The Stimulus Package
This album is going to be hard to beat, and it’s only March. Whether it’s an official album, mixtape or an odd guest verse on someone else’s song, Freeway annihilates the microphone. You always read in film reviews about an actor “chewing up the scenery”; this is the model Freeway uses. Jake One provides a perfect bed — smart, sample-driven beats tailored for each song’s content and reflective of its guests: Raekwon, Beanie Sigel, Bun B and Cash Money’s Birdman, who actually doesn’t embarrass himself with a decent Too $hort impersonation. It’s difficult to pick out favorites, but the Rick James-assisted “She Makes Me Feel Alright” and “Free People” repeat. Essential listening.