Freeway has opened up about what it was that allowed him to diss Nas in the midst of his beef with JAY-Z despite being a longtime fan.

In a new interview with VLAD TV, the State Property MC said that he once drew comparisons to Nas, whose “If I Rule The World” lyrics he even incorporated into some of his early rhymes as an up-and-coming artist. However, at the height of the feud between the two New York titans, crew loyalty superseded his fandom.

“I love Nas, I gotta just let y’all know that,” Freeway said. “That was painful for me. ‘Cause when I was a young boul, they used to call me the Philly Nas. I had this song and I had this hook, ‘They love to hear the story how the thugs live on worry/ Ducking down the car seats, heat is mandatory.’ Like, I LOVE Nas.”

“But like I said, When it come time to ride for the team, I’m riding for the team,” Free added. “At that time, we in the middle of it. And it’s time to show and prove. And I’m letting people know what it is: I’m riding for the team. You got a problem with Big Homie, you got a problem with all of us.”

Once JAY-Z and Nas had patched things up to the point that they were collaborating and supporting each other publicly, Freeway was able to tell Nas how he felt as the two left the video shoot for “Roc Boys (And the Winner Is).” That’s when he found out that the artistic appreciation was mutual.

“When we got outside, I was like ‘Look Nas, I know I dissed you; but I love your shit, I used to listen to your shit as a young boy’,” Freeway recalled. “He was like, ‘Free, I love your shit too, I ain’t even gon’ front, I be listening to you too.’ I was happy we had that moment and I got to tell him how I really felt. That was major for me.”

Years removed from the rivalry, Freeway remains just as big a fan of Nas, sharing that he even interrupted a recent studio session to celebrate the moment the Queens native followed him back on Instagram.

While he’s also come to a point of mutual love and respect for The LOX, Freeway stated that at the height of the groups feud with the State Property camp, there was absolutely no love lost.

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As a matter of fact, due to the level of animosity and where he and his Roc-A-Fella brethren were in their lives at the time, things could have easily gone left, he explained.

“We was always prepared for it to escalate,” Free said. “You gotta think: we fresh off the streets, still on the streets. Everything that we said we MEANT, and we was carrying it like that everywhere we meant. [But] by the time we started bumping into each other, things was calmed down.”

He later added: “Kiss, Styles and Sheek, I really look at them like my brothers. I really got genuine love for them, and I feel like it’s vice versa. So I’m glad we didn’t kill each other ’cause at one point it really coulda happened.”