[artist id="1211439"]Freeway[/artist] has quite a few gems in his catalog, one being the [artist id="1269"]Jay-Z[/artist] and [artist id="509100"]Beanie Sigel[/artist]-assisted single “What We Do” from his 2003 debut, Philadelphia Freeway. The trio trade vivid verses filled with sarcastic regret over a Just Blaze-produced soul beat.
While the track remains a fan favorite, Free admitted on Wednesday’s “RapFix Live” that he originally planned for the song to be a solo affair. Freeway recalled recording the track at Roc-A-Fella’s Bassline Studios in New York City. On any given night, the entire Roc roster would be milling about the studio, and the bearded MC often sought musical advice from his labelmates.
“It was always that family vibe that they said was around. So I can go like, “Cam, how this sound?” Or “Jay, how that sound?” ” Free remembered.
While recording “What We Do,” Philly Freezer asked Jay to record an ad-lib for the song. On the track, after Free spits the line “When the teeth stop showing, and the stomach start growling, then the heat start blowin’/ If you from the ‘hood, I know you feel me,” Jay jumps in and adds, “Keep goin’.” But after hearing what Free had already laid down, the God MC decided to contribute an entire verse.
“So when I was recording “What We Do,” I originally called Jay just to do the “keep goin’.” So when he heard it, he sat down on the bench in Bassline and was just vibin’ out,” Free said before crossing his arms and nodding his head to mimic Jay’s writing technique. “He sat there for 10 minutes, then he was like, “I got you. This sh– crazy, I got you.” ”
The then-rookie rapper got more than he bargained for, because after Jay offered his verse, Beanie Sigel came in to complete the trifecta. “Beans came in and heard that, and Beans was like, “Oh no, I’m next. I’m getting on that joint,” ” Free said.
Would “What We Do” be the same without Jay and Beans? Let us know in the comments below!