Fre$h, an emcee with ties to both Florida and Ohio, is back to work after coming off of the recent drop of The WonUp mixtape in late August. First off, huge shout out to Fre$h for being so cooperative after some technical difficulties occurred during the interview. Everything was quickly sorted out and the interview produced a lot of valuable information.
During the interview, Fre$h talked about the standards he sets for himself, in all aspects, his experiences playing Division I basketball at Ohio University, his transition into a becoming full-time artist, and his involvement with Team Yizzo.
Fre$h also mentioned how he was influenced by both rock and southern hip hop, his current place in the hip hop industry, and potentially working on a project with Cardo.
So I see you’re in LA right now, what are you working on?
Fre$h: This EP right now, I’m gonna title it To The Left Side.
What inspired that title?
Fre$h: Just the decision to move out here to California, that’s what it’s based on.
Alright, cool. Where are you from originally?
Fre$h: Melbourne, Florida. Like, 30 minutes east of Orlando.
So The WonUp mix tape dropped about a month ago. So, did you just jump straight back into everything or did you take a little time just to enjoy the benefits and all that?
Fre$h: Aw nah, I feel like that wasn’t really nothing to enjoy because I feel like I didn’t even do anything, really. I just got right back to it in the studio, man. Yeah, I’m just keeping this grind going. Trying to add more product to get to more people.
I got you. Well you said you feel like you didn’t really do anything with The WonUp. So what kind of standard do you set for yourself where you can feel like you can be proud of what you did?
Fre$h: Oh, I’m the biggest critic to myself out of anybody, man. I feel like once I completed a song, or a project, it’s old. Like, I don’t like it; I’ve got to get on to the next thing. But, that’s just the kind of person I am, I’m not just hard on myself; I’ve been like that all my life, just to keep it going, to keep this drive.
Where’d you get that from?
Fre$h: Shit, just the way I grew up, man, not having nothing forreal. Just going through the struggle, knowing how it is.
Yeah, I see where you’re coming from. Alright, so how’d you end up playing basketball at Ohio University?
Fre$h: Actually I was on an AAU team based out of Florida, called Florida Elite, and the owner of the organization was an alumni of OU. The coaching staff that was there back in ‘07, he was close to them and he brought them to my house when I was in high school, for a visit. And ever since then, me and those coaches clicked and that’s what made me go to OU, and I knew I would play right away.
Cool, so what was it like playing at OU? If you could talk about that a little bit.
Fre$h: I mean, it was a cool experience. I met a lot of people, traveled around the country a lot playing different teams and universities. I’ve got friends playing in the NBA now, like, it’s crazy.
Could you name some people real quick? [laughs] I don’t mean for you to namedrop or nothing…
Fre$h: I fuck with Tyreke Evans a little bit. My dude Larry Sanders on the Milwaukee Bucks. A couple more people.
Alright, cool. So do you see anything in common between music and sports? Like when it comes to work ethic or anything like that?
Fre$h: Yeah man, you just gotta always stay hungry; you can’t be satisfied with anything. Like, say in a game you score 20 points, you gotta use that to come back out in your next game and perform that much better. Or you drop a mixtape and you got so many or so downloads, you gotta try to top that. You know what I mean?
Yeah, I got you. Do you remember the actual moment when you decided that you were going to go into music full time?
Fre$h: Yeah. Back in, I think, 2010, when I was still playing at OU, I had broke my hand so I was just sitting out. A lot of shit happened, and I had the chance to come back, but me and the coaches, like, we had to sit back and make this agreement and then I had to do all this other shit and I wasn’t with it and I just stayed at home. I told myself from then I’m just going to keep going with this music because it was the only way. But then I got another chance to play at this DII school. I went and played and I left there again so, yeah, it’s all about the music.
Yeah, most definitely. Alright, so you didn’t work hands on with Cardo or Sledgren, or anything like that but, like, what do you think you benefited from working with them in music?
Fre$h: I feel like it opened up my lane a little bit more, because he has that sound that I’ve been particularly looking for. I’ve been in contact with his manager lately and I’m going to try and do a project with him, if possible.
Alright cool, I could see a lot of hype around that, forreal, forreal. I assume you grew up listening to rap and all that, so what artists did you grow up listening to and do you model yourself after them?
Fre$h: My brothers put me on a lot when I was young. But when I was, like, way young, I used to listen to everything like rock, and all types of shit, man. And then my brothers, they used to listen to Three 6, UGK, all the southern rappers and shit. I got put on to that, and that’s what really influences my music and stuff, that down south, that sound down there. You know what I mean?
I got you. So what’s your craziest moment been so far now that you’re full time in music and everything? Has it been like a crazy show, or a fan, or something like that?
Fre$h: Nah, none of that so far. Nothing crazy, man. I’m trying to get it that way though. [laughs]
I’m sure you are man. [laughs]. Nah, but where do you see yourself in the game in the next five years? Because I know you’re going to keep making moves and all of that.
Fre$h: Yeah. I see myself pretty established man. I want to get my own label, eventually, and start trying to help people. Because that’s what I feel like my purpose is, to help people, that’s what I’ve been doing all my life. Just trying to help everyone around me. Yeah, in five years, man, that’s what I see myself doing.
Alright, cool. Is there anyone in particular that you want to work with?
Fre$h: Yeah. Man there’s people I’d love to work with... – wait, Producer or artist-wise?
Fre$h: Proucer-wise, I would love to work with Pharrell man, Pharrell and Harry Fraud. And artist-wise, I would like to work with Curren$y, Ab-Soul, the whole TDE. [laughs] I can’t even think off the top of my head.
Yeah, I’m sure it’s too many people right now. Alright, so just for the person that doesn’t understand, can you explain what TeamYizzo is about a little bit?
Fre$h: Yeah. Collectively, we’re like a family man, we’re all friends. Like, I just joined probably about a year and a half ago, but everybody else that’s in the group, they’re all from Ohio and they knew each other in high school. My friend CG, he founded it. He got the name from his cousin. We just became friends when I was at OU and we did music together and from there we just built this relationship as friends and brothers and it was only right to join ‘em.
What should we expect from your new project? Like what’s the sound?
Fre$h: It’s actually got a lot of up-tempo and mellow to it. I don’t know what name to put on that, [laughs], like what specific name to put on that. But its definitely going to be different from The WonUp.
Alright cool. So final question, what would you say your place is in hip hop right now? If you could, like, put words on it.
Fre$h: Shit, I still feel like I’m a little nigga in the game. I’ve still got a long way to go, man.
Yeah, but you plan on doing more, right?
Fre$h: Aw yeah, for sure.