Leslie Edward Pridgen , better known by his stage name Freeway, is an American hip hop recording artist from North Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is perhaps best known for his tenure on RocAFella Records and his affiliation with fellow East Coast rappers, JayZ and Beanie Sigel. Apart from his solo career, Freeway is also known as a member of the rap group, State Property. In 2009, Freeway was briefly signed to Cash Money Records.
Freeway was born Leslie Pridgen, on August 6, 1978. He adopted his moniker from the name of the infamous drug trafficker Freeway Rick Ross. Freeway began his career by participating in freestyle battles in his high school and met fellow Philadelphia native Beanie Sigel, while rapping on stage at a hometown nightclub. Not long after being signed to RocAFella Records, Sigel put in a word for Freeway, who made his first appearance on The Dynasty Roc La Familia, on the track 1900Hustler with Beanie, JayZ, and Memphis Bleek. After the appearance, JayZ signed him to a deal he was featured on Think its a Game, also alongside JayZ, on Beanies second album The Reason. In 2001, he underwent a notorious freestyle battle with thenunsigned rapper Cassidy, hosted by Swizz Beatz and lost with a unanimous judges decision.