Cassidy vs Freeway 16 Years Later + Best Bars (also, BET petty AF)
Before I begin, I want to say shout out to Philly! I got mad love for the city, and I think Philly is home to some of the dopest rappers to ever do it; Beanie Sigel, Black Thought, and Cassidy to name a few. Another legend out of Philly is Freeway. I wouldn't personally say he 's my favorite, but he nonetheless has had a pretty solid career and has proven that he can hold his own lyrically. Probably, no, DEFINITELY the reason I don't give Freeway his full due credit is because I will NEVER FORGET the first time I heard the battle between him and Cassidy.
It was one of the early highlights of YouTube as the site began to gain popularity in the early 2000s. This was the first time rap battling of such a high level to the masses, and it was an instant classic. A far cry from what was presented in 8 Mile, the 2001 battle was a raw representation of what has taken place in countless studios, clubs, corners, basements, and school cafeterias for decades before it, a real lyric filled, punchline heavy RAP BATTLE. Authentic hip hop in its rawest form.
Pictured: The opposite of what I just said
If you don't know the background of the Cassidy vs Freeway battle, allow me to paint the picture: The year is 2001. Roc-A-Fella is on top of the rap game. With successful releases from Jay-Z and Beanie Sigel in the books, and a group album from State Property, Jay-Z felt his crew couldn't be touched. One night after a radio freestyle that featured State Property, Jay-Z's confidence in his team led to him challenging Swizz Beats and a young Cassidy to a battle with any of his young guys, meaning the members of State Property. Now if I were Jay-Z, no question I would have picked Beanie Sigel, but for whatever reason, he decided to go with Freeway, and the rest is history.
If you have time, this is definitely worth the watch based on the grittiness of it alone: the VHS home video quality (oh how we miss thee), the crowded studio full of shadowy figures wearing hoodies, skullys and big ass jackets (top notch cypher wardrobe), and the bars man...my God! Not to mention the epic/tragic ending, where instead of responding with another rap, Freeway famously declares "Put a beat on..." after over 15 minutes of acapella rapping, thus,admitting defeat. By the end he's almost whining. It's hilarious!
But aside from my nostalgia and hip hop appreciation, I was inspired to write this article by none other than Freeway himself. Recently he was featured on BET's (eww) show Rate The Bars. The premise of this show is, famous rappers are given certain lyrics from other famous rappers, and are given the task of rating the bars on a scale from 1 to 5. During Freeway's appearance, the folks at BET (eww) did the pettiest thing they could possibly do and have Freeway rate some of Cassidy's bars from their legendary battle.
This turned out to be petty for three reasons:
1. They Stirred Up Bad Memories
Literally no one has ever said that this battle was close. Anyone who's seen it, knows that Freeway was outclassed and probably embarrassed by this experience (if not for losing, for whining like a baby at the end).Behind those shows I'm sure Freeway was traumatized by having to relive that!OK, it's been over 15 years, but still man #toosoon
Pictured: Freeway when he remembered they never put on a beat
2. The folks at BET (eww) were lazy
Lazy AF actually, because they copped out and picked the first lines Cassidy spit in the battle.This does a HUGE disservice to the dozens of other dope bars that were displayed, and they readily paved the way for Freeway to throw shade by not even picking a top 10 moment in the battle.And if you're going to be petty guys, why not pick a harsher lyric to get a better response from Freeway? Shame on you guys.
3. Freeway knowingly rated Lil Uzi Verts bars over Cassidy
He definitely played himself by saying that, and BET (eww eww eww!) played him by even putting him on the spot. In order to do my part, I've rewatched the battle a few times and made a list of some of the bars that should have been picked from the battle.To be clear, this isn't EVERY dope bar of the battle, just the ones that stuck out to me. If you think I missed any, please leave it in the comments!
6. "When the truck leave, what the hard stares for?/ Cause I cut keys like a hardware store"
5."Y'all getting it first this my life story/ It’s like I get actual ghosts to write for me"
4."Niggas better start chillin, fore shit get crucial/Cause my guns like my dick, bigger than usual"
3. "I might not know it all, but B know this/ When it's war, y'all crumble like Dorito chips/ I pass ya strip everyday, I don’t see no bricks/ I’m a pit you a pussy, we don’t mix"
2. "When I get hard with rhymes I shine like lip gloss/ You pissed off cause ya dick small and the condom slip off"
1."If I pass you base, and you spend my gravy/ And I ask for my papes, and you pretend you crazy/ I’ll put 10 in ya AV and pretend you paid me/ Leave you stuffed in a dumpster like Brenda baby"