Freekey Zekey: Balling Before Bail

Freekey Zekey's thoughts in jail sound nothing like a “One Love” letter. Instead, the Harlem Diplomat original is likely just days away from hitting the bricks, and his excitement shows. In between paying homage to Tupac and Biggie as well as George Bush and Saddam, Zeke retraces the movement from its humble beginnings, to its soaring heights.After a 36-month sentence in a North Carolina prison, the walls are about to open up for a recording career that even the hardcore Dipset fans didn't get to hear much of. With the release forthcoming Book of Ezekiel a new chapter begins in a novel that Zeke believes should have closed a long time ago. Get to know one of Hip-Hop's most outspoken cast members, in Freekey They say it's more money and more problems. Coming from humble beginnings and reaching success only to have it snatched from you along with your freedom had to be frustrating. How did you maintain?Freekey Zekey: On the real to real, it was a constant struggle since ’98, when a n***a Killa [Cam’ron] rhymed for Biggie and we got on. [Editor’s note: Notorious B.I.G. died in 1997] Like it was ups and downs with Sony. Sony ain’t let us live the way we wanted. They didn’t understand gangsta music when they was supposed to, they was really on R&B s**t. So Killa’s s**t ain’t ride like how it was supposed to. But other than that, when we went in 1.4 million, I hit the streets. I did the street thing that’s why I’m locked up honestly. So being successful and having it taken away it’s really… there’s no medium in the situation because I fell off a cause. Whenever you do something for a reason, like when troubled waters happen, it’s not too much of a problem in your heart because you know what you did is for a reason and when it becomes successful then you really can just praise up to it. So basically, being locked up over the situation is all good, you know what I mean? Being away a few years, and watching your people grow, do you ever wonder whether you will fit in the same way?

Freekey Zekey: Can it fit in? No homo. No Homo. I’m already in. Being that I’m gone, I have no reason to feel like an outcast to get back in. When I talk to my n***as, it feels like I just spoke to them yesterday, know what I’m sayin’? Juelz, the young Lil’ Hubbard, I call him the Lil’ Hubbard even though he got a little Lil’ Hubbard, but he Lil’ Hubbard. Jim, been with me since third grade, Killa, been with me since I ain’t know how to wipe my ass [to the potty training]. So being back with my n***as is nothing, you smell me? So no. Getting back with them it’s like they in the third lane and I put my blinkers on and got in the third lane with them, so it's on and poppin', smell me? Juelz did some great numbers. Jim Jones is probably surpassing what anyone ever expected of him as a recording artist. How does that play into the team dynamic? Freekey Zekey: Everybody, everybody, everybody don’t like to take a chance with a street dude you know what I’m saying because of the fact that, n***as is scared of failure, but look at all the street n***as that prospered, you know what I’m saying? Shout out to Kevin Childs that’s the only one who I could really talk about who did his time like a G. But other than that, Jim, Juelz, Killa, Freek, all of us we did the same damn thing. Everybody is not gonna like… everybody love negativity, but they don’t want to take a chance on it. You smell me? So Jim, Juelz, Killa, and myself when I get out, everybody gonna be itchy to the situation, but that’s what rocks. N***as want to hear the truth. N***as want to hear reality so once you present that on wax and people hear that it’s not an air of fiction. It’s seriousness, and that’s what we present to the world. That’s why Dipset is a movement. But I don’t even really gotta answer that question because it speaks in our numbers. We’re all ballin’. How fast do you think you can get up to speed back in the real world? Freekey Zeekey: As soon as they let me out. As soon as they let me out the gates. I’m in the real world right now. I’m locked up, but I’m in the real world right now. But I’mma be out there, and when I get out there Freeky, a.k.a Katrina but I’m not gonna destroy, I’m gonna build. So listen to me and you’ll understand the real knowledge of a person that is successful, and all of us will get caked up, I’m talking about all my fans listen to my words and you’ll be able to be caked up, ya dig? When will you be out for good? Freekey Zekey: November something. I can’t put a date on the s**t. Weed been blowing, drinking been going I been doing s**t, but hopefully sometime in the later, latter part of November they’ll get on the century part of my situational thought, ya dig? You damn right. I conduct all business. I’m a motherf**king president, n***a. Freeky mutherf**king Zeeky presidente al dente, ya dig? You prolly heard, you’ll get it later, I been taking care of all my business. Every thing I do like as a matter of fact October 13th J.R. Writer down here getting money, doing the thing. Not only the thirteenth, but also the fourteenth and also the fifteenth. Then we flip that, the next week I’ll have Hell Rell. I gets money while I’m locked up, I did a whole bunch of things…Ahhh, you trying to get me! Nah, but I do my thing I gets money. Killa be here next week, shout out to Killa. I get 18,19 [thousand] from you just for my cupcakes. On the tenth anniversary of Pac's passing we reflect on how tragic it is when a young lion is taken from us before they could realize their full potential. You've almost been taken from us twice now. How can we avoid some of those missteps from the past? Freekey Zekey: You didn’t lose me, I’m here. Damn ‘Pac, shout out to ‘Pac, man. Shout out to Biggie too, know what I’m sayin’? All them genius n***as that lost the cause to the situation of the hood yamean? But s**t happens, you know what I’m saying? And it was a reason, It’s written, man. So, I’m here to fulfill the part of the book that my chapter’s in. I love them n***as to death; they paved the way. Them two muhf**kas almost caused a muhf**king war from the East to the West just off of words, ya dig. They did what they did but, ya know, that chapter’s closed. Pardon me for saying they dead like that, but they dead like that. So we just here to finish the chapter man, Freek gone do what he do, know what I’m sayin’? I love them n***as to death you know what I’m sayin’? I took shots because of the cause, too. Enough about the past. What’s going on with Freekey Zeke now? What's in the pipeline as far as upcoming projects? Any albums for yourself? Freekey Zekey: What’s going on with me? Me that’s what’s going on. And more me with a little bit of me and add me on it, with a sauce of me. It’s about Freek. F-r-e-e-k-e-y, muthaf**ka. That’s what I got to get on. Stop spelling my name wrong. It’s Freekey. F-r-e-e slash a lower case k-e-y. Got a free key. That’s how I got in the game. That’s how Dipset stayed on top of the world. I’m doing time, so I can talk about it, no double jeopardy in this motherf**ker, ya dig? I got a CD, 2 DVDs on my way home outside of Harlem. The title of the album is called The Book of Ezekiel. Religious n***as know what I’m talking about, other n***as that’s not religious, you’ll find out. But basically…it’s the about the book of my life, I can’t name it nothing else, it’s the book of Ezekiel. That’s how I describe myself to ya’ll on wax, and I’mma give it to you just like that, straight like that, no chaser. It’s booming man. We getting money. Mo’ money, mo’ money. North had it. West had it. South got it. We generating. That’s what I’m talking about. We found a way…you can’t stop motherf**king n***as getting money, man. They talking about, “Oh drug this drug, that.” Okay, we rhyme. Aight, boom. North had it, we spit that s**t, West, now the South got it. We never stop getting money, you can’t hold us, Y’all brought us here so we gone get it how we get it. Bush kills, does everything, and I love it know what I’m sayin’? Everybody talking Bush this, Bush that, he f**ked up, nah the n***a send troops out getting money, that’s what we do. We on the block, n***as trying to handle us what? We send our goons out, take it over. What we gotta do after that? We find another block, take it over. That’s what Bush doing. Shout out to Bush n***a, I’m wit’ you, n***a, take over countries, n***a, we taking over blocks, you take over countries. This is where we living. What? You tell me U.S.A. is f**ked up? Hell no, we make money! Freek in the building, shout out to Bush, n***a. Take that oil, drop us back down. Let’s get money, man. Saddam you aight with me, you can pour a drink wit’ me it’s aight, we’ll talk. But at the end of the day, if Bush say it’s over, bllllackaaaa! A salam alaikum though. What do you think about the present climate of the music industry? Those platinum and gold albums of the late ‘90s and early 2000s are getting harder to come by.

Freekey Zekey: Going gold and platinum? That’s all we go! Listen, we on an independent label, man. Independency means… listen, if you go 50,000 [sales] that’s they recoup. Once you go anything over 50,000 on Koch, Asylum and all that, Jim goes 200-300,000, Killa goes the same thing 200-300,000, Duke goes 110-189,000. I don’t know the stats on J.R. [Writer], I ain’t get ‘em, I’m locked up . But when you do over 20-30,000 maybe 50,000, we get eight dollars off of that. Times that by 100-200-300,000. All that 10 cent, all that 15 cent n***as do on them major labels, we not with that. We getting real cake, man. $8.45 a record, man. I be home I’ll get it and you check my stats, check my flow, check my guap. How does the Diplomats movement keep inspiring their followers?

Freekey Zekey: Basically because it’s a movement. It’s more like Malcolm X, it’s more like Martin Luther [King], it’s more of a movement because, not the fact that we makin' money we do what we do but the reality of our speech touches everybody's heart. It’s not just some s**t. We not Danny Glover, shout to him though, but he’s a muhf**kin’ actor. We don’t act in our speech. Everything we say we are going through. A lot of people die. Somebody died right now from what just I said, because of the act of their living. People are real rebels. We are real rebels in this. We making the situation happen just through our own entrepreneurship. How do you separate the fake from the real? This industry is full of illusion and fake beefs. Do you make an attempt to separate that both with the way you’re living and the fans who seem to not know the difference anymore? Freekey Zekey: We not following nobody. We doing what we do because the cause brings us our food. The little kids that we got growing up we give them something to feed on. This is bigger than just rhyme. This is bigger than just speech. This is the way of life this is how we live. We don’t muhf**kin’ rhyme to make a rim look good. We rhyme to make our children get fat. There’s a lotta people that done died, that’s dying, that’s gonna die, or that’s gonna make it, get rich, and be real successful in this situation. So Diplomat Records, when we say it’s more like a movement that you need to be in tune with, it’s because it is what it is. We doing this because this is how our kids eat. We not doing this so our chains can go around our neck. This is how we obviously pay for the water, pay for the electricity, pay for damn near the air we breath Without what we do, we’d prolly’ be shot up or dead or over there doing 999.9999 times nine years. Shout out to the n***as that’s doing that. All my homies, hold your head up. But other than that, man, it’s a movement that you need to get in tuned with. Any message to your supporters? Freekey Zekey: It’s bigger than nothing you getting a whole bunch of something. Look at me, I’m a prime example. I got shot the f**k up. I sold drugs - I can say that cause you can’t double jeopardy me, I done got shot, I’m in jail for the situation. This s**t here is not sweet. We got signed in ’98, here it is ‘06. We balling. But throughout that time from ‘98 to now on, it’s been a whole bunch of struggle. N***as done got shot, n***as done did time, n***as done did everything. But we here now.