Artist: Freeway featuring Peedi Crakk
Producer: Just BlazeAlbum: Philadelphia Freeway (2003)
While not the best song on the album it appears on, "Flipside" is arguably more influential, in that it helped Philly rapper Freeway establish both himself and his beard as his own man. "What We Do", the crown jewel off of his debut, Philadelphia Freeway, is an excellent track, but it's a track that Beardy shares with his label boss Jay-Z and his contemporary Beanie Sigel; while he does a great job in his own right, the very nature of the song itself doesn't do much to single him out as someone worth watching. "Flipside" does, though.
Over a thumping Just Blaze beat, Beardy and his guest star, Peedi Crakk (who doesn't annoy me as much as he apparently does for you two, given the comments I've received), drop enjoyable boasts 'n bullshit written with radio airplay in mind: in fact, this is actually the most mainstream-friendly song found on Philadelphia Freeway, and Beardy even has a track with Mariah Carey on that motherfucker. Free's excitable flow meshes well with the party atmosphere the track conveys, contrasting wildly with the crime tales of "What We Do", and yet it's still mostly believable that both tracks could have come from the same person.
Since I was late to the party, my first exposure to "Flipside" came from the Def Jam: Fight For NY videogame, in which you design a character to beat the shit out of Freeway, amongst other things. I was already familiar with "What We Do", since the video played on BET all the time at that point (most likely thanks to Hova's cameo), but I had no idea that Roc-A-Fella ever bothered to release more singles off of the project. I remember hearing the beat kick in and realizing that Just Blaze's beats had a component of hype that really didn't fit his main collaborator of the time (Jay-Z, obviously), but there were tons of other rappers who sounded comfortable running alongside instrumentals that were animals in their own right. Beardy happened to be one of them, so this shit works for me. Also, it bangs.
Since this was released as a single, I've included the official video below, which is synced up with the radio edit for obvious reasons. It's fairly trite and hits all of the major bullet points of a generic rap video, but both Jay-Z and Beanie Sigel make cameos, and in about half of his scenes, Peedi appears to be wearing a T-shirt designed by one of those illiterate Chick-Fil-A cows, so.