E. Ives – Guitar / Vocals
Mo D’Anger – Bass
Kickman Teddy – Drums
DJ Charlie White
Memphis is America’s musical heart and soul. It’s the birthplace of rock, the spiritual home of the blues, and more recently, host to some of the best rappers of the past decade.
Fittingly, FreeSol has synthesized Memphis’ myriad of influences – seemingly via osmosis – and has crafted a fresh sound that is electrifying fans from Atlanta to Los Angeles.
“We’re bringing it back to Memphis,” says FreeSol Anderson, ringleader of the 5-piece hip-hop/rock hybrid. “Just being around so many musicians is part of what makes this city great.”
Comprised of FreeSol Anderson aka Free (MC), Kickman Teddy (drums), E. Ives (guitar/vocals), Mo D’Anger (bass), and DJ Charlie White, FreeSol has been winning over fans all around the South, the Midwest and the Northeast since 2003, via a live show that bridges the gap between rap, rock, funk and soul.
“What we do is present rap music live,” Free explains. “I love to listen to hip-hop in the car, but I don’t really run off and go see rap concerts. What we do is try to keep hip-hop entertaining live.”
The act’s energetic sets caught the attention of Memphis native Justin Timberlake, who not only became a fan, but also signed the band to his label, Tennman/Interscope.
“We were on our way to Atlanta to sign a deal [with another label],” Free reveals.
“Justin caught wind of it and immediately called us.”
The rest, as they say, is history. FreeSol did stay in Memphis, and they’ve recorded a stellar album that showcases the crushing power of the genre-hopping collective.
From the breakneck, militaristic beats of “Role Model,” punctuated with bursts of guitar (and a guest rap turn from Timberlake), to the sizzling, sensual, extended-metaphor of a coy rap track called “Audition” (which features Memphis rap legend, 8Ball), “No Rules” is a dizzying tour through Tennessee’s musical soul right now.
“It’s a little bit of everything,” says Free of the mélange of styles present on the set, which leans more urban than rock, yet contains elements that will appeal to fans of bands such as Franz Ferdinand and the likes.
“We make something that has all of the elements and make it pop,” he continues.
True enough, tracks such as “Hoodies On, Hats Low” sway with a confidence rarely seen in bands pursuing the type of music FreeSol excels at.
“It’s a generation song,” Free declares. “You put your hoodie on and it’s a hip-hop thing. People relate to the culture of it…even if you’re a lawyer or accountant out jogging. You put your headphones on, you put your hoodie on, you pull your hat down low…everyone can relate to that moment when you just kinda zone out. It’s automatic.”
Indeed, the entire band seems set on “automatic” when it comes to magnificent musicianship (this is Memphis, after all), coming across as the house band “Hustle & Flow” never had; yet would have welcomed with open arms.
FreeSol’s debut offering, produced by Timbaland, Jim Jonsin, Mike Elizondo, Printz Board, Dave Tozer, Greg Gordon and The Y’s, and executive produced by Justin Timberlake, unquestionably captures the sound of the South today – which is to say soulful, danceable, edgy, fun and with a heart so large fans know it could only come out of a city at the center of America’s evolving musical journey: Memphis, Tennessee.
Freesol Featuring Justin Timberlake
“Role Model” (Explicit)
From No Rules
Freesol Featuring Justin Timberlake & Timbaland
From No Rules
Live On Late Night With David Letterman
“Hoodies On, Hats Low”