Ricky Fitchett // ZUMA Press
Freeway has spent the last 18 years conquering the music industry, touring around the world to perform his classic records with Jay-Z and Roc-A-Fella Records. But in recent years, the Philly rapper has had his biggest challenge yet: kidney failure and dialysis.
On Tuesday (April 24), Freeway welcomed friends and music industry heads to the Universal Music Group building in New York City for a screening of Think Free, a film that documents his health issues over the past three years and his efforts to raise awareness of kidney disease. Freeway's State Property brethren Neef Buck, Sheek Louch, Def Jam Chairman/CEO Paul Rosenberg, and Lil Mo were among those in attendance.
While awaiting a kidney transplant, Freeway has to dedicate three days a week to receiving dialysis treatments - a process that removes excess water, solutes and toxins from the blood. Dialysis does the function through a machine for people whose bodies can't do it because of kidney disease or kidney failure. Freeway had high blood pressure, diabetes, and two of the main causes of kidney disease.
"This documentary is just a glimpse into my life and what I'm going through. Hopefully, it can be motivation for people and encourage y'all to go the doctors and get checked out at least once a year," Freeway told the audience before the screening. "I was walking around with the risk factors and was unaware of it. If I knew, of course I would have done something to take care of myself and be a little more proactive in my health."
Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved. Thanks to everyone that came out tonight! I really felt the love!! #Phillyfreeway #ThinkFree #Album #Documentary #RocNation #BackAtTheRoc 📸 @shareifz
Think Free tells the story of Freeway's diagnosis, provides education on kidney disease, has interviews with other dialysis patients, and tracks Freeway's award-winning work toward raising awareness of kidney disease around the country. Lil Uzi Vert, DJ Khaled, and Roc Nation Senior Vice President Lenny S all appear in the documentary.
After the screening, Freeway took questions from the audience about kidney disease. The event also had a preview of Think Free, Freeway's upcoming album that marks his return to Roc Nation. The album is slated for a June 8 release, and the first single, "All The Way Live," drops this week.