When Miami rapper Zoey Dollaz announced he was the latest addition to Future's FreeBandz/Epic Records roster over the weekend, it came as a surprise to a few rap fans. But if you're familiar with Zoey's work ethic, the news isn't the least bit shocking.

The 25-year-old spitta has been making a name for himself after dropping tracks like "Blow a Check" last year and performing the song, among others, in clubs nationwide. Before the big signing announcement was made via Instagram and Twitter, Future and Zoey were rubbing elbows onstage in Miami a few weeks ago. Perhaps the two were celebrating their business deal early on before the public caught wind of the news. XXL caught up with Zoey Dollaz to find out how he linked up with the DS2 creator and why he decided to sign to FreeBandz and Epic.

"Well, over two years ago, a mutual friend of mine introduced me to Future every time he came into town," Zoey tells XXL. "We went to his shows and supported him. The people that book him down here, we’re cool with them so he always heard about me. Over the Super Bowl [weekend], we was out there and I linked up with him and we sat down and he was like, 'I would love for you to join the team.' I’m like, 'Oh yeah, for sure.' Not only am I a big fan and I believe in his work ethic, the energy was just there. He treated me like a little bro so it made sense for me to do it."

From the outside looking in, it appeared that Diddy was zeroing in on signing Zoey Dollaz in 2015. Last August, Zoey's hit single, "Blow a Check," was remixed by Diddy and French Montana and included on Puff's free LP, MMM, which dropped in November. In February, the rising MC joined both Puffy and French in the "Blow a Check" music video. Despite the previous Bad Boy connection, Zoey signed with FreeBandz because of the positive energy. "I had other places [calling] but the energy there didn’t feel like home," he said. "With Epic and being with Future, it felt like home."

L.A. Reid was also instrumental in the "Hate Real" rapper connecting with Epic Records. Zoey chose Instagram as the place to share some inspiring words about his meeting with the chairman and CEO of the label.

"When I tell you dreams are real man chase them shits yo real shit, from a little boy I put this on my mother I always said this who gotta sign me whenever I make it , I done walked in almost every building sat down with so many CEOs and chairmans and I always had low energy because I know they wasn't gonna be the ones and the day I met @la_reid he signed me instantly and looked at me said " Idk you this my first time meeting you but I know talent and I know a good soul when I see one welcome to epic records " dog I didn't say a word to nobody after that not even my mom knew anything .. Just chase your dreams man because somewhere out there they're real!," he wrote.

Following his signing, the rhymer is gearing up to release his new mixtape in May and plans to drop a collaborative project with Future this summer. But for right now, Zoey is happy that he can get off the streets and take care of his family.

"I was just so happy because I knew I was going to be off the streets," he explains. "I wasn’t going to sit here and still be in the streets and still be hustlin’. I knew I would be able to take care of my mom the right way, take care of my son. I know I don’t want to be putting myself in no type of situation for me to not be able to watch him grow. And my friends, they all going to be good; I just thought all positive."

Future confirmed Zoey's addition to his team with a few choice words on Twitter: "Freebandz over Everythang @ZoeyDollaz #Epic."

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