Spade-O – The Freestyles
North Philly’s Spade-O known for his days as a part of the rap group Major Figgas and also one half of the duo Dutch N Spade is free after almost twelve years behind bars. Aligned with Power 99 DJ Cosmic Kev, who was responsible for giving Philadelphia artists a big push into the mainstream eye, Spade-O sounds hungry, sharp and determined to remind the world why he was considered one of the best out of PA.
Here are the SOHH.com 5 Reasons to download “The Freestyles”.
1. Major History
Spade-O started his career with the North Philly based group Major Figgas which included talented artists like Gillie Da Kid, Dutch, Ab-Liva, Bianca, Bump J and Reese Rolex. The crew was one of the hottest acts on the come up out of Philadelphia and had a heavy street buzz. Eventually the crew signed a deal with Warner Brothers in 2000 and released their debut album “Figgas 4 Life.”
Major Figgas, along with Beanie Sigel, Philly’s Most Wanted and what would later become the Roc-A-Fella Records group State Property, blew open the doors for a new generation of emcees from PA to blow up. DJ Cosmic Kev, known as one of the best deejays in the city, gave these artists a platform on “The Come Up Show” live on the top rated Power 99 radio station back in 1999 which resulted in ground breaking radio freestyle sessions. Those classic cyphers alone led to major deals for everyone involved – the Figgas went to Warner Bros, PMW went to Atlantic Records where the Neptunes produced their first album and Beanie Sigel linked up with the Roc. Later Freeway, Young Chris and Neef (Young Gunz) Oschino, Omillio Sparks and Peedi Crakk were signed as well completing a major shift in East Coast rap and a well deserved spotlight on Philly.
2. Second Time To Shine
Spade-O was a definite standout during his time with the Figgas. He also recorded with Cam’ron and Charli Baltimore and was signed to Sony Records under Lance “Un” Rivera’s Untertainment with his rhyme partner Dutch. The duo known as Dutch N Spade was primed for success as the heated up the block with mixtape appearances and artist features. Unfortunately down the line beef popped off between the State Property and Major Figgas crew. When it hit the streets, things got serious leading to Spade getting locked up. Incarcerated for almost twelve years, Spade is now home spitting that hot lava the hood loved him for.
3. Vintage Format
Back before mixtapes turned into “Street Albums” with no deejay, mixing and all original tracks – the circuit was popularized by rappers jacking for beats and adding their own special twist to it. 50 Cent wasn’t the first to do it but he mastered that format. “The Freestyles” is an uncut raw throwback to that. Spade crushes beats like the Meek Mill “Lean Wit It” and the Pusha T “Numbers On The Board”, but also brings back some classic instrumentals such as the Jay-Z and Beanie Sigel “It’s On” as well as the Fabolous hit “Breathe”.
4. Straight Spittin’
Spade-O was renowned for his concrete flow and brazen bars back then and hasn’t lost a beat. He blacks out throughout the whole mixtape to let the world know he still has it. Check out the “Open Letter” freestyle and judge for your self.
“These chumps get the jitters and cold feet/
I hold heat put ya warm blood in the cold street/
My oh my the stakes is high ain’t nuthin’ cheap/
I’m from a sugar free town ain’t nuthin sweet/
I’m from where G’s get high off E’s/
On the run from the D’s in they SUV’s/
Bad wh*res carry STD’s/
45 ACP in my pocket like ‘Test me please’/ – Spade-O “Open Letter Freestyle”
5. The Features
Spade mostly rocks solo on his first official mixtape since he’s been home but has appearances from some of the best in his city including Reed Dollaz, Quilly Millz, plus Major Figga alums Ab-Liva, Bianca and Gilly Da Kid. The tape is hosted by DJ Cosmic Kev.