Freeway remembers a time when Philadelphia wasn’t a go-to place for hip-hop. Sure, it had acts like The Roots and Beanie Siegel representing the city, but it still didn’t get the national attention many felt it deserved. “After years of trying to get on, we felt it was impossible to get a deal in Philly,” Freeway tells Arts Desk. “We still have a lot of talent here that should get on.”
Maybe that’s why Freeway feels at home when he performs in the DMV, an area that has largely flown under the hip-hop radar. But it’s not just the hip-hop that Freeway notices here. “The women in the DMV are beautiful,” Freeway says with a laugh.
On Sunday night, the Philly MC will headline the second installment of the Indie Life Concert Series at U Street Music Hall, a monthly show in which local hip-hop artists open for nationally recognized MCs. Last month, SmCity, Gods’Illa and X.O.,opened for Black Milk. This month, SmCity, Black Cobain, and KingPen Slim will warm up for Freeway.
SmCity, the event’s organizer, says Big K.R.I.T. and Freddie Gibbs will headline next month’s concert, and local MC Muggsy Malone has already agreed to perform.”We’re just trying to bring the industry here,” Sm says. “We want to bring the local acts to D.C. to get shine with the national acts.”
Freeway says he plans to bring plenty of “electricity” during his set—-dusting off some familiar favorites and unveiling new material. He’s scheduled to drop his Diamond In The Ruff mixtape in June.
The concert takes place at 9 p.m. at U Street Music Hall, 1115A U St. NW. $15-$20.