“I didn’t say I was mad at nobody, I didn’t say well I’m mad at [Cam’ron] because I did time. I said this is what’s been going on and this is what’s been happening, what’s good?
I’m stepping out first letting it be known that this is going on and somebody need to respond to me and we can get it popping and get money.”
When people mention the Dipset, you get a different reaction than you would in 2004. In their prime, the Harlem bred crew was once labeled one of the most influential groups. For Cam’ron, Jim Jones, Juelz Santana, 40 Cal, Zsa Zsa, Hell Rell and Freekey Zekey, the world was once theirs to sit on the top of.
But after the departure from Roc-A-Fella, greed, discord, a stint in prison, separate labels and what a few of the former member are calling “shiesty” deals, the bright light of the Diplomats has seemed to come to an end.
[Peep what Freekey Zekey has to say about this and the status of Dipset after the jump] More
It’s been over two years since fans have heard from the now infamous group, and Diplomats/ 730 Dipset President Freekey Zekey. After serving a three year stint, Zekey is back not only to clear up past rumors and present drama, but to answer some of the lingering questions that fans still have about the Dipset split and talks of a reunion. In addition to clearing up the past, he is also discussing the future.
With a new label, new city, a few business ventures and an upcoming album, it’s no secret that Freekey Zekey isn’t allowing nay sayers and bloggers to stop him. Hiphopwired.com recently got a chance to talk to Freekey Zekey about why Greensboro, NC is the new hot spot and what the real deal is with the Big Kat venture.
Hip-Hop Wired: What is the real deal with the Dipset? I know you and Jim Jones are cool but if somebody got over on me I’d be feeling a funny type of way about that, a lot of people would.
Freekey Zekey: This is my point. If I have a problem with you, I’m going to go up to you. I’m not going to sit and wait, then let it build up and let my friends tell me how I should feel because then it becomes a whole big mass hysteria and the next thing you know it’s blown out of proportion. That’s my whole point in the situation, if I feel a certain way about somebody, I’m going to approach them.
Hip-Hop Wired: A lot of people may feel that you releasing the track “Feel Me” is no different than what Rell and what everybody else is doing…
Freaky Zekey – “Feel Me”
Freekey: [The difference is] I didn’t point any fingers. I basically restated what’s been going on all over the internet. Cam had his thousands of interviews where he spoke on his situation; Jim had thousands of interviews where he spoke on it, Rell and Juelz [did as well]. I just decided to put it out there in a song. Everybody else kept blogging, so I was like you know what I’m gonna put it in the format that we best know and I made a song out of the situation and it just came to light because I touched on certain issues everybody was already blogging and talking about in interviews.
I didn’t say I was mad at nobody, I didn’t say well I’m mad at [Cam’ron] because I did time. I said this is what’s been going on and this is what’s been happening, what’s good? I’m stepping out first letting it be known that this is going on and somebody need to respond to me and we can get it popping and get money.
Hip-Hop Wired: In your opinion will there ever be a Dipset reunion because Cam said forget about it and everybody else is kind of like it was what it was. What is your opinion?
Freekey: I never say never, whatever the case may be it’s going to happen regardless. But I’m also not Dionne Warwick’s little nephew, so I can’t tell the future. If it was my call, yes it would be [a reunion], but I let time and progress determine the answer to that.
Hip-Hop Wired: Let’s focus on you for a little while. How did the deal at Big Kat come about because I know that Dip Set was originally through Koch?
Freekey: Dipset wasn’t really originally through Koch, Dipset really started to formulate through Sony records and it became through Roc-A-Fella Records. We did our first album with the Roc and after that we started to flourish and that is when Jim and Juelz got solo deals. I linked up with Big Kat after I was incarcerated.
I was locked up from the end of 2002 to 2006 because they “allegedly” said I was supplying all of North Carolina with [ecstasy]. I ended up doing a three year stint and when I was down there, a lot of these dudes out there was like, “Oh it’s Freekey,” I got a lot of love. People knew what I was doing years before I got locked up and they knew what Cam and Jim was doing, so they showed me much love and so much support. I knew about it through sales and radio play but I never seen people support you like this first hand.
When I got out, I went to Cam and Jim and told them that I wanted to start Diplomats South / Southern 730 because that’s my entity. Once we cleared up the mission, I met with Kat, who was the first person to sign Gucci Mane. I was like alright I can deal with this guy plus he was an independent label. So I’ll spend most of my money and start up my South record label and basically roll with him because he’s been in the South for a minute and he’s got a lot of plugs so that’s basically how I got in contact with Kat.
Hip-Hop Wired: It doesn’t sound like it’s a record deal, it sounds more like a partnership.
Freekey: More so, more so, but it is a record deal because I signed a contract as an artist with him.
Hip-Hop Wired: Let’s touch on your album for a second. On the album I know you feature appearances by Jim Jones, but are you featuring any of the other Dipset members and what other artists are you featuring on your upcoming album?
Freekey: On my album of course I’m going to have Jim, Cam, Juelz, Rell, J.R. Writer, Zsa Zsa and 40 Cal. There’s no problem with me and nobody on Dipset, not one person. I was always up front and forward about everything. If I had any problems I made sure we stayed until we got it out. There was no talking behind the back if I felt a certain way.
Hip-Hop Wired: On the mixtape circuit, what can fans expect when they cop one of the mixtapes and what’s the name?
Freekey: There’s going to be three mixtapes and I’ll put them out periodically. As far as my album it’s not ready yet but I can tell you the name. It’s called Loyalty Is Everything. If you take the first letters of each word it spells L.I.E, because a lot of times it is the close ones that mess with you. Sometimes it will be the person you never expected that will be the one who hated on you the whole time. You couldn’t fathom the fact that someone could sit there and be like, “I don’t like this dude,” because of no other reason but just the fact that you doing better at the time.
Hip-Hop Wired: What’s the name of the mixtapes?
Freekey: The first mix tape is going to be called Patron and a Bust Down. The other mixtape is going to be called the Wolf and the Coyote featuring Wiley Coyote who runs 102 Jamz out in Greensboro. He’s a very major dude out here. You’re going to be able to parallel him in a few minutes with DJ Khaled and my third one is called Gangster Ambition.
Hip-Hop Wired: Other than your new album what else are you working on?
Freekey: I bought a studio out here. Now I’m based out in Greensboro, North Carolina. I bought a studio out here, I fixed it up from scratch. So if anybody is in Greensboro… artists or people coming up, rappers, singers, piccolo players, band… You can come over there and ill charge you a nice fee, yeah, a nice fee which is workable with your budget. I know people still using the recession as their claim to short people, but we’ll see how it is. My main goal, that’s the quick short term goal, I bought a studio, but my long term goal by like 2010, I want to cop a baby store and a funeral home so I can catch them coming and going. I got a lot of things on my mind and I got a few people that’s coming out of college who are realtors so I was thinking about starting 730 realtors and I also have a trucking service.
Hip-Hop Wired: What made you stay in Greensboro?
Freekey: I was incarcerated in Greensboro. The good thing about it was they changed me, in a good way. Now I feel that as I continue to grow, I’m gonna give back and recycle the money to make sure we build a couple of businesses out here so we can have lucrative money coming in and out. I’m not a liability. I never figured I would be.
Hip-Hop Wired: Let’s get back on you and the Dipset. I read a post on one of these web sites that said: “Dipset finally ran out of rappers to beef with that would pay attention to them, so now they’re WWF’ing with each other. It’s all a scheme in my opinion and they are getting paid off of a ploy.” What is your response to those who might feel that way?
Freekey: My response is that’s crazy! A hoax?! Why would you want to fake a fight? I don’t deal with a fake company. I’ve never been phony and we always been taught to express ourselves. If you’ve got something bad to say you might as well not say it unless it’s with somebody who you feel you need to say it to. So no… no hoax going on. If it was a hoax, Diplomats wouldn’t be in power for this long. We’ve been rocking since ‘98 and it’s 2010, you can’t fake 12 years. We gave you all 12 years of straight music; there hasn’t been one year that Diplomats hasn’t been somewhere, in something somehow or some way. So really that’s just people blogging. Some bloggers just don’t have nothing to do with their life and all they want to do all day is nay say. I guess they bored with life and they mad at themselves, so they want to put some negative things just because they want some company with their misery. I love to gain haters because they say that’s a plus in the business that we in.
Hip-Hop Wired: A lot of artists have complained because of bootlegging, which is nothing new, but it’s really going hard because it’s affecting radio and every place else that people get their money from. What is your opinion and how are you as a businessman and an artist preparing yourself for what may happen? Because even though your album is scheduled to come out in the summer of 2010 if you got those songs out there it could be a possibility somebody is rocking it in February?
Freekey: That’s one of the obstacles you’ve got to hurdle in life. Robbers learned how to pick locks so they made better locks, you just got to figure out how to maneuver through that situation. Because there are a lot of things that’s going to try to deter you from success. I always play my life on defense because my offense is great. I know I’m going to score when I get by all the nonsense, so I’m always prepared for that. You shouldn’t be worried about the bootleggers, you should be worried about all the downloading that’s going to happen. If you bootlegging and you still out in the street and not in the computer world than you lost [laughs]. But for real, bootleggers are mad now. The computer users have put the bootlegger out of the business.
Stay tuned for Part 2 as Freekey Zekey talks more about snitching, The Bloods, The Black Panthers, more insight on the tension between The Diplomats, the break up of The Roc, and how he personally feels about Jay-Z.