Exclusive: Freeway On Kidney Failure, Dialysis And 'Free Will'

OKP Exclusive: Freeway Talks Kidney Failure, Dialysis And 'Free Will' LP [Album Stream]

Okayplayer Interview - Freeway - National Kidney Awareness Month

UPDATE: Stream Freeway’s new Free Will mixtape down below

Last September, the hip-hop community was still reeling from the passing of Brooklyn’s own Sean Price when news broke that Freeway suffered kidney failure. The soon-to-be 38-year-old Philadelphia MC was rushed to the hospital to receive an emergency dialysis treatment. His story was much like mine in that I had an emergency surgery to be placed on dialysis in 2012. As a kidney patient of almost four years, I was shocked to find out how many people are in the same boat as myself and Freeway that goes almost unnoticed by the general public.

One in three American adults are currently, at this moment, at risk for developing kidney disease. Most don’t even know it. I was fortunate to learn that my condition was life-altering, but due to the ignorance of youth I felt that I could beat it on strength alone. Freeway thought the same way and we both experienced the same result. While I chose the path of peritoneal dialysis—which is basically home dialysis—Freeway went the way of hemodialysis. For those unaware of these processes, these are the ways to keep the functions of a failing kidney going while awaiting a transplant.

The Philadelphia spitter and I are a part of a club where we must fight everyday against a disease that is ranked as the ninth leading cause of death in the United States. Since being diagnosed, Freeway has become an advocate doing his part to raise awareness on kidney failure and dialysis. After performing at the National Kidney Foundation‘s Philadelphia Kidney Walk last year, Philly Freezer helped to raise money that supports programs and services for kidney patients. Using social media to update the people on his recovery, Free is one of more than 121,000 people who are waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant.

As someone who is also waiting for a kidney transplant, it has been hard to relay this information to my co-workers. In the past, I have had co-workers and friends who have filed me under “liability” after telling them that I was a dialysis patient. I have even lost opportunities because I have a kidney disease. I have even been distanced by friends who don’t know how to approach me knowing the severity of my health. Black Americans as a whole are three times more likely to experience kidney failure, which, once happens almost immediately requires dialysis or a kidney transplant. This conversation with Freeway was liberating for myself, as I could relate to what he is going through and I believe that it helped him as well.

In this Okayplayer exclusive, yours truly raps with Freeway who shares an extensive update about his health, what it is like to be on hemodialysis and provides an insider’s look at his upcoming album, Free Will.

This is a must-read for anyone who cares about health and kidney awareness in America.

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