Freekey Zekey is best known for his antics and being one of the founding members of legendary rap group, The Diplomats, but he’s also a chef in the kitchen and making his television debut as the “troublemaker” in upcoming series, “Vow or Not”, starring himself, Jim Jones, his soon-to-be wife Chrissy, and Jim’s mother. We got on Zoom video and had a chat with the awesomely funny and happy Freekey Zekey as he broke down the rules of life and the rules of the kitchen! Check out the interview below, and support his store, www.perfectpairshoes.com, Daylon clothing, and more below!
Interview with Freekey Zekey of Dipset
April: Hey how’s it going?
Freekey: What’s good! How you?
A: I’m good how about yourself man?
F: I’m running, just got off…I just closed my store down. I’m in the car on the way to my house.
A: Very cool.
F: And yourself? How are you?
A: Doing good. I’m in Texas right now. We just got done South By (South West), so on our way to Dallas.
F: That’s what’s up. I just had a long little four-month stint in Miami. I was shooting a reality show with Jim Jones and Chrissy that’s his fiancé and his mother.
A: Oh very cool. So, I guess we’ll get right into it. Just ask you a couple questions.
So what do you have brewing right now? What’s the biggest thing you’re working on right now?
F: Well right now I’m just, um, reconstructing my stores, which is called Perfect Pair. Me and my fiancé and my son, it’s a family business. I have it in Durham, I have one store in Durham, I have another store in Greensboro, and I’m, um, moving forward to the city, to Charlotte. So that should be within a couple of months from now.
Also, as I was telling you earlier, I just finished up four months in Miami. I was there since Dec 4th , and we stopped production, I wanna say March 12th or 13th, which we’re gonna have a tv show which will be airing in WETv this year. I believe around…I guess I wanna say at the end of July or beginning of September. It’s called…the title is called, “Vow or Not”.
It’s just really…basically Jim Jones is my partner from The Diplomats, which is a group that we had, it was myself, Freekey Zekey, Camron, Jim Jones, and Juelz Santana, for everyone out there who don’t know who The Diplomats are, but um, Jim Jones my partner he’s trying to marry Chrissy, and he’s going through the ins and odds, to the ups and downs of trying to “woo” his fiancé into staying with forever, and I’m just like a monkey wrench in the whole show. I’m like the “brother man” if you’ve ever seen “Martin”.
A: Oh yea! Nice!
F: And not only that! I’m also finishing up my um…I have an EP I’m finishing up as well as a few mixtapes. So, I had took a little moment off just to get my tv career going, and now that this is over I’mma jump right back in the booth, and I’mma shake it up for ‘em. Right now I have a single, it’s myself and Lil Wayne, or rather known as today as Lil Tune Chi, it’s called “We Hustle,” so we moving that. So, I got a few things going on, you know.
A: How did you and Jim Jones meet? How’d you guys get your start?
F: I met Jim Jones…um I met him when we was in third grade, actually. He was um…in New York City, you have to have this little thing it’s called a token, it’s this little round, sort of like the size of a nickel but, you put it in the mass transit and you can ride the buses up and down Manhattan, and Bronx and Brooklyn, and Queens, the five boroughs. And, he saw it on the floor, I saw the token on the floor. I grabbed for it, he stepped on it, and from there it was history. His mother’s name was Sally, my mother’s name was Sally. He lived on the fifth floor, I lived on the fifth floor. So when you look back on it all, that means something. And we haven’t looked back since. So I knew him for about like 20 something, almost 30 something years.
A: Oh wow that’s very cool.
F: Yeah. All of us actually; myself, Camron Jim and Juelz, we’ve all known each other for about 20 plus years, so the group The Diplomats is really more than music, that’s like our little phrase we say, more than music that you need to get in tune with.
A: Right. You guys are family. Cool.
F: Definitely. Definitely. But I’m real happy. Actually, like I’m actually…it doesn’t seem like work. I know it is a business, but I’m with people who enjoy what they’re doing. It’s not like you have to like pull teeth and you have to like force people to do something. Everybody’s up early and go to sleep late. Whenever we ready to work, everybody’s ready to work, so I’m actually having a good time. And I’ve been doing this for about 20 years in a row, and it still feels like I haven’t done a year yet. So, my energy still on fleek! E-e-e-k!
A: So, what is your definition of a true hustler?
F: My definition – Freekey Zekey’s definition – of a true hustler. Someone who’s extremely consistent and persistent on satisfying a goal that he’s never really satisfied about accomplishing. You know? Say you feel as if…you have a small tern…you may have a small term goal. Once you get to it you feel like you really didn’t accomplish enough, so you want to do that much better than you what did before to make what you accomplish that much greater. And it’s like an ongoing cycle that never actually really ends. So it’s like he becomes obsessed on making something better…better.
A: Perfecting the perfection. (laughs)
F: Exactly. Way better than what I said. (laughs)
A: So switch it up a little bit. So, what about people who want to be like you and you know, have the Freekey style? What’s some of your favorite brands?
F: Brands as far as what is concerned?
A: Um…clothing…or you know, something you just have to have every day. It could be anything.
F: Well…if they wanna be anything close to like to be like myself, Freekey Zekey, you just really have to, when you wake up, the first thing on your mind is what can I do to make myself better. That’s the first thing I do when I open my eyes. And then, I also believe keeping your physical in tact, will make your mental and emotions also go to a higher rate. So you have to work out.
Brands? I really got out of wearing other people’s brands once I felt I could make my own clothes. Like right now I have on…actually right now, I don’t know if you can see, this is my clothing line right here, it’s called “Delon”. With the little “D” over here, put the hood on, see I can put the hood on, you know what I’m sayin’, see how I get funky fresh in the flesh with the hood on it. Actually The Diplomats started to design their own clothes because, we wanted to always be unique, and that was like about maybe 15 years ago, so since then, I always wanted to stay in that unique bracket.
So, if you want to be like Freekey Zekey – Ezekiel ‘Freekey Zekey’ Giles – you have to really wanna always go beyond the medium. Always go beyond the norm. So my brand would be Delon. You know what I’m saying? [Which] I’m promoting right now, which is mine, which is all mine; where I get a percent of it. Shout out to Delon, that’s actually the guys name. It’s Delon, I switched it up it’s called Delon, but I switched it up to Delon, just to give it a little hot sauce twang on it, a little paprika you know what I’m saying, a little chili pepper with it, you know what I mean, to bring more customers in and bring more awareness to my line.
And that’s another thing. If you wanna be like Freekey Zekey – Ezekiel ‘Freekey Zekey’ Giles – you always want to take anything that you have, that you want to make yours, and understand branding is the major thing that’s supposed to be involved. Making everybody have awareness of what you’re promoting and what you’re putting out. I just want everything to be said, or known across the world. So, if you want to be like Freekey Zekey, Ezekiel ‘Freekey Zekey’ Giles you have to be like a walking billboard.
A: Nice I like it.
F: Sch-mell me!
A: What’s been the hardest or the most difficult thing about what you do?
F: Um.. the most difficult thing. I would say the most difficult thing would be…when you begin, I guess trying to pull people that may not have…100 percent belief in what you’re doing.
Making them understand that this is the way to go, because it will be able to take care of yourself as well as your family. A lot of times if you have an idea, and that’s really when you find out who’s really on your side. When you come up with an idea that may seem far-fetched or, may be so clueless to the person, because he can’t fathom the thought of making it that far, like he steps back. And once you start getting it going, they usually jump in.
So, just finding the people who’s really, really with you from the start. And usually when you come up with an idea, or when you really get ready to say, ‘Ok I’m coming out with’…whatever you think of, like maybe 98 percent of the people are gonna…and if it seems like way out there…90 percent of the people will take a step back and think that you’re crazy. But then, once the ball start rolling, the snowball starts going down, it gets bigger and bigger and everyone wants to jump on the band wagon, so just having people believe in what you believe in, even if you going through some turmoil.
‘Cause some things don’t happen that first year, or that second year or even that fifth year, then a lot of people lose hope, a lot of people lose faith, and the people that really didn’t believe in you anyway really go, so I guess its trying to find a strong enough team that’ll last with you ‘til the beginning and the end, so that’s kind of the hardest thing. That’s from me. And I’m talking from experience.
I’ve been with a lot of people…who told me like I’m buggin’, or I don’t know what I’m thinking about, or they even have some faith with me, but when it doesn’t go as expected the first couple of times, I see them kind of draw back, or you hear them talk to their friends about you, you know, but they kind of keep their body a little close to you just in case something immaculate happens, so I guess I would say that would be my hardest thing; finding a real crew.
A: Definitely good advice. So, we are Music for Breakfast, so we are a food blog too. So, what’s your jam you like to wake up in the morning, and what kind of breakfast do you like to eat?
F: Um…what jam….um…any – I really don’t have no particular everyday I need to hear that, you know, song, but anything that’s uplifting. I can hear…anything that’ll make my head bob without me even hearing the words yet. I don’t have no particular song, I really…I think music is just, music it has like, it has no color. Like anything that makes me ‘me’, it could be country, it could be RnB, it could be rap, it could be anything…anything that just makes me like feel good. I can’t put my finger on it. Anything that just….see how you’re shaking your head…anything that makes me do that.
A: Right, right.
F: That starts me off, that song, I usually get up, do a couple pushups; I’m ready. And really, with me, I’ll eat some Cinnamon Toast Crunch, I’ll eat some sunny side up eggs with some bacon, I don’t know whatever, I’ll eat pancakes. Shoot, I’ll eat some leftover chicken if it’s on the stove that I remember tastes good. Anything that’s there – you know what I mean? Wash it down with some apple juice; I like apple juice. Yeah, so whatever gets me going, I don’t have anything in particular.
You know you never know what can happen in life, and I never was the type of person who really stood in one spot and did that thing the same exact thing over and over and over, I never was that kind of guy. My thing that, I feel what’s special about me, as far as music or any category, I don’t have a lane. You know there’s some rappers that gotta be hardcore, or there’s some people with clothing that have to let it straight be urban, or whatever you’re doing, like some people kind of focus on what they’re kind of good at, I feel as if my body just flows, ‘cause I’m happy.
I don’t…I’m not running around with no ice grill. Like if I get into an argument with a friend of mines or a family member, kind of soon as the argument is over, I’m like ‘Heeey what up!’. I don’t know how to hold grudges. I been through a lot in my life where holding on to something negative could kind of bite you in the butt later, cause you never know what happens in life. Say for instance, me and you get into an argument, and I held a grudge, and we arguing, and something happened to me. You be like, ‘Aww man I should’ve told him…I should’ve mended the situation ‘cause he was alright, at the end of the day, and the beginning of the day’. I forgot what you asked me but I hoped I answered it. I be getting off track, I be rambling sometimes.
A: That’s why we wanted the interview. We wanted to hear you go off and be you!
A: It’s all about being yourself.
F: I feel like it’s breakfast, I feel like it’s music for breakfast right now; I like this chat. It’s alright.
A: So last question…do you cook yourself? Or do you kind of like pre-made?
Are you a chef?
F: I’m Chef Boy R Freek baby! Chef Boy R Zeek. I love to cook! And my thing is…I love to cook, and love to cook for my family. I got my fiancé who helps me run the store, my son who helps me run ‘Perfect Pair’, as soon as we get home, if its not too late, and we go to some fast food spot or something, I would love to sit in the house, I love to make chicken, ribs, a hen, I made Thanksgiving for the first time this year…I mean last year. So, I love to cook. I love to cook. I love to serve people. My whole thing…see a cook …an expertise-ism of cookness-ism(?), is the whole thing a cook wants you to do as soon as you taste is food is go, “MMM.” When you get that “MMM,” – that’s it, you can sit back and relax, you know, you can smoke you a cigar, feeling like you’re Italian or something like that, bella vinny – I cook-a the food for the family – so good they say ‘mmm’. You know what I mean?
So, my thing is always…I guess I’m like…I like to see people happy. That’s my main objective in life. You know what I’m saying? It’s too much going on out here for us to always have like an ice grill. You know what I’m saying? The only ice grill you should have is if you got diamonds in your teeth you know what I mean? That’s how I feel about it, you know? But yea I know how to cook. Chef Boy R Z. And I might be beat boxing while I’m cooking. So I do be having music for breakfast you know what I’m saying?
And then I put my spatula down on my sausage and they go “ssss”, but you know, Chef Boy R Z at the end of the day and the beginning of the day.
A: Thank you very much for hopping on and doing the interview with us!
We’ll have to do a follow up with Chef Boy R Zeek one day and get a recipe or something.
F: Oh yeah, definitely. Let’s definitely do it. I’m all so gracious and happy for y’all having me. And now when I wake up, I’m really going to be thinking about music for breakfast. You know? I’m gonna start doin’ the ‘wop’, maybe change it to music and dance for breakfast. And sometimes I cook with one sock on, know what I’m saying, depending on how things go, how the night went.
But y’all ladies enjoy. April, thank you so much for having me. And once again stay tuned, make sure you tune into We TV and check out “Vow or Not.” Also, make sure go to www.perfectpairshoestore.com to check out all the fancy and elegant clothes, shoes accessories, waist trainers, butt lifters, and everything else you’ll see, men’s clothing, Delon clothing, now we have on our website. Just remember ‘Perfect Pair’. Also understand that, “We Hustle,” featuring Lil Wayne, with a slew of other music, songs is gonna be coming out for Freekey Zekey, its gonna be coming very, very, extremely, super duper, expediately soon.
F: Alright, you take care.
A: You too man!