Curtis Mayfield didn’t just compose “Freddie’s Dead,” he sang it, too. The song is the theme to the greatest blaxploitation soundtrack – one of the finest soul albums of all-time – for the blaxploitation film Super Fly. The lyrics are clever and never preachy. That’s part of the magic of Curtis Mayfield.

The lyrics of “Freddie’s Dead” are about a man who wasted his life by making bad choices, but then Curtis Mayfield expands the personal story to society at large when he wrote:

We’re all built up with progress
But sometimes I must confess
We can deal with rockets and dreams
But reality, what does it mean
Ain’t nothing said
‘Cause Freddie’s dead

In this article

Curtis Mayfield Pusherman Superfly Cover

Freddie’s Dead

Curtis Mayfield

Album: Super Fly

Curtis Mayfield was one of the most influential musicians behind soul and politically conscious music, especially from an African-American lens. And it’s no wonder this song made it up to #4 on the U.S. Pop chart and #2 on the R&B chart.

DISCLOSURE: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through our links, at no cost to you. Please read our DISCLOSURE for more info.