This is what the fuck I'm talking about right now. Simple, catchy, knocking. Sweet soul of brevity- just a touch over two minutes, with Rik Cordero working his trademark visual economy. Which perfectly suits that lean, knocking-ass track (do I hear some Bernie Worrell synth squirts in there?), courtesy of Seattle's superproducer Jake One; you know him, right?
Then you got Freeway, on his hood shit, nigga that bullshit, breaking down some crucial game to the little dunns- "never sell dope to strangers, be courteous to your neighbors". Ahh, to be Free.
He's just one of those reasons that Roc-A-Fella Records at it's best remains one of the coldest rap dynasties; before Jay-Z was bragging of his "best white mates" like Christ Fucking Martin, and before a hurt-sounding Beanie Sigel aired out his obvious hurt feelings, before it went all bad- the Roc was about some premium hardcore east coast hiphop. Under his belt, Freeway's got two startlingly great volumes of angsty hood hyperventilation (not to mention a fat stack of mixtapes, including this latest Jake-helmed heater), and always sounds best draped up in some soulful sonic wardrobe to match his Philly pedigree.
Now Freezer's not for everybody (much less the uptight rap-hating lames)- his halting stickshift flow and howling tone have been an acquired taste since his classic first appearance, but instant floor-smashers like "What We Do" and "Flipside" are undeniable, unless you're a complete asshole.
Freeway is my favorite type of MC, one who faithfully weds his flow to the beat. He and Jake have long demonstrated that killer, one-MC-one-producer Gangstarr type chemistry- ever since "It's Over", the lead single off of Free's 2nd album Free At Last, which not-so-subtly heralded the death of the Roc (and whose hook was expertly assisted by the deft cuts of Seattle hiphop's heart and soul, Vitamin D).
The hits kept coming with two joints off of Jake's stellar 2008 comp White Van Music, and soon after the two debuted some face-melting new shit at last year's SXSW- off of the The Stimulus Package, due out in February. "Know What I Mean" is the first official taste, but it's what's cooking is smelling right right about now.
Big ups to DJ Nphared on the video.