The music first developed in the early 1980's primarily in major cities like the New York, Philadelphia, and New Jersey area of the Eastern United States of America. It was a fusion of 70's disco and 80's breakdancing music, influenced also by sampling found in Hip-Hop. The genre can be further subdivided into Old Schooland New School. Old school was generally made before 1991.
FreeStyle music in general is heavily influenced by Latin music, especially with respect to rhythms and brass/horn and keyboard parts. The latin "clave" rhythm can be felt in many songs. The tempo of FreeStyle music is almost always between 110 and 130 BPM (Beats Per Minute), typically around 118 BPM. The keyboard parts are often elegant and clever, with many short melodies and countermelodies. Again a strong influence of latin music.
The electro funk sound was changed and refined adding Latin American rhythms and a totally syncopated drum sound. That was definitely a reason why the style came to be very popular among Latinas as well as Italian Americans. Hence, the names "Latin Hip Hop" or "Latin Freestyle". Now, the more neutral term "Freestyle" is generally preferred.
The theme of the lyrics is usually romantic with a positive message. The topics developed so far have not been overly complex, and are based more on a purely emotional response.
"Did you hear that new freestyle song on the radio last night? The song is slammin!"
"Are you going to the freestyle concert on Friday? There are going to be over a dozen freestyle acts singing that night."