Former Roc-A-Fella Records artist Freeway has finally stepped up to clear the air on getting left behind during a photo opportunity with Jay-Z at last month’s “Made In America” Philadelphia press conference.
Acknowledging the public’s perception of him standing feet away from on-stage group photo, Free said he decided to step away.
“People understand it, but nowadays with the internet, people wanna make jokes,” Free explained in a backstage “106 & Park” interview. “The jokes and everything, when people was making a joke out of it towards me, it was like cool, it was funny to me too. But as far as people trying to put it on Jay — it wasn’t even like that. If you got two ounces of sense, you would know that you cannot be near Jay-Z if he don’t want you to be. I was on stage with the Mayor of Philadelphia and Jay-Z. If they didn’t want me there, there was no way I could’ve got up there. … That’s the big homie, man. I’m not going to come around somebody if they don’t want me around, because I will feel uncomfortable.” (“106 & Park”)
Jay and Freeway’s on-stage moment made headlines around mid-May.
With all of the excitement pouring through the city Freeway took the stage alongside Hov, Philly mayor Michael Nutter and officials from Anheuser-Busch and the United Way. “Everyone knows my love affair with Philly from the amazing, talented artists I’ve signed from here,” Jay said, prompting the State Property MC to jump onstage beside him. “That’s Freeway’s cue” Jay-Z smiled. It was a great photo-op, or so everyone thought. With Philadelphia Free standing off to the side with his arms crossed, Jay posed with festival organizers. After photos began popping up online many read into the snapshots, speculating on a rift between Freeway and his former Roc-A-Fella mentor, but MTV News was on hand to witness the off-camera interaction between Jigga and Philly Freezer and things were all good. (RapFix)
Rumors and gossip quickly surfaced suggesting there were tensions following the photo snub.
Twitter can be a rapper’s best friend or worst enemy. Case in point: Freeway’s appearance at Jay-Z’s “Made In America” press conference in Philadelphia, earlier today (May. 14). Shortly after the brief press event, photos surfaced of what appeared to be Hov ushering Freeway off to the side, so he could take photos solo, with Philly mayor Michael Nutter and other local politicians. A fire storm of slanderous tweets and internet comments followed with mentions of the Philly rapper crashing the stage without an invite from Jay. However, the former Roc-A-Fella rapper’s cameo was fully initiated by Jay-Z. Sources tell VIBE, Hov personally invited Freeway to appear at the press conference with him and that the two spoke both before and after the event. The speculation of stage crashing is totally false. (VIBE)
With Roc-A-Fella Records a distant memory, Free previously talked about running alongside Jay.
“I did my thing at The Roc, learned a lot over there so I feel as though it’s time to try my hand with the independent thing,” Free told television personality DJ Envy. “It’s crazy man, it feels real good… I still speak to everybody. I keep good contact with everybody, it’s all good with me man, we rocking… [In State Property,] everybody’s good. Hopefully, hopefully we’ll put [a State Property album] together. Shout-out to Peedi Crakk, he just came home from the joint, we’re working on his stuff. And we grinding, everybody’s grinding, trying to put a nice situation together for themselves. So hopefully we can come together after that.” (“Sucker Free”)
Check out Freeway’s interview below: