It is somewhat ironic that Freeway, Roc-A-Fella Records star pupil and 50 Cents latest protégé, has disappeared from the limelight since his 2003 debut, Philadelphia Freeway. A Sunni Muslim convert and self-proclaimed rock fan, despite the North Philly MCs strong fanbase his career has been basically on hold. After the break-up of Roc-A-Fella Records founders, Jay-Z and Dame Dash, and the public disputes between his fellow State Property members, many, including Freeway himself, have wondered if we would ever hear another release from this raspy-voiced emcee again. Teaming up with the Hip-Hop equivalent to royalty, Def Jams Jay-Z and G-Unit/Interscopes own 50 Cent, as executive producers for his long-awaited sophomore release, Free At Last, Freeways self-assurance can only be matched by his devotion to his Muslim religion. With an obvious conflict between creating music and his strict religious teachings, it took a trip of self-discovery to bring this introspective rapper back to Hip-Hops forefront with a new energy and focus. With the first single Big Spender featuring Jay-Z, beginning to ascend radio charts, Freeway isnt take his newfound freedom for granted. AllHipHop.com: Youve been out of the scene for a little while now. Weve been hearing rumors that youve been on a trip of self-discovery WATCH VIDEO Freeway: I took a trip to Makkah [Mecca]. As yall know, if yall dont know, Im informing ya right now that Im Muslim. I took a trip to Makkah. I took my Umrah, its a pilgrimage. I stayed out there for a month. I went to Madinah first. then I went to Makkah and did all the things thats required of the Umrah and it just was a good experience. Like a beautiful experience, it really brought me back down to earth where I need to be. Its like no matter who you are, if you a millionaire, if you a king, if you a bum, a cripple, whatever you are, everybody comes together as one and worships one God. It just was beautiful, just to experience it first-hand.. I knew about it, but just to experience it was a good thing for me.AllHipHop.com: How did that help you make your decision to come back to music?Freeway: I mean, actually when I first came back from over there I wasnt even gonna rap no more, cause music is one of the things thats Haram. Haram means its unlawful, as far as the religion.. So, I wasnt even gonna do it, but I do it so good and thats how I feed my family. You know what Im saying? And I got love for it. So, like the song I got, Even though what we do is wrong.., I still gotta do what I gotta do with God in my intentions and in my heart. You know?AllHipHop.com: Do you ever feel a conflict between your religion and making music?Freeway: I mean, its definitely a conflict, because Im not supposed to be doin it, as far as my religion. You know what Im sayin? But thats something I gotta go through with inside myself, you know? Thats something I gotta deal with. Yall dont gotta worry about that. Thats on my shoulders.AllHipHop.com: Youve been spotted down south a lot lately and youve recently worked with a variety southern artists. Is that your way of building relationships and promoting yourself to a different market?Freeway: I mean it is what it is. Probably for the past year and a half, two years, Ive been running through the south doing crazy shows. Every little town they got, all through North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Mississippi, I been everywhere. They been booking me to come through, so as I travel Ive built relationships with people. Got connected with a couple artists from the south and its just a good thing. Good music is good music, no matter where it come from. It come from North, South, West coast, overseas, if its good music, its good music. AllHipHop.com: There have been talks from other members of State Property, as far as relationships not being as strong as they used to be. Do you see yourself ever collaborating again with any of the other members of the group? WATCH VIDEO Freeway: Definitely. Im still straight with everybody. I just talked to Sig. Me, Chris and Neef real close. Me and Peedi Crakk real close. Me and Sparks cool. Oschino cool. Its just a matter of us coming back together and making it happen. Im dropping an album, Sigel, Young Chris, Peedi Crakk, then hopefully we can get the whole State Property album poppin. Its just a matter of us actually getting together and sitting down to focus and all that. We know yall need that too, so we gonna try and make that happen. AllHipHop.com: This year Philadelphia had the highest murder rate in the entire country. What do you think is causing this? Freeway: I dont even know, Man. I cant even comment on it cause its so crazy and it affects me cause Im right in the middle of it. Like right in the mix of it. Im in the hood, you know what Im sayin? I still got peoples thats in the hood that I care about. So, I rather not even comment on that shit. We gotta do something about it, cause its getting out of hand. It's crazy. AllHipHop.com: What do you think you can do about it, given the platform that you have as an artist?Freeway: I mean, sh*t, theres not really much I can do. I do as much as I can. Like I do the Peace On The Streets things in Philly, with Power 99 and everything. I talk on the panels and everything. But..it's probably something thing thats gonna have to take a collective amount of people. Its probably than me. Bigger than an individual. Its gonna take more than me to take care of all that, cause it's crazy right now. AllHipHop.com: I think people now associate you with being a mainstream artist. Can you touch on your relationship to the underground?Freeway: Oh, I be in the underground everyday. Like the clubs that I perform at be the gutter clubs, be the hood clubs. Here-and-there I be at some glamorous clubs, but the majority of the time I be in the hood with the hood ni**as. Thats the underground. I come in contact with underground artists all the time. Sometimes I might do a feature with 'em, if Im feelin em, if I f*ck wit' 'em. I started underground. I still consider myself apart of the underground, anyway, if people consider me mainstream. I mean, my album went gold, but I never really got the light I deserve to get and Im gon get it. Thats what we doing with this album. AllHipHop.com: The track Line Em Up is considered a hood classic. Who were you speaking to when you wrote the lyrics?Freeway: I was just talking to everybody. Whoever.. Line em up/Shut em down. Actually, I got that beat from Jay. Jay was gonna use the song, but he was like, Free, I feel as though youll kill that joint. So, he gave it to me and Young Chris got on that joint and we just did it. AllHipHop.com: On the track 1-900-HUSTER were you aware that it was a remake of The Convicts 1-900-DIAL-A-CROOK?Freeway: I didnt even know that. When I did that, I was fresh outta jail, prolly like two, three months. I was still on house arrest. I was in the crib.. [Beanie] Sig was calling me like, Yo, Im here, Im there, Im in Atlanta, Im in Miami when you get off house you gonna see.. I got you. So, when I got off house arrest, he started taking me up in New York, fucking with Jay or whatever it is, doing The Dynasty album. He was like, Yo, I think this [track] would be crazy for you. They gave me the beat, took it home, wrote the verse, went back and laid that sh*t. AllHipHop.com: Youve kind of always had the delivery of a bull in a china shop. Tell us what kind of tracks you choose, maybe for the new album, where that unique sound really comes across?Freeway: The new album is incredible. I got a lot of songs on there with a lot of energy. I got this one joint that I got two special guests on, its called Walk With Me. Im not even gonna tell you who the guests is, but when that sh*t hit the streets, it's gonna be crazy. Trust me, it got that energy. The hoods is gonna be going wild when they hear it. Walk With Me produced by Don Cannon. AllHipHop.com: Oh, so your not gonna tell us whos on the album?Freeway: I mean, I dont know if yall know.. but the album is executive produced by Jay-Z and 50 Cent which is big for Hip-Hop. So, both of them on the album, but as far as the other guests on the album, Im gonna have to keep yall on hold. AllHipHop.com: Do you have tracks with both Jay-Z and 50 Cent on the new album?Freeway: Two different joints. But Im not exactly all the way finished on em.. So, before I wrap up, Im trying to get a joint with both of them together. I just gotta get them ni**as in the same room. AllHipHop.com: How does Jay-Zs and 50 Cents advice come into play, as far as being the executive producers on the album? WATCH VIDEO Freeway: Well, its just more of a motivation factor and a determination factor. Because me dealing with both of them and they both being such mainstream artists and such strong artists it just makes me want to work harder, so I can be on a level that theyre on. AllHipHop.com: Do you ever have disagreements with either of them on the direction of your music?Freeway: Well, basically, they let me do me and then when Im finished I come to them and let them hear what I did. Weve never had no major disagreements about anything, because basically its from me. But theres a lot of songs. So narrowing down the album. I gotta clip a couple joints. So, Jay like, "You got a great album, but you cant put all that on there." So, thats like the only discrepancies we got right now. AllHipHop.com: We heard 50 is leaving Interscope Records Freeway: I dont know [nothing] about that. AllHipHop.com: We also heard Jay-Z is leaving Def Jam.. Freeway: I dont know nothing about that either. We just talking about whats going on right now, this album. We just talk about the business thats at hand right now. AllHipHop.com: How did you link up with G-Unit in the first place?Freeway: Man, me and Fif been cool. He [said] he would try to help with my project, whatever he could do to help. You know what Im saying? We came up with that idea and we made it happen. Got with Jay and made it happen. Jay was with it, Jay was like, Lets do it. Why not?.AllHipHop.com: What role do you think your affiliation with G-Unit will play in the promotion for your new album? Freeway: Couldnt hurt. Thats two powerhouses.. Roc-A-Fella and G-Unit. So, good gotta come out of it. AllHipHop.com: Did you get any support on the album from other G-Unit members besides 50?Freeway: [Laughs] I told you.. there you go, tryin to be slick. I told yall.. yall gonna have to wait on that. But I f*ck with everybody over there. So, we all good. You just gotta wait for the album now.AllHipHop.com: As far as producers on the new album, can you speak on who you worked with?Freeway: I mean, as yall know, I got Dame Grease on there, he did the first single, Roc-A-Fella Billionaires. I went in with Bink!...um, I cant even remember everybody on the joints. I was just working, just getting beats and knockin the songs out. I wasnt even worried about who produced it and then I just took [it] from there. But I got some good production on that joint. AllHipHop.com: Whats something you have going on that we might not know about?Freeway: I got a movie coming. We tryin to do the cross-promotion with the album and the movie. The name of the movie is What We Do. [ Its named] after my single What We Do Is Wrong. Its directed, produced and written by Tron Anderson.. Thats the guy that did State Property 1 [film]. Were trying to cross-promote with the album, so that it can come out around the same time as the album. So, we workin out the details now. I got a rim shop in Philly.. Philadelphia Freeway Custom Motor Sports on 60th and Woodland. I got my official website; www.freewayatlast.com, where you can get all the updates, and exclusive footage, exclusive music and everything from ya boy. AllHipHop.com: Whats a message that you want to get across to your fans?Freeway: That Im back. That I still got it. I still got that music that yall love. That heart-felt music that yall been feelin from the beginning. I just want people to feel me.