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Crime Rhymez: Tenth Anniversary Edition of My Book of Chrymes

Crime Rhymez: Tenth Anniversary Edition of My Book of Chrymes

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Crime Rhymez: Tenth Anniversary Edition of My Book of Chrymes

343 pages
4 hours
Aug 26, 2019


This book gives its reader a glimpse into Freddy Will's musical journey. It covers the events that transpired during his separation from his family during the two civil wars. Those circumstances nearly left him dead without a coffin. It narrates the true story of Wilfred "Freddy Will" Kanu Jr.'s exhausting childhood while he was on his quest to develop his talents. The social anarchy that he lived through affected the lyrics contained in the accompanying songs in the book.

In due course, he migrated to the United States where his quest for a new life came to fruition. America offered Wilfred what many would call a second chance, but bittersweet clashes still lingered after his haunted past. Once in the United States, he put his sincerest aspirations aside. Freddy wanted to rehabilitate himself from the inside out as he made up for the lost time. He worked on healing and forgiving those who had wronged him in the past.

In anticipation of new challenges, he pursued a different set of accomplishments. Some include his college diplomas and full-time jobs that were once never available to him. And that brought an end to his desperate pursuit of financial stability. Freddy Will wrote the majority of the lyrics on his debut album during or right after the experience. He wrote the second set of songs, "City of Kings Reloaded," in Toronto Canada while preparing to record his third studio album.

This book should encourage the reader to decipher the lyrics on Freddy Will's "While I'm Still Young... the Talking Drums 1.2v." It narrates the story of how he adjusted to his new community in the United States. How did he develop as a force with which to reckon? It proceeds to illustrate how he developed his talents. As a reader, you will come to surmise the sequence in his travail, and only then will you appreciate the inspiration behind his artistic vision.

"Crime Rhymez" is the tenth-anniversary edition of Freddy Will's first publication, "My Book of Chrymes." Moreover, this edition contains an in-depth embellishment of the events that transpired after the release of his debut album. It continues the story from then to where he is now in 2019. Freddy Will has made a modest pursuit of happiness since 2009. He concentrates on his achievements and his age at that time. This edition couriers his perspective of financial success and how it redeems one from the psychological oppressiveness of scarcity.

Some of his insights in this writing date back to his earliest scripts through the 1990-1998 eras in Hip Hop. That time marked the most cryptic moments in his life that drew out his primal instincts in the same way that it unleashed his talents. These lyrics also comprise of some critical perspicacity on his most exhilarating and authentic adventures that he had not revealed before this time. There are fascinating aspects of his thoughts on social and political matters.

Find out how Freddy Will earned a Grammy nomination. Learn a clear version of when and how he was honored with four "Limited Edition" postage stamps from Sierra Leone. The best component regarding this book is not only the storytelling behind Freddy Will's musical journey but the projection of younger artists into their future as musicians. Freddy Will's life purpose is to inspire other artists and authors to persevere in their quest for greatness.
Aug 26, 2019

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Crime Rhymez - Wilfred Kanu Jr.





My dream was to be an architect.

Freddy Will became aware of himself at the age of three. It was an imperfect world where clumsy fornicators fell into drunken stupors. Weekend parties prevailed. Cold-blooded murderers waited in anticipation of the call to carnage. Although the rumors were never confirmed, his neighbors assumed that local cannibals ensnared the optimistic people. The occult and witchcraft predominated in that Godless arena of religious hypocrites.

His parents were an ambitious standout, no-nonsense disciplinarian couple from Sierra Leone. They held him to high ethical and cultural standards. His father, a high school teacher at the time, carried several prestigious qualifications, including a Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology. He held other gradations in Journalism, English, and Theology, to name three. His mother, a stay at home mom, at the time, aspired to be a nurse.

Years later, a signal for war would go off in Nimba County. That omen would unleash an appalling genocide. In the meantime, Freddy lived in the early 1980s, Monrovia aerated with political instability. There was an endless aura of anxiety among the people. During the 1970s and 1980s, West African presidents publicly executed or surreptitiously assassinated their opposers after every unsuccessful coup d’état against their government.

The Liberian indigents lived in mind-numbing scarcity. By the time Freddy Will started to attend elementary school, only a few patriots had dared to speak openly against President Doe’s administration. Some alleged that an enigmatic disappearance happened to those who bad-mouthed the president. If God was on the right, then Satan sat to the left. The voices of those who would later perish in future civil wars were ironically quiet at that time.

In those days, the international community was ingenuine. It often turned its deafened ears on the wailings of Africa’s blameless. Many people pled for deliverance. On the very evening of Freddy Will’s birth, his family almost grieved in a blood bath. Emboldened students from the persuasive Fourah Bay College in Freetown, Sierra Leone, were on a destructive anti-government riot. The authorities hushed their scrimmage with mass arrests.

Allegedly, the Siaka Stevens government had implemented a national curfew. They sought for the death or imprisonment of the ring leaders of that riot. It was the worst time for his mother’s water to break. His parents had no choice but to tip-toe through Brookfields, Freetown, slipping by armed military patrols under that August thunderstorm. The soldiers had orders to shoot and kill any civilian who was in the street during the curfew.

As fate had it, just as the couple was about to be home free at the Brook Land Maternity Center, a group of soldiers spotted them. Bullets went flying when they opened fire, and that sent his pregnant mother running with a frantic cry for help. Freddy Will was born Wilfred Leeroy Kabs Kanu Jr. at 6: 45 pm on Thursday, August 11th, 1977. He was the first of four siblings at a time when being the firstborn son was an imposed position in Africa.

The Kabs-Kanu family hails from the Loko, Mandingo, and the Temne people of Sierra Leone. They are related to the Gardrie, the Conteh, Kargbo, and Kamara families from Gbendembu Ngowahun Chiefdom and Rotifunk, Sierra Leone. Their ancestry extends through Nigeria, Guinea, and Mali. Freddy Will’s father grew up in the Reservation area of Bo, while his mother grew up in the Cline Town and Brookfields area of Freetown.

Two years after they gave birth to Wilfred Jr., his father relocated to Monrovia, Liberia. Freddy Will showed his earliest sign of interest in sound when he was four years old. He broke his father’s record player while trying to play music. Accordingly, his parents and elders punished him, hoping to shake off his devotion to the tunes and to focus him on his schoolwork. Instead, Freddy Will started dancing at neighborhood birthday parties.

By age six, his eternal punishments had left him disheartened. His mother had given birth to his sister on his fourth birthday, but she never received the same beating. He noticed that his parents seemed only to discipline him while ignoring his sister’s fault. Most of his sanctions ensued when his mother reported his misconduct to his father. Feeling a lack of appreciation at home nourished his intense longing for the sympathy he received from other people.

His never-ending urge for validation was a response to the disregard he came across. It evolved into nostalgia for acknowledgment. The praises he received from strangers were confirmation of his value. They reassured him. At that age, Freddy wrestled with emotional seclusion. His hunger for acceptance was the perfect ingredient in the artistic motivation that drove his talents to the surface. Once they did, no one could curb his resourcefulness.

He made experimental blunders. Some were irreversible. In a relentless quest to find himself, each step he took was a step on someone’s toe. In everything he did, Freddy grappled with perfection. His most significant achievements went unnoticed, while his family reprimanded him for every mistake he made. Maybe it was what he was interested in instead of what they expected him to do, what he took lightly instead of what he considered most seriously.

In life, sometimes, there are no answers. You can believe, explain, and still wake up to your worst nightmare. Insanity becomes a reality when abuse represents love. At that time, for Freddy, life was a cruel proprietor. He felt as though everyone closest to him only expressed anger. Consequently, he set out in pursuit of self-redemption. He was in a space where tribalism tore nations as far apart as racism, at the end of slavery in the British Empire.

He wanted to find acceptance in a circle where one’s tribal origin or nationality wouldn’t be as a measuring stick to a fish. Freddy learned early in life that one’s status defined their contact with opportunity. When he saw his younger sister get away with the same misdeeds that brought him stringent punishment, he realized that status is everything. He saw that skill, work ethic, and wealth were the defining factors in establishing one’s security.

It became clear to him that the respect and gratitude which he required were never going to come from his people. They gave him zero emotional gratification. Therefore, he decided to establish his influence elsewhere. It was as if nothing could unhinge him from knowing that he deserved a better psychological environment. He wandered into the nearby community, although he was too young to partake in the activities and entertainments of the flesh.

At home, his parents held him accountable for every responsibility. Ever since he was a boy, his instructions had been unbending. Nevertheless, no one applauded his magnanimity. He felt unheard. He wanted his family to appreciate him for who he is and not who they wanted him to be. He envied the children his age. Although their single mother was raising them, they went on casual walks with their estranged father when he visited.

His peers played soccer with their older siblings as they grew up in the same neighborhood having lifelong friends. That was it. He wanted unconditional love and supplemented that by establishing some meaningful friendships. Why couldn’t he have that? He envied those children the most, though their demeanor did not convey their satisfaction with the life they lived. Was that a clear case of the grass being greener on the other side?

He knew his parents did their best to shield him from perils. If they fed, clothed, and educated him, there had to be some love or respect in their hearts. His days revolved around their fundamental teachings like Godliness, education, culture, a respectable dress code, and respect for elders. He towered to the top of his class, at the Assembly of God kindergarten, he attended, since his mother had already taught him his time tables and alphabets.

Despite that, every new day was more challenging than the last. There was something in the tunes that called to him as if it fed a hunger in his soul. His stay at home mother always said no when he asked to attend his friend’s birthday parties in the neighborhood. His father taught day and evening shifts at the Monrovia Central High School. Freddy always had to study while his mother ran an after-school tutoring program for children in the area.

When he was not permitted to play with his friends, he snuck out quietly while no one was watching. He made his way to the sound of the music billowing out of a neighbor’s residence. The adults did not notice him leaving. They did not respect his talent. But Freddy gained a reputation for being the life of every party. Sometimes, he was the youngest person at the parties he entertained. Despite that, several people enjoyed his performance.

One day, he realized his fascination with women. They clasped him in their arms after he lip-synced a Michael Jackson hit. He romanced their attention with pampering arms around him and craved more of their tender love and care. His appetite for that sort of acknowledgment made him sneak out even more often to explore the possibilities where people esteemed his talent. There he lost track of when it was time to return home and stayed until nightfall.

Those were the days when he returned home late, and the punishment was flogging. Sometimes his family withheld a meal, starving him as penance for disobeying their command. If there were a neighborhood party, his mother knew Freddy had snuck out when she heard more than one loud cheer from the party-goers. That commonly indicated Freddy Will had taken charge of the dance floor and was now the center of attention.

Ever the excellent dancer, crowds encircled him as he busts his move. That carefree community was also home to cannibals who kidnapped children. Freddy’s strict parents could not tolerate him leaving home without their permission. Gossip spread like wildfire on Carway Road in Monrovia. Neighbors slandered an unruly child’s reputation promptly. Horse playing friends knew not to stumble into a locked bedroom without knocking.

As if the children were morons who hadn’t figured out that sex was pleasure among adults. A boy who had stumbled on a few grownups while they were having sex became exposed and posed a concern that led other parents to grow weary when their daughters played outside. Freddy had stumbled into a few rooms, and he understood the rules for children. He saw that everyone had a pigeonhole, and his challenge was to find out which one he fits in.

Freddy Will: "I became fully aware of myself in that neighborhood. I remember where we lived before, by Stockton Creek in Monrovia, but Carway Road is the place where my physical existence became clear to me. One of our next-door neighbors was a man called Mr. Jallah. People spread rumors that he was a cannibal. His house stood next to a swamp with tall bushes. He packed his yard with rows of old refrigerators, like the containers at a seaport.

Now, looking back, it was like the Texas Chain Saw Massacre’s compound. I thought Mr. Jallah was a refrigerator repairman. He also had a pig pen and a chicken coop in his backyard. His house had neither doors in the doorway nor windows in the window spaces, and the floor was Sandi. My parents warned me to stay away from the ‘refrigerator compound,’ but I didn’t listen too well back then. I continued to go there to play hide and seek with his sons.

As punishment, they invented a Bogeyman to scare me into obeying their command. I was frightened by a mask that hung on the wall in our living room. The idea was if I return home from secretly absconding and the African mask was not on the wall, that meant the Bogeyman was mad at me for going out. The Bogeyman was here to take me away forever. Someone wore the mask, disguised themselves as a Bogeyman, and pretended to be here to take me.

My mother locked me in a bedroom with the make pretend Bogeyman, who then terrorized me for hours by attempting to lunge at me. However, I noticed that he never killed me or took me away like he was supposed to. One time, I recognized his shoes and realized who he was. He was one of my parent’s tenants who rented a room in the back of our house. It was the Santa Claus sham all over again. That game ended there as I was no longer afraid.

Today, I’ve put an African mask on my album artwork and this book cover. It’s symbolic of that moment in my past. One fateful day I was playing hide and seek in the ‘refrigerator compound’ with one of Mr. Jallah’s sons when it was my turn to hide. Now, where did I decide to hide? The best place ever - inside one of the broken refrigerators in the compound. As soon as I hid there, I heard someone immediately locking the door behind me.

This refrigerator had a latch that locked it from the exterior. The person left me for dead in there. It was dark, and I couldn’t breathe. I was about to pass out when out of nowhere, I had the idea to use my legs to smash the door open. From a seated position, I kicked the door with the bottom of my feet numerous times until it flew open. When it did, I gasped for air and ran home wholly terrified by what had happened. I never went to play there again.

The neighbors who lived in the other houses nearby told stories about children that went missing after they developed a habit of playing hide and seek in Mr. Jallah’s compound. I had a big afro at the time. That fro, along with my reputation as a dancer, was part of what made me easily recognizable. One day another neighbor by the name of Dolly deceived me and shaved off my hair. We moved from that neighborhood after I passed to the first grade."

His parents banned him from playing music, but he still learned about his favorite artists. The adults felt that such information came with s classified knowledge for someone at his age. They underestimated Freddy’s intelligence, but he never failed to find ways to access and unlock new information. When bored, he frequently disassembled electronic devices like a stereo, a fan, a calculator, or a wristwatch to see what made it work.

Once dismantled, he could not reassemble them before the angry owner lost their temper and beat him. If only he could stay home and ignore the block party next door. Perhaps everyone would like him more. Freddy was not like the other children. At the back of his mind, he knew his parents love him, but he didn’t feel that their love was enough to spare him from their wrath. He based his interpretation of merits on these early experiences.


This was supposed to be our new page, and it was.

1985 brought a significant change to Freddy Will’s existence. His family relocated east of Monrovia to a city called Kakata, which is the capital of Margibi County in Liberia. Freddy had already lost some close friendships in Monrovia when his family moved from Carway Road to an area known as Dwallah Market. Climbing his ladder of success, Wilfred Leeroy Kabs-Kanu Sr., who started his career as a school principal, moved the family a lot.

That year he received a life-changing opportunity to lecture Educational Psychology at Kakata Rural Teacher Training Institute, KRTTI. In Monrovia, he had risen to Curriculum Specialist at the Ministry of Education. During the early 1970s, Freddy Will’s father was a recognized student journalist at Fourah Bay College, the University of Sierra Leone. Mr. Kabs Kanu was also a Sports Correspondent for several leading Sierra Leonean Newspapers.

Kabs Kanu was also a columnist for Liberian newspapers such as Daily Observer and The New Liberian. He accepted a chance to lecture at the University of Liberia/World Bank-sponsored teacher training program in Kakata. At KRTTI, Freddy Will soon became friends with a kid known as Kini Dickson, with whom he shared a lot in common. As a young fan of wrestling, he now had a buddy with whom to play fighting games.

They often played touch, a guarding team game, as well as I declare war, a local children’s game that simulated fight scenes from their favorite war movies. At that time, their favorite action films were Commando, Rambo’s First Blood, American Ninja, and C.I.5. For Freddy, when he compared it to the urban communities his family had moved away from in Monrovia, the rather suburban lifestyle at Kakata was a breath of fresh air.

The Kabs Kanu family now lived in the newly constructed lecturer’s quarters known as Du Village. Their new neighbors included Indians, Ghanaians, and Liberians. Most of the time, the Indians played Cricket in their backyard while the older sons of the Liberian lecturers played Basketball on the courts nearby. Everyone enjoyed Reggae music and soccer in their past time. After bonding with Kini, they began to crash at the girls’ hopscotch groups.

Freddy and Kini formed the perfect duo that wandered around the campus after school, looking for other children to join them to play I declare war or touch. When compared to Monrovia, even with the affluent lifestyle on the campus, Kakata was offbeat. There were regular dinner parties held by his father’s new colleagues that ushered them into the circle of lecturers, doctors and lawyers, and other professionals in and around the city.

His father was the head of the psychology department. This green campus was a modern infrastructure that, with aid from the World Bank, the government had constructed for the students and faculty. Kini and Freddy fraternized from one lecturers’ quarter to another. He also befriended a Ghanaian boy by the name of Yaw Twmansi, who was often inaccessible. Systematically, Kini and Yaw introduced Freddy to the other children on the campus.

Circumstances soon changed when the brief but close friendship between Kini and Freddy came to a tragic end. One day, Kini was playing with his other friends when he decided to go for a swim and drowned in the infamous D.U. River. A myth spread around the campus that the river is haunted by an evil spirit who claimed at least one life each year. According to that superstition, the soul which the beast stole had to be a newcomer in the D.U. Region.

Based on those rumors, it followed that Kini Dickson was also a tenderfoot. He was an orphan who, a female lecturer at KRTTI, had adopted. By losing such a dear friend just as unexpectedly as they had met, left Freddy with an incredible measure of heartbreak. The parents began to restrict their children from going out to play. Not long after that, Freddy’s parents became born again Christians and devoted themselves to a religious lifestyle.

Freddy Will: I wanted to strangle that pastor. They called the church Transia," which was short for the Trans-Continental Evangelistic Association or something of the sort. My father’s new job came with a houseboy who lived with us. This boy was like a maid who was supposed to help with chores. In exchange, my father fed, took care of him, and paid for his tuition. Most houseboys were disgruntled. Ours was jealous that we were not Liberians.

All of the houseboys assumed that we enjoyed all the privileges that should have been theirs’. They did not want to accept the fact that they were not as educated to work in the same capacity as the lecturers on the campus. I won’t even lie. I despised the people who hated us. My father treated ours as if he was my elder brother, and I tried my hardest to prove that we don’t need him. I thought my father gave him far more opportunities than he deserved in return.

Once I was in the kitchen when I saw someone picking clothes off the clothesline in our back yard. I couldn’t tell who it was, but I assumed it was George, the beloved houseboy who tried to molest me at night sexually. I grabbed a kitchen knife from the drawer and laid in wait to attack and kill him when he walked into the house. The door opened, and I lunged out with the knife. I was going to rip him to shreds, but luckily it wasn’t him; it was my innocent mother.

I never told her why I did that, but it must have scared her to death when she saw me with that knife. After that, I couldn’t excel against any expectations. I started beating up my classmates. It was like the houseboy quickly gained my father’s approval, which is something I had fought for and never got. Before I could understand the ramification of my actions, I had accidentally broken a tooth. That gap in my teeth only added to my reputation as a bad kid.

Since Kini’s passing, I became rough with the other kids. Perhaps it was I who caused my problems. I didn’t want people to see me that way. Anger overcame me. The houseboy who had arrived only recently and tried to molest me had more respect than me, in my own home. Then he ran away. My best friend died tragically, and life went back to normal as if he never existed. Then there was this new church where the members were so religious and judgmental."

In their brand-new born again reality, listening to music was a worldly sin. Favorite past times like break dancing, playing touch, or I declare war were now immoral. Birthday parties no longer came with music and punch. There were no more new clothes for Christmas, no more candy, or even chocolate. Now it was all about proving to the pastors that they would be worthy of God’s kingdom if the highly anticipated rapture happened.

Bible study became more critical than wrestling, watching Muppet Babies or Reggae Sun Splash on television. On the weekends, Soul-winning (evangelism) came before soccer, and the Sunday services got longer and longer. Freddy grew apathetic to the new church lifestyle because he felt it was tiresome. It was an entirely different system that he thought didn’t suit him. Especially since he assumed his prayers were being unanswered.

The church members appeared to be fanatics who couldn’t hold a conversation without reciting scripture to make a religious point. Gradually, he began to wander as even they could not answer his questions about life. Auspiciously, his father abruptly left Transia for another church called The Church of God. Freddy Will tagged along with him happily to join the latest congregation, where he instantly connected with their choir and Gospel music.

The Church of God had a singing group that could awaken a sleepy congregation on a lazy Sunday afternoon. They had humbled pastors who personally served food and refreshments after service. They were unlike the arrogant clergyman at Transia, who believed in suffering the little children for God. In this church, they even allowed Al Green’s Gospel or Boney M’s carols during Christmas. Within months, Freddy Will was singing hymns from memory.

Disappointment returned when his father returned to Transia. Freddy was distraught that he had to revert to their former congregation. As a member, they expected you to cut ties with your friends, stop watching television, do not listen to music (even Gospel), and give up reading books and magazines that the pastors did not recommend. In Transia, the pastors compelled the women to cover their hair and prohibited them from wearing trousers.

Moreover, women could not use makeup, perfume, or wear jewelry, including earrings — the homophobic church associated dating with fornication. The leaders pressured their congregation to sell their valuables and spend the money on building a temple and a residence for the rude and ungrateful pastor. After an eternity, Freddy accompanied his father to his Hospital and Prison Ministries at a third church called Life Church.

Wilfred Jr., now had some scriptures memorized. He developed a habit of prayer, but could never say if his prayers were effective. In the Church of God and Life Church, Freddy did not feel compelled to justify his faith in God, unlike Transia, where the pastor hastened to paint a member of the congregation as an

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