Freeincarnation: The Second Act

by Sherri Smith

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Many people remember Free as one half of what made “106 & Park” so successful. Beautiful, funky, and outspoken, Free connected with her audience. With her effortless grace, awesome clothes and fiery red afro, Free was the epitome of the cool girl that all the girls wanted to be and the guys want to be with. And why not? Through her solid reporting and interviewing skills, Free has built up a healthy well of respect in the Hip-Hop community, which as a woman can be almost an impossible feat. She chalks up her success to being comfortable.

“I would say just always do what you’re comfortable with and if there’s anytime you’re not comfortable you should stop,” she said. “You just need to be yourself. I think it depends on your level of comfortability.” But aside from being an engaging television host, there’s so much more to the former VJ that the public never got to see. But with her return to the limelight via radio, publishing, and yes, television, we get to see Free at her very best.

If you live in the New York tri-state area, you get to wake up to the morning musings of Free and legendary radio personality Ed Lover on “The Ed Lover Show.” And if you’re a fan of Ed Lover, you know that you’ve got to be on point to share the mic with Ed and Free agrees, “I absolutely love it because if you’re ever going to learn to really use your opinion, you’ll learn it by working with Ed Lover.” Aside from taking over the airwaves every morning, the multitasking media mogul in training says that she has a few television offers on the table, but declined to comment on the details. In addition to the possible television ventures, Free has also started flexing her literary muscles, penning blogs for Russell Simmons Global Grind where she focuses on giving us her two cents on the latest concerts. And to add to her ever-expanding empire, there’s a line of books in the works.

“I was very lucky to have that position [at “106 &Park”] and gain the trust and the viewership of the community and I hope to be able to do more things – to speak for the community in the future.”

But if you took away all the accolades and the limelight, Free feels one of the best things about the opportunities she’s been given is the power to use her voice as an agent of change in the community. “I was very lucky to have that position [at “106 &Park”] and gain the trust and the viewership of the community and I hope to be able to do more things – to speak for the community in the future.” As a result of her commitment, she’s currently in the process of reorganizing her non-profit, the Free4Life Foundation.

With all this positive motion and go-getter attitude, you would be surprised to know that Free considers herself to be extremely shy. When I ask her to describe herself in five words, I thought I heard her blush through the phone. The answer we eventually came to was, “Driven, Independent, Goofy, Happy, and Clumsyfallonyourass.” When asked about her reluctance to talk about herself, she admits it’s something that she’s working to change stating, “I’m the worst at talking about myself. That’s a problem of mine that I’m working on. If anyone can promote their self, it’s LL Cool J and I need to take a page out of his book because I suck at it.”

“I come from a place where I started writing because of emotions I was feeling. So I’m shy when it comes to that because I’m saying things I’m saying on stage are touching on things I’ve gone through.”

The shyness also comes across in her music. If you remember, Free was working on a music project that was never released. As she reenters the studio to work on a new project, even though she still considers it a hobby, she’s protective of her music, “I come from a place where I started writing because of emotions I was feeling. So I’m shy when it comes to that because I’m saying things I’m saying on stage are touching on things I’ve gone through.”

When asked what the next five years holds for her, Free had clear cut goals including continuing to build on the things that she already has in the works, and getting the television show that she wants to do. However she’s very aware that nothing’s set in stone. “I want to be able to express myself whether its through song or writing, but I’m sure my goals will change in six months because we’re supposed to change as people as we move forward.”

For more information on Free please visit www.freesworld.com.

  • http://www.nikabrightlightwarrior.wordpress.com Nika Marie

    Glad to read this post on Free. I just love her!

  • Jay

    Free is crazy and I know that from personal experience. We went to see her at one of the Essence traveling tours in Atlanta and she went off on my ten year old sister. Accusing her of cutting someone in line, she then told my sister that she would have to move to the side and wait for an autograph after signing the girl she supposedly cut in front of. It was obvious my sister did no such thing. I just don’t understand what makes one tell of a ten year old girl. Also if you watched her on 106 and Park you could tell she was crazy from the way she interacted with the audience. Also she used to mess around with Jay-Z when he was dating Beyonce. She is trifling.

  • Ms. Becca

    SO good to see Free doing her thing! Loved the article!

  • http://allnaptural.blogspot.com/ Laquita

    I love Free – great article :o)

  • CC

    Love Free and glad to see she’s back!

  • SaraDoubleU

    I’m excited to see the projects she has in store, definitely one of the more memorable celebrity personalities of our time in the community

  • http://www.glennishathewriter.com Glennisha Morgan

    Great piece. I miss seeing Free on 106. She reminds me of myself.

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