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“It wasn’t necessarily even a hip-hop song. People compared it with Bob Dylan, with Stevie Wonder’s ‘Living For The City,’ with The Temptations’ ‘Masterpiece.’ Great songs with the same bloodline. It was bigger than Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five. It was bigger than hip-hop. It was everybody’s song.”
Jermaine Dupri: I was driving during this whole era. I didn’t want a driver. I wanted to get in my Range Rover and drive. Madeline Woods from BET came to Atlanta and I was like, “Yo, I’m going to take you out and show you what’s going on at Freaknik.” We were stuck in traffic. I was driving and people knew her because she was on TV and it was like the craziest shit in the world! I took Larenz Tate to Club 112 that night … this was when Menace II Society had come out. Club 112 was so crowded that I couldn’t even go through the front of the club; I had to go through the kitchen. That’s when I knew Freaknik had taken over the city
I came across Freestyle Fellowship during a classic hip hop deep dive, and was blown away. I immediately thought about Kendrick Lamar when i first heard the group rip apart Jazz beats with a unique tempo. Dropping bars full of black empowerment and positivity, this is one of hip hops true underground gems. I had never heard anything like it. They never got the mainstream attention they deserved, but the ones who know know. If you weren't hip at first, like me, make sure you take a deep dive into their catalog, and check out the Innercity Boundaries video that made me an immediate fan.
A$AP Rocky, Rick Owens, Yasiin Bey and more on their relationship with one of fashion’s last true eccentrics