As a brief aside in respect to current events, Jim Jones just may be the least understood MC in Hip Hop at the moment. Pray IV Reign is his best album to date and he's refashioned himself from a goofy, carefree sidekick to Rap's hardest working artist. Listening to his flow on this album is like watching Gilbert Arenas play basketball. The hunger and seriousness of purpose is clear throughout. He gives the hustle, be it music or the street a divine quality, a life or death struggle that hasn't been this riveting since Thug Motivation 101. No he's not lyrical, which raises the question are we witnessing a double standard in which New York MCs aren't supposed to be form eschewing or experimental in anyway? Jimmy has stated a desire to put aside the differences and get back with Cam and I seriously hope it happens. At this point in their careers a Diplomat reunion could produce some great, interesting music that might just breathe life back into NY Hip Hop.
When I was a kid what first drew me to the Wu-Tang Clan was Rza's production, specifically the beautiful little snippets of vocal samples that he would weave into his dark, intricate beats. For this reason, Rocafella Records' post-Roc La Familia production team was a dream come true. If you're like me, twenty first century Roc got no better than the Diplomats irreverent free associative experimentation over Chipmunk Soul on their mixtapes and albums. A stacked in house production crew including Kanye West, Just Blaze, Young Guru and my personal favorites, the Heatmakers provided the gang with a seemingly endless barrage of beautiful sped up soul staples. For this week's Sunday drop here's a smattering of a few rare songs and for me, some of Dipset's finest moments.
Cam'ron & Jim Jones- I Am Dame Dash
Jim Jones- This is Jim Jones
Juelz Santana- I Love You
Juelz Santana- You're Gonna Love Me
The Diplomats- I'm Ready
Juelz Santana- My Love Extended Remix (ft. Freeway and Jim Jones)
Juelz Santana- Let's Get It On (ft. Cam'ron)
Bonus: A little heard 45 second riff over Willie Hutch's infamous "I Choose You" off The Diplomat Mixtape Vol. 3. I prefer Cam's take to anyone else's, he brings an uptown swag that complements the old soul vibe so well and letting Hutch's wailing ride out over the verse is a powerful touch.
Cam'ron- Hey Ma Remix Intro