Freck Billionaire: Billionaire Boys Club

When you are part of any club or association there is a certain protocol you have to follow. To roll with a club like the Billionaire Boys, you would have to be fly, you would have to be comfortable rubbing shoulders with the bosses and you would have to emulate nothing but class, success and control.Philly born, street raised Freck Billionaire is a rapper that feels comfortable in that world. It’s not that he expects it that way, like some of his contemporaries might; he is working to be a part of the elite club his name portrays.Part of Fabolous’ Street Family, once signed to the renowned Trackmasters, Freck has made sure that when he opens his mouth the right people are listening. There is no procrastination on his part. With hits like Peanut Butter being played by DJ Clue and DJ Envy, features on Fab’s up and coming Gangsta Grillz, Freck Billionaire is making sure we are all familiar with his name and we remember it. Where did the name come from?Freck Billionaire: I was fortunately blessed with freckles and everyone in my neighborhood called me Freck. I got Freckle Face and it kind of stuck with me. So everyone in the hood and Philly called me Freck. There was another guy in my neighborhood RIP as he was killed and he was called Butter as he had freckles too. After he passed on I was always known as Freck. I was real distinctive and I took the name. The Billionaire came from doing everything I want to do. You know the type of lifestyle I wanted to You did a bit of time in jail, was that good for you when it came to sharpening your skills as an MC?Freck Billionaire: Yeah I mean I have been locked up a few times throughout my life, nothing that I am proud of. But the last time I was locked up was when I started writing rhymes. I have a son coming up eight years old and at that time when I was in jail he was four years old. I realized one day that I was out hustling and in and out of jail and I realized then I wasn’t setting an example for my son. At the end of the day he wouldn’t have no future, you know I wasn’t no ball player or I wasn’t going to college. I was looking in magazines and looking at yachts and G4s and Maybachs and I was thinking, this is the kind of lifestyle I want for my kids and my family. At that point in time when you ain’t no athlete or at school, you have to come up with something to do. Naturally I have a few cousins who are good at rapping, so I learned from my cousins. I have been a big Hip-Hop head and music is my life period. I knew good music. I came up under Biggie, Mase, The Lox, Nas, Jay-Z. So I basically knew what I wanted to do and I knew what lane I wanted to be in. I was incarcerated in a maximum security prison where you are locked up for 22 hours a day so I had nothing to do but write. I wasn’t going outside or nothing like that, so I just wrote as much as possible and I was getting better as time was going on. The person who was in the cell with me and others in jail would tell me when I got out I would be going places. I never do anything to waste my time, so of course I believed in myself anyway. But you can have a bias opinion at times being that it is our own music. I listened to everyone else and thank God, two weeks after I got out of jail I had my record How long ago was this?Freck Billionaire: This was three and a half years Now how long were you signed with Trackmasters?Freck Billionaire: I was with them for roughly two So what happened with that situation?Freck Billionaire: I had come out of jail and a guy from my hood, he had an R&B artist, his name is Stirling. So I knew his manager and when I was in jail people were telling him that I was hot and I would rap for him over the phone when I was in jail. They liked what I was doing. So one day, it was a Sunday; he came around and asked if I wanted to take a ride with him. He was taking his R&B artist up to meet the Trackmasters as he had a guy who knew Tone from the Trackmasters and I went for the ride. We met with Tone and Poke in the studio. They were playing Stirling’s CD and they had a few engineers with them. They were really feeling it and he had one of his cousins or friends rap on one of his songs. So Tone asked who was rapping and Tone started talking about rappers from Philly, saying they were hot. Then my friend, Stirling’s manager pointed to me and said I was hot. So Tone turned around to me and said ‘Are you hot?’ and I just said ‘Ni**a your beats hot?’ and he laughed. So they put a beat on and they let me rap and once I rapped for them, it was like Stirling wasn’t in the room no That was it then?Freck Billionaire: Well I went back to Philly and after a week they called my number and they put me on the line with LA Reid. I thought they wanted me to rap but they just wanted me to talk and show my personality. You know I don’t try to talk fly, it just comes naturally. They put me on the phone and LA said, ‘I only know one billionaire,’ and I told him he knew two now. We were just talking back and forth and he was looking forward to meeting me. To have LA Reid talking to me on the phone was like a dream come true. Then I went up to a meeting a week later. It was the year when Jermaine Dupri was working on the Usher project. I was waiting outside sweating, thinking they were going to leave me outside until they were nearly done but they opened the doors for me to come in after about five minutes. There was about thirty suits and all kinds of people at this meeting as it was a meeting fro Bone Crusher. Anyhow I went in and Tone asked me to introduce myself and then asked me to rap for them. They all stood up and clapped when I finished. Trackmasters already had their deal with Arista at this point and they were just adding me as an artist and in order for them to do that, they had to show the boss and Jermaine Dupri what I was about. Everyone agreed I was hot and we did the deal. I got a good budget, I got like $100,000. We started working on a few records. But when Sylvia Rhone and LA Reid both got fired, Trackmasters deal was no good as LA Reid was their in Did you stay with Trackmasters then?Freck Billionaire: Yeah I did because they were the first people to give me the opportunity. We were still doing records and they were trying to find another deal. I was my own artist as I was waiting for them to find a label deal for me to get a record You worked with Tommy Hilfiger’s son though didn’t you?Freck Billionaire: Yeah well Tommy Hilfiger is a good friend of Steve Stoute and Tommy’s son Richard wanted to be a rapper, so Tommy went to Steve asking who he knew and Steve then went to Trackmasters for them to do the demo and they in turn wanted me to write the demo. Through that I built a relationship with Tommy, who is a great guy and we are still friends. He lives in Connecticut and from there I met the guy who I am dealing with now, my man Jice who is the CEO of Sizzle Records. We are doing our thing right now. So at that point after we did the demo, Trackmasters was doing their thing and I was doing my own thing. Then we parted ways. At that point they didn’t get another venture deal and they didn’t want to hold me up, so I am grateful for them letting me do my Was there a lot of interest in you at this point?Freck Billionaire: Well there was a lot of labels interested in me, they knew about me and were interested but I knew at that point I had to learn for myself. It was more than spitting rhymes in front of a camera, or just spitting in front of people. I had to go and make hits now and me knowing that at that point in time I was going to have to go and get a record deal as I had to survive. Jice and I had become friends and he approached me with a situation, where we would get my street buzz going. I had already rapped for JD, Jay Z, Pharrell, these people knew who I was but Jice was about me getting the respect from them for what I do. I wasn’t a gimmick. So we came up with the idea and we did this situation with Sizzle and What is CBL?Freck Billionaire: That’s my label, City of Brotherly Love which is Philadelphia where I am from. We did a joint venture and since then I have been making records and doing my thing. I am part of Street Family with Fab as well. I have been with Sizzle and just building up my buzz. I am not trying to go and get signed; I just want to build up my buzz as I already know what it is like to have a deal. I know what it is like to have people respect you and respect that you have hits and really move for you. Instead of just signing a piece of paper and being on a Do you think that that is a big conception people have coming into the game, you know who you surround yourself with?Freck Billionaire: It is a huge misconception. I always thought myself that if you were with say Puffy you could get this kind of shine. There is beneficial things being around certain people, don’t get it wrong, but at the end of the day when you sign a contract, what is on that contract goes. The celebrity you are hanging around, that has nothing to do with anything else. Those papers are all that count. It’s about people who are handling your business the right way and really caring about the business and being on top of it. You think that when you sign, all your problems and your troubles are over. You think that is happiness and that is just one part of it. That is just your name on a piece of paper but you have to go out and make the Being that you are from the streets, as you said yourself, is there a correlation between the industry and the streets?Freck Billionaire: Definitely. I was just making that example the day before yesterday about something I can’t talk about in this interview, but it is very similar. Like anything in life, you get out what you put in. If you are grinding all day and watching yourself you know you gonna come home safe and with the money. In the industry if you are writing rhymes all day and you are staying true to your craft and you are taking care of your business right, you are going to come home with the money right. It about the grind you put in and the respect factor. There are a lot more things that can happen to you in the streets but it is the same Some people will always wish they hadn’t wasted time hanging around a situation that was already dead. You have no feelings like that when it comes to the Trackmasters situation?Freck Billionaire: Never, never, Tone and Poke were like big brothers to me. We don’t get as much chance to talk as we once did but the things that they showed me and the fact they believed in me from day one is the reason why we are on the phone right now. I am just grateful for everything, every moment I got to spend with them as the things they showed me are priceless and it goes above and beyond music. They taught me a lot of tricks to the You are cool with Fab, how did you hook up with him. Was it because of rapping?Freck Billionaire: Well I knew Fab before I even came up to New York. I knew him before I started rapping. My cousins always rapped before when I was in the streets. We would be in the streets and we would be in the club spending that street money. One night Foxy Brown was performing and she had come to the club and I had gone down with my cousins. She was with her brother and my cousins and I approached Anton as we knew he was in the music industry. He heard them rap and he said he was going to come back a couple of times to Philly and then we started to go up to Brooklyn. He would be at parties with Fab and we started seeing Fab all the time. You know we all started getting close. The guys who we still hang with now, this was all before I started rapping initially. After that was when I went to jail and then when I came home, I started coming up to New York a lot and I was seeing him on the scene. We linked up and we were naturally cool. You know we compliment each other, he’s fly, I’m fly, he spit fly shit and I spit fly shit. We are friends you know, we hang out and then there are some days where we don’t even talk about music. We have obviously talked about his album recently but we have a good friend relationship and a good work Do you think it is hard to make true friends within the music industry?Freck Billionaire: I think it is hard because a lot of times I have encountered a lot of people involved in the ‘music industry’ but there are only a handful of people that I would consider real friends. At the end of the day it is a business and at the end of the day if you have a thousand friends but you don’t handle your business it doesn’t mean anything. I used to take thing to emotionally. You know I would take people at their word, if the said they were going to do something for my by Wednesday, on Wednesday I was looking to see it. But that is something you can expect from a ‘friend,’ you know you take their word, but if it is someone else you don’t take them at their word. Look at Puffy and Mase; people thought they were brothers until that money came into play. Then you knew what it was. When that dollar comes into play all that friendship shit goes out the What have you go going on right now?Freck Billionaire: Everything is lovely; I have the biggest buzz I have ever had right now, like a phone on vibrate [laughs .] My buzz is like some hair clippers. I am working on a few projects right now. We are working on a Street Family album right now and that is me, Fabolous and his brother Paul Kane and Red Café. We are working on a Street Fam compilation album right now. Also I am working on my own album and I am finishing up a mixtape. I have a street single out right now; the Peanut Butter joint, which is just a fun song. I don’t normally make songs like that but I try to stay in with times but be different. That is playing on Philly radio and I have Clue and Envy spinning it in New York. I am about to hit the clubs hard with that. I am getting production from Just Blaze, Swizz, Cool and Dre and some other unknown producers. I am getting a lot of love and people are just throwing me stuff for free. I am modeling Rich Young clothing line. My plate is half full but I am staying focused and just thanking God that I get the opportunity to do those Do you sleep?Freck Billionaire: [Laughs] Yeah I get a few winks in every now and again. But I would rather sleep when I can make money in my dreams. For me, it ain’t about me, it isn’t about flossing anymore, you know the chains I wear or the cars that I ride in. For me I have a lot of people that depend on me and I have a lot of people that believe in me. I have a big family and there are a lot of people who are looking at me to raise the bar and be somebody for them. My father and my Mother who are always there for me and it is important for me to do this for them just as it is for my kids. Everybody is counting on me so I can’t let them Being that you were in jail for a lengthy stretch, a lot of people say that it is a time for reflection, is that where all this comes from?Freck Billionaire: I think a lot of it comes from there, but not all of it. I think from the beginning of time, I do believe in God, things were going to be what they were going to be. I do believe that it molded me a lot and made me a stronger person. I had so much time to think at that time You know when you are on the streets, you can run around, go to the stores, smoke weed, but when you are behind bars is when all the truth come out. You have no hair cut, no jewelry, no cars, no girls around. You are just staring in the mirror looking at yourself. So at that moment in time you get to see what you are about. It made me a better person and the god that it did for me was that at that point in time I was at the lowest point in my life, so for me to bounce back from the lowest to get to the highest point, I think that shows to me that I can put anything I put my mind to and that is where it benefited Would you say you are fortunate?Freck Billionaire: There ain’t no more fortunate person in the world than me. Stuff just goes right for me that ain’t even supposed to go right for me. How many millions of people would like to be on the phone with you now? How many people want to be doing this interview? I just moved into another luxury apartment. All the things that I get o see every day in life, you are grateful, but it just seems to go my way. I think about something and it happens. A lot of people help you when you are doing this and if you forget those people when you make it, then you really forget your formula and it is not going to work for you anymore. I stick to remembering those who help me out as if I do that and remember my formula, maybe then I have a shot at winning. You recently did a mixtape with DJ Clue right?Freck Billionaire: Yeah that took me to another level as I got to putout 18 songs on original beats, rather than rhyming on someone else’s beats. I gotta shout out my an Animal Steele on that because it was all so much his idea about what we should do, the angles that we were coming at. I was like ‘no-one is going to want to hear original tracks from a n***a they never heard of.’ But he let me know about things inside the project and about myself and it was a huge success. We sold 63,000 copies of that. There is also the Fab Gangsta Grillz coming up which I am all over. Def Jam just don’t want that to interfere with the sales of his album so they are holding up on that. That is basically Had you always been a fan of Clue?Freck Billionaire: Well I came up under clue so that was like history for me o do a Clue tape. My man Jice and Animal Steele said that Clue didn’t do no tapes with someone unless they were signed to him. So we took a shot at him and we were on the phone asking how much he was going to charge. He was like ‘it aint really about the money,’ as he had heard through Fab that I was a good dude. He just said that if the tape was hot then he would do it and if it wasn’t then he wouldn’t basically. When he heard the tape he wanted to do Do you have any advice you can offer up to people who are trying to get on?Freck Billionaire: When you are dealing with people, especially A&Rs they are afraid to sign people because their job be at stake. Even if they know you are hot, it is hard for them to do it as there are a lot of emotions that they are dealing with for even being in there, even if they believe you. Being hot and not being hot is all a matter of pinion at the end of the day. In my situation is that I deal with bosses and CEOs, the people who can press the button, or if the person can say yes, they always say yes. If I am dealing with anyone in between, my communication isn’t that good as I really don’t really know how to talk anything but boss language. They get the buttons pushed.Freck Billionaire's MySpace Page is