Healing, music, and loveAlejandro Hernandezon October 27, 2022 at 5:26 pm

Healing is often a long and winding process. Try as we might to pretend that we have it under control, healing is usually messy and nonlinear. But even when all seems lost, there are moments that remind us that the light at the end of the tunnel is still worth venturing toward.  

South side rapper Freddie Old Soul’s healing process began when she picked up a pen and expressed herself creatively. She also credits music for helping her find God. That discovery led to digging deeper into spirituality, following a West African tradition known as Ifa, and becoming a trained healer.

“I started to go to herbal school with an organization called Gold Water Alchemy, and I just naturally became a woman healer before I knew it. I was doing healing circles to help women get through very traumatic experiences that have happened to them,” she said with pride. “When I say I help heal women, it’s more so about ‘what are the tools that God gave you? And how can you best utilize those tools to be the best version of yourself?’ So that’s my gift back to the community.”

Freddie’s healing work goes hand in hand with her music. She refined her craft as a spoken word poet at the Young Chicago Authors program Louder Than a Bomb (LTAB, since renamed the Rooted & Radical Youth Poetry Festival). That later translated into musical projects. Her lyricism invokes messages of inner work and self-love over mellow boom-bap production. It’s smooth and easy to listen to, allowing you to truly absorb every word she spits. The end result is alchemized gold.

“Writing poetry, being a part of LTAB, and literally sometimes even locking myself up in my room until I just got the words out of me—I would discover more about myself,” she said. “That’s why music is so important to me, because without it I just wouldn’t be able to self-reflect the way that I do. A lot of the times I rap about something and then like three months to a year later, it’s literally happening to me. I had to get through it because I wrote about it. So it’s magic, kinda, in a way.”

Freddie’s upcoming album Water, Music, and Love focuses on the transitional period of her life as a mother and her journey to rediscover herself as a musician. The title represents the three things that she says are essential to her well-being. The project’s genesis came from making music every day in her living room with her close friends and collaborators JazStarr and _Stepchild, which was a healing process in and of itself. 

With the album, Freddie Old Soul looks to claim her place among Chicago’s pantheon of great rappers, something she humbly but firmly believes she’s worthy of already.

“I think the people have been waiting on me to realize how much of an impact I truly make. I think when we name people like Mother Nature, Semiratruth, and Brittney Carter, these are my friends,” she says with earnest. “These people are reflections of me and they’ve come into my life and reminded me, like, ‘Freddie, you the coldest.’ I feel the community, and the people are waiting on me to be the impact that I know that I always have been.”

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