Freeway & Jake One

Saturday

SXSW Records

Freeway & Jake One

The Stimulus Package (Rhymesayers)

Who could have predicted that Freeway would have his best success at an indie label? Brought up by Jay-Z and the Roc-a-Fella family, the Philly Freeway was bred for stardom but ultimately rapped with a voice too gruff to break through the glitz and glamour. RAF's label loss is Rhymesayers' gain. With Jake One (G Unit, White Van Music) unleashing an arsenal of hard snares ("Never Gonna Change") and deep grooves, Freeway flows relentless ("Microphone Killa") and deservedly loose ("One Foot In"), with the pressure of dropping a hit single off his shoulders. Instead, The Stimulus Package is all about deep cuts. It's never more obvious than on cryptic soul burners "One Thing" and "Know What I Mean," the former track boosted by Raekwon's practiced street snarl, but the disc's crowning achievement is "Money," a not so subtle "fuck you" to the hit factories Freeway ditched for the higher road. (Sat., 10:15pm, Emo's Main.)

***.5

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