A Jamie Foster Brown interview (Excerpted from the July 2009 issue of Sister 2 Sister magazine)
I’m about to take you on a journey with me and Frankie Lons, better known as just Frankie. Whew! From good sex that turned her bad to prostitution, drugs and alcohol, and eventually prison, to snapping on Tyra Banks, we covered it all! From Frankie’s five caesareans to these nuts and sagging tits to Frankie’s child nobody knows about yet to Frankie’s stories of fighting men and fighting fires to reuniting with her babies and, now, to stardom … all I can say is whew! That’s all I need to say about Ms. Frankie because it totally summarizes her; she’s pure excitement.
Is she just famous because she is Keyshia Cole’s mother, or is she a star in her own right? Does she deserve to be a star? Some question that. After all she didn’t raise her babies because of the demons and the toxins that were festering inside of her during her youth. But she’s better now. And she’s trying her best to do better. Her family gets irritated with her. But hey, has any of them had any intervention? Have any had help to deal with all the hurt and pain all of them have gone through? Black folks have to stop trying to fix things all on their own and start seeing some good therapists. Crap happens to us.
But in the end, like Frankie, we’re all just trying to find our way. Here she is, Miss Excitement!
Jamie: Frankie, look at this little body.
Frankie: Who, mine?
Jamie: Yes, look at how it’s tight.
Frankie: I get Tyra mail, didn’t you know?
Jamie: You get what?
Frankie: Tyra mail. Tyra Banks sends me mail. I lie; I lie. You know what? When I was in prison, she came. And when she did, I was in fire camp. I met her and she did something on me because she didn’t believe I was Keyshia Cole’s mama.
Jamie: Why not?
Frankie: It doesn’t matter. That’s her s#$t. But at the end of the day, I looked over and I was in Star magazine doing pushups with Tyra. So that s#$t shouldn’t have even went down like that.
Jamie: How many pushups did she do?
Frankie: Not as many as I did. I can do 25 without even tripping.
Jamie: Okay, let’s see this.
Frankie: This is negotiable. Look, it’s negotiable.
Jamie: What do I have to give you to do them?
Terrance [S2S marketing consultant]: I’m going to do them with you.
Frankie: No, no, no, you too old for me. If you was a tender, I’d have worked you all 50.
Jamie: How old is a tender?
Frankie: He got to be under 30. You’re probably 29.
Terrance: No, I’m 31.
Jamie: Is he too old for you?
Frankie: Look at my dog with the 3-D glasses on. Uh-oh, man down, Code 10. [laughter] [sings] “In the ghetto.” Can a pimp get a buzz?
Jamie: So, Neffe was supposed to send some money over here?
Frankie: Yeah, I got something. Manny [Keyshia’s and Neffe’s manager] and them control my money. They give it to me when they want me to have it.
Jamie: What’s wrong with them, taking that baby’s money?
Frankie: They can do that, but I’m holding it down. I pay the cost to be the boss. This is my deal. I refuse to let Keyshia Cole pay my bills because she got enough people on her coattail as it is.
Jamie: How are you paying your bills? Are you working?
Frankie: Doing walk-throughs [in clubs, private parties etc. that pay celebrities to show up at their events].
Jamie: Ah, that’s so smart.
Frankie: What they give me in one night, I pay my bills for one month. [Speaking to her cat] Hey, Gracie, stop it. I’m your mother.
Jamie: They say Gracie is from the Pet Cemetery.
Frankie: No, but my cat is a celebrity because I’m a celebrity. Come here. Show Jamie what you do when you wear your motherf@#$#*& stunner shades. [laughter] [talks to Gracie] Show Jamie how you get up. Don’t move. What’d I say? You want to eat tonight?
Jamie: Are you threatening the cat?
Frankie: Yes, absolutely. Show Jamie how you wear your 3-D glasses. This cat is used to Louis Vuitton and s#@t.
Jamie: They were talking about how you should really have worked with animals.
Frankie: I love animals. [talking to the cat] Come here. Stop. I’ll beat the brakes off you!! No, he don’t like knockoffs. These glasses are knockoffs. That’s a Code 10.
Jamie: What’s Code 10 mean, Miss Thing?
Frankie: Like I’m going to give you an example: Police can be chasing me down in Code 10 tennis shoes. Guess what? You’re going to get away.
Jamie: You’re going to get away? What about the pushups now?
Frankie: Yeah, Tyra. She came to do an interview with the lifers, but I was in fire camp.
Jamie: What’s fire camp?
Frankie: I’m a wild-lands firefighter by trade.
Jamie: You’re a firefighter?
Frankie: Yes. The firemen put the fire out, I’m going to make sure it can’t re-ignite.
Jamie: So how did you learn how to do that?
Frankie: Easy. I studied.
Jamie: Where? When you were in jail?
Frankie: Yes. I went to fire camp because I didn’t have any money and they was tired, basically, of my bulls#@t. I couldn’t get in touch with nobody in my family, so I went to the program, fire camp, and they pay you.
Jamie: How did you get to go there?
Frankie: I had to pass the test. I had to do 25 pushups, 25 of everything across the board, and I did it in one day.
Jamie: You hadn’t practiced or worked out?
Frankie: What? I’m an athlete. When I was in school, I was into swimming, gymnastics, everything.
Jamie: Did you do the splits?
Frankie: Everything and some more. I got 11 first places in swimming, 17 first places in gymnastics, and a second place.
Jamie: You have any of your medals?
Frankie: My mother has everything.
Jamie: Where was this? In Oakland?
Frankie: Yes. Then I got a scholarship in gymnastics and went to college in Oregon. After that, I made a wrong turn.
See what got Frankie off the right track when you read the full interview in the July 2009 issue of Sister 2 Sister magazine.