Freeway, whose real name is Leslie Pridgen was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1978, is an American rapper known for his contribution to the hip-hop music industry for several decades.
Known for his signature high-pitched voice and gritty lyrics, Freeway built a solid following in the hip-hop community. With multiple albums and collaborations under his belt, fans often wonder just how much Freeway is worth.
In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the net worth of Freeway Rick Ross and explore some of the key factors contributing to his wealth. So, buckle up, and let’s hit the freeway.
Early Life and Beginnings of his Career
He adopted the name Freeway from the infamous drug trafficker, as he found that nobody wanted to listen to a rapper named Leslie. Growing up in the city’s notorious “Ice City,” Freeway was heavily influenced by its hip-hop scene.
His father was also a DJ, adding to his early exposure to music. In the late 90s, Freeway’s talent caught the attention of Jay-Z, who was in the process of building Roc-A-Fella Records into a powerhouse label.
Freeway would soon become a crucial part of the Roc-A-Fella roster, leading to the release of his highly successful debut album, “Philadelphia Freeway,” in 2003.
Estimating Freeway’s Net Worth
As a member of the rap group State Property and Ice City, Freeway has been a part of many successful albums throughout his career. His biggest hit, What We Do, features Jay-Z and Beanie Sigel. Freeway’s net worth is estimated to be between $1 and $2 million.
The individual maintains a private personal life on social media yet has gained a significant following. In 2015, he was diagnosed with kidney failure, which inspired him to become an ambassador for the Kidney Foundation.
Additionally, he has collaborated with Jay-Z on his sixth solo album and intends to release a documentary regarding his battle with kidney failure.
Income Streams of Freeway
Freeway earns most of his income from his music career. He has had solo albums that have ranked high on both the R&B charts and the Billboard 200. He has worked with other West Coast rappers like Snoop Dogg and Tech N9Ne.
Freeway’s music style is varied, ranging from East Coast Rap to Hardcore Rap, which has helped him gain popularity. Besides music, he has also endorsed brands like Visa, Hublot watches, and Marvel Comics to earn additional income.
Freeway has produced hit songs like “Antidote” by Eminem and has collaborated with other West Coast rappers such as Snoop Dogg and Tech N9ne.
Freeway’s Hometown and Early Influences
Freeway’s early life in Philadelphia was a major influence on his music. Growing up in a neighborhood known as Ice City, Freeway was surrounded by poverty and crime. His love for hip-hop music provided a positive outlet and the motivation to hone his craft. Being a son of a DJ also further fueled his passion for music.
One key location that played a pivotal role in his development was a local nightclub, where Freeway began performing during rap battles. These freestyle battles improved his lyrical abilities and exposed him to various rap styles that would eventually shape his own sound.
In addition to these battles, key individuals such as Beanie Sigel also significantly influenced Freeway’s early development. A fellow rap artist and childhood friend, Beanie Sigel, introduced Freeway to Roc-A-Fella Records, which led to other collaborations and a recording deal.
Freeway’s early musical influences spanned various genres. He was heavily influenced by the golden era of hip-hop, which was characterized by rhythmic storytelling and social commentary. Inspirational figures in this genre included Tupac Shakur, Nas, and Biggie Smalls. Additionally, he also drew inspiration from other rap influences such as Jay-Z, Memphis Bleek, and Swizz Beatz.
Overall, Freeway’s rise to success directly results from how his upbringing and surroundings informed his music. His love for rap battles, exposure to local nightclub performances, and collaborations with key figures like Beanie Sigel all played a role in his early development as an artist.
Beginning of the Roc-A-Fella Dynasty
The Beginning of the Roc-A-Fella Dynasty marked a major milestone in Freeway’s career. His introduction to founders Jay-Z, Damon Dash, and Kareem Biggs paved the way for his success in the rap industry.
At the time of Freeway’s introduction to the label, Roc-A-Fella Records was already emerging as a major force in the music industry. With Jay-Z at the helm, the label was quickly becoming known for its innovative approach to hip-hop and for launching the careers of several notable artists.
As a new member of the Roc-A-Fella Dynasty, Freeway was surrounded by a talented and influential team. Key members of the label, including Beanie Sigel and Memphis Bleek, had a significant impact on Freeway’s success. These collaborations with his label-mates resulted in some of Freeway’s most notable contributions to the Roc-A-Fella Dynasty.
One of his most famous collaborations was with Jay-Z on the track “What We Do,” which helped to solidify Freeway’s position within the dynasty. Other notable collaborations include his work with fellow Roc-A-Fella rapper Beanie Sigel on the album “The Truth” and his collaboration with Memphis Bleek on the song “Roc-A-Fella Get Low Respect It.”
Freeway’s Debut Album, Philadelphia Freeway
Freeway’s debut album, Philadelphia Freeway, released in 2003, served as a splashy introduction to the Roc-A-Fella-affiliated rapper. The album was produced by a who’s who of hip-hop beatmakers, including Just Blaze, Kanye West, and Bink!
Philadelphia Freeway received critical acclaim upon release. It was lauded for its hard-hitting beats and intricate lyricism, with many critics praising Freeway’s unique voice and flow. The album also featured noteworthy features from fellow Roc-A-Fella rappers Jay-Z and Beanie Sigel and collaborations with Busta Rhymes, Nelly, and Snoop Dogg.
The album’s significance in launching Freeway’s career cannot be overstated. It firmly established him as a force to be reckoned with in the rap scene and cemented his place alongside fellow Roc-A-Fella rappers Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Beanie Sigel.
Standout tracks on Philadelphia Freeway include “What We Do,” featuring Jay-Z and Beanie Sigel, which examines the consequences of drug dealing and street life, and “Free,” which explores Freeway’s experience with kidney failure and his resulting life sentence. Another noteworthy track, “All My Life,” features a soulful sample of Susan Miller’s “All My Love to You” and sees Freeway ruminating on his life story and struggles.
Key lyrics from “What We Do” include Jay-Z’s memorable verse: “My mind is infested with sick thoughts that circle like a Lexus/if driven wrong, it’s sure to hurt/it’s like a nest of vipers in my head/desperate measures lead to desperate pleasures/death is my only treasure.”
Philadelphia Freeway was a commercial success, entering the Billboard 200 at number five and eventually going gold. Its impact on the rap genre and Freeway’s career cannot be overstated, and it remains a beloved and influential album among fans and critics alike.
Rise to Fame and Success with Roc-A-Fella Records
Freeway’s rise to fame and success was heavily tied to his affiliation with Roc-A-Fella Records, one of the most prominent labels in hip-hop during the early 2000s. However, the label faced turmoil at the time, with tensions between Jay-Z and co-founder Damon Dash eventually leading to its dissolution in 2009.
Throughout it all, Freeway collaborated with fellow rappers on studio albums, including Memphis Bleek and Statik Selektah. He would later sign with Jay-Z’s new record label, Roc Nation, which gave him a fresh start and new opportunities to showcase his talent.
The Label in Turmoil and Leslie Edward Pridgen (Freeway Rick Ross)
During the mid-2000s, Roc-A-Fella Records, the influential hip-hop label founded by Jay-Z, Damon Dash, and Kareem “Biggs” Burke, faced a lot of turmoil. Tensions between the co-founders and the artists on the label grew as the label began to lose its hold on the industry. Labels such as Bad Boy, Shady/Aftermath, and Cash Money were now the trendsetters, and Roc-A-Fella was losing ground. With the group’s top players at odds, artists and fans began to look for other labels to support.
At the same time, Leslie Edward Pridgen, known as “Freeway” or “Freeway Rick Ross” amongst his peers, was given a life sentence for his notorious drug trafficking activities. Leslie was not officially affiliated with the Roc-A-Fella Records label, but his friendship with fellow rapper Freeway had caused him to be associated with the Roc-A-Fella name.
Despite the legal troubles and the label’s declining influence, Roc-A-Fella Records continued to release music and signed new artists. Eventually, however, the label dissolved in 2009, with Jay-Z forming Roc Nation and taking several of Roc-A-Fella’s rappers with him.
Leslie’s life sentence left him unable to participate in the changing landscape of the music industry and reminded many of the negative impacts of drugs on a person’s life. While he may not have been directly involved in the label’s troubles, his story of drug trafficking and life in prison is a stark reminder of the dangers on the other side of the music industry’s glamor and glitz.
Personal Life and Struggles Outside of Music
Despite his success in the music industry, Freeway Rapper has faced several personal struggles and legal issues throughout his life. One significant challenge he faced was kidney disease, which led him to undergo transplant surgery.
Additionally, Freeway Rapper has also dealt with legal issues related to drug trafficking allegations, which resulted in him spending time in prison. In this section, we will delve deeper into these two areas of his life.
Charitable Contributions of Freeway
After undergoing dialysis for three years and receiving a kidney transplant, he became an ambassador for the National Kidney Foundation, spreading awareness about the importance of kidney health and disease prevention.
Freeway, the famous American rapper, is not just known for his music but also his charitable contributions. Freeway Rick Ross’s struggle with kidney disease has been a significant obstacle in his life. The American rapper was diagnosed with kidney failure in 2015, which led him to undergo transplant surgery. The surgery took place in December of that year, with his son Sonny Ross being the donor.
The experience with kidney failure has profoundly impacted Freeway Rapper, leading him to raise awareness about the disease through philanthropy and music. The rapper has been a vocal advocate for kidney disease awareness, urging others to get tested and treated early. He has also made significant contributions to organizations working towards eradicating kidney disease.
Freeway Rapper’s charity work includes his involvement in KEY SPOT, a program that provides free computer access and training to underprivileged communities. The rapper has also mentored upcoming rappers, providing guidance and support to help them succeed in the music industry. Furthermore, Freeway Rapper has performed free concerts in high schools, inspiring and uplifting young people with his music.
In 2020, Freeway Rapper founded the Freedom Thinkers Academy, an organization whose mission is to educate the African American community about music and health. The Academy offers funding and workforce development programs to help individuals and communities achieve their goals. The organization’s main focus is to uplift the spirit of the African American community in Philadelphia by providing essential resources and opportunities.
Freeway has also been involved with various other charitable causes, including raising awareness for breast cancer and helping victims of Hurricane Katrina. In addition to his personal contributions, Freeway has also leveraged his music to give back to the community.
He has performed at benefit concerts and donated proceeds from his album sales to various charitable organizations. Freeway’s philanthropic efforts show that he is more than just a talented rapper but a truly compassionate and caring individual.
Legal Issues Related to Drug Trafficking Allegations
Freeway Rick Ross was at the center of one of the most significant drug trafficking operations in American history, which led to drug trafficking allegations and legal issues for the rapper. His drug empire in the 1980s was infamous, resulting in his life sentence in 1996.
Ross’s involvement in drug trafficking peaked between the mid-1980s and late-1990s. He was known for his vast distribution network, which spanned across the United States and supplied drugs to urban areas and smaller cities and towns. However, Ross’s illegal dealings couldn’t go unnoticed forever. He was eventually arrested, charged with multiple drug felonies, and sentenced to life in prison.
After serving nearly 14 years behind bars, Freeway Rick Ross was released in 2009. He has since been trying to turn his life around and advocates for the legal system to reform its drug policies. He expresses regret for his past actions and aims to use his story as a means to help prevent drug use and educate youth.
While he was a drug trafficker, Ross faced numerous legal charges related to drug trafficking allegations. He was convicted of both drug trafficking and racketeering. In 1996, when Ross received his life sentence, it was based on a series of charges, ranging from drug trafficking to conspiracy.
However, Ross’s life sentence was eventually overturned, and he was released in 2009. The court ruled that Ross’s sentence was excessive, and it also came to light that some of the evidence against him had been fabricated. Following his release, Ross has been working on advocacy against drug use and supporting legal reforms in drug policies.
In conclusion, Freeway Rick Ross’s association with drug trafficking brought significant legal issues and drug trafficking allegations upon him. He was sentenced to life in prison, and after almost 14 years, he was released due to the legal system’s discrepancies. However, he has since redirected his life’s focus through advocating against drug use and supporting legal reforms.
Later Years of His Career
Philadelphia Freeway 2: The Resurrection is the second studio album by American rapper Leslie Edward Pridgen, Freeway. The album was released on August 14, 2007, through the independent label Babygrande Records. It served as a follow-up to his 2003 debut album, Philadelphia Freeway, and marked a significant milestone in his career.
The album features collaborations with various notable artists such as Jay-Z, Memphis Bleek, Rick Ross, and others. In this album, Freeway aimed to incorporate elements of his earlier work, adding to a mature and well-rounded effort with more diverse sounds and styles.
Comparing Freeway’s Net Worth with Other Rappers
Freeway is a well-known American rapper with a net worth estimated between $1 million and $2 million. Compared to other rappers of his generation, this may be considered a moderate fortune, but still a commendable one.
He may not have reached the levels of wealth of other rappers like Jay-Z, Dr. Dre, or Kanye West, who have net worths exceeding hundreds of millions of dollars, but Freeway has still made a name for himself in the music industry.
Despite not having multiple platinum-level albums, he has produced hit songs and collaborated with famous artists like Eminem, Snoop Dogg, and Lil’ Jon. Freeway’s net worth may not be the highest, but it is still an impressive feat considering his contributions as a rapper and entrepreneur.