B. Free grew up in Jamaica Queens, NY. He attended high school in Queens, Martin Van Buren High school. He began playing music at an early age, during the third grade, where he learned how to play the trumpet. His music interests continued to grow, later taking him into the realm of Hip Hop. As a youth, he used to write poetry and was intrigued by rhymes and wordplay. This interest paid off later on as he started to evolve into a Hip Hop artist.
B. Free currently has two mixtapes out and he doesn't know how to stop, he keeps going like an Olympic runner. Hopefully one day, he will get the notoriety and respect that he deserves from all his artistry coupled with his hard work. Hopefully after this interview, you will get a good idea of what he is all about and give your ear his undivided attention.
How was it like growing up in Jamaica Queens, New York?
"I had a pretty good childhood growing up. I wasn't really a troubled kid I just always wanted to have fun. I had a bunch of cousins that showed me the ropes growing up… They never went easy on me."
What did you encounter and what did you do?
"I was very involved in little league baseball and rec basketball. My mother always thought extra-curricular activities were important along with education. That's how I found my 1st love in life… baseball! It was something i've always been good at and I very much enjoyed playing."
Tell us about your youthful years, what were you like and what did you do?
"I kept to myself pretty much until I got to high school. I was a three-sport athlete in high school. I played baseball, bowling, and indoor track. Aside from the sports, I was heavily involved with music. I learned how to play the trumpet in 3rd grade and from there learned how to play the tuba and trombone. I also wrote a lot of poetry from a young age. I always had an infatuation with rhyming and wordplay."
How did you get into the rap game?
"I would have to say it happened for me back in 3rd grade when LL Cool J and 112 were shooting the "Hey Lover" video on my aunt's block. The whole neighborhood came out for the shoot and just being there I thought was the coolest thing ever! It made me want to be in my own video!"
Who were you're main influences?
"My main influences growing up were LL Cool J, 50 Cent, Nas, Jay-Z, Biggie, and Jadakiss (No specific order). My life influences were my family as a whole. We are very close-knit and we always have each other's backs through thick and thin."
How was it like growing up in one of the areas where Hip Hop started?
"It was hot growing up in Queens during the "50 Cent come-up". You couldn't walk outside without hearing somebody bumping Fif through a pair of speakers! Dude was the hottest thing coming out of NY at the time. That's my most vivid memory because it happened when I was in high school and I had more knowledge about hip-hop. "
What were your earlier experiences in Hip Hop when it was going strong in the 90s? What were you doing then?
"My friends and I would record a lot of the mixes we heard on Hot97 on blank cassettes and rap along with them. I probably still have a lot of them in a shoebox I should see if they work."
How was it like working with kats like Tragedy and Kool G Rap?
"Working with Tragedy and Kool G was a lifetime experience for me. Tragedy spit a lot of knowledge out to me during the video shoot and I just soaked it up. 2 NY legends on my track? A year ago this would have never popped into my head so I am very grateful for the opportunity. I definitely have to give a shoot out my manager Rich and my brother Jay for putting everything together for me with the collaboration!"
What can we look forward to in the future from you?
"Definitely a more improved artist all-around. I think I've finally come into my own as an artist and there's only room for improvement at this point. I've built the foundation and now it's time to build!"
What do you represent in this Hip Hop game?
"I represent truth and positivity. You'll never hear me rap about violence or anything in a negative matter. I want to give my listeners a backbone you know? Something that can hold them up and keep them thinking positive when they think the last resort is to take negative action. We all are human…we all go through similar events in life and I'm just telling my stories because everybody can relate somehow."
Who is the person that pushes you the most?
"I would honestly say myself. I am self-motivated and self-driven in life. You can't sit around waiting for people to push you to find drive that's why I'm always in 5th gear. I know exactly what I want and where I want to be."
What gives you your personal drive to keep grinding?
"My family is my number one priority. They're my everything. I hate to see anyone in my family struggle. So every day that I grind it's for my Thompson & Taylor family!"
Who are the people we can look forward to you working with in the future?
"Producer wise, I started working with my dude Mychal Ray out of LA and my brother DJ Lez out of Philly! They got some crazy beats and I'm looking forward to finishing the tracks we're working on now! DJ Mestizo from NY is becoming my partner in crime! We've been friends for six years now and we share the same passion for music so I rock with my brother. My brother Light Mike will be featured on my mixture coming out late July! He's a childhood friend from Queens and the dude got ill flow."
What are you trying to accomplish in your career?
"I'd like to get my message out there. I want people to be able to say that B. Free helped them through their day. It's a good feeling. Anybody you want to mention that has helped you along the way? My manager Richard Jackson has helped me out tremendously. A lot of this wouldn't be possible if it wasn't for him. My bro Jay Banga, KBee, Gio Priest, and my fans for listening! All of your positive comments about my music keep pushing me to make better music for your ears!"
Who are some of the people that you have worked with?
"Tragedy Khadafi, Kool G Rap, KBeeOriginal, Gio Priest, FoxaZ Beats, DJ Lez, Inspecta Morze, Digs Deep, and Aniki Beats. Shootouts to NYCEFLIX and DJ Big Bear."
If you don't know who B. Free is, now you know. Here are some links where you can get access to his music through various online entities:
B. Free- Behind the Smoke (second mixtape), download it!:
"NY NY" - B. Free featuring Tragedy Khadafi and Kool G Rap produced by FoxaZ Beats and NYRich (link):
"She Cool/ Love To Me"- B.Free ft. Airplane Erik 'She Cool' produced by BeatsbyJake (beatsbyjake.com) from the mixtape 'Behind The Smoke' B.Free 'Love To Me' produced by Kbee Original,(kbeeoriginal.com) from the mixtape 'Behind the Smoke' (link):
"Jet Lagged"- B.Free (produced by KBeeOriginal (link):
written by: Craig Ludwig