Freeway & Jake One - The Stimulus Package
He may not be a household name in the UK but Philadelphia rapper Freeway isn’t known as the rapper’s rapper for nothing – he’s Michael Jackson, Puff Daddy bad. Freeway’s worked with Jay Z and has the clout to call upon the redoubtable Jake One (MF DOOM, De La Soul et el) to produce this stimulating (“groan” - ed) package which arrives wrapped up like a roll of greenbacks. The Stimulus Package is a laid back, jazz infused piece of work which sees Freeway coasting along with the top down; slow and low is the tempo, leaving him far from the politicised polemic of PE or the fucked up gangsta stylings which polluted the genre in the wake of NWA. Best of the bunch is the juddering, glitch beat funk of ‘Never Gonna Change’, which drives by such atypical rap reference points as Connect 4 and Battleships. ‘Microphone Killa’ (featuring Young Chris) drops some booty shaking breakbeats and manages to diss all the swiss cheese MCs with the help of some old skool, Maseo style turntable hi jinx. ‘Freekin’ The Beat’ is the only truly sickly moment but, come on, you’ve gotta cater for the laydeez. It’s engaging stuff and, if not a masterpiece, The Stimulus Packageis worth checking out for the lavish packaging alone.