Best Fall from Local Rap Grace (2008)

The Diplomats

Those who spent this summer listening to New Orleans rapper Lil Waynes A Milli crank out of car stereos from Harlem to Brooklyn could be excused for feeling a bit sad. It wasnt so long ago that we had our own indigenous ways of making SUVs (er, hybrids) thumpyears after D-Block and Wu-Tang and Roc-a-Fella fell, New York still had the Diplomats: Camron, the leader, prone to pink chinchilla coats and rhymes of dazzling internal intricacy; Juelz Santana, the young heartthrob, whose casual delivery and tendency toward rhyming a word with the same word, over and over again, was itself a feat of charisma; Jim Jones, the braying capo with a stunning knack for catchphrases. They were flamboyant, and their recordsthe mixtape series Diplomatic Immunity; Camrons 2004 classic, Purple Hazeruled New York. Until, that is, Camron lost his mind. Feuds with two of the worlds richer and more talented rappers, Jay-Z and 50 Cent, ensued; then came the embarrassing, blustering YouTube videos, the public dissolution of the clique as Camron went M.I.A. down in Florida last summer, and, going on over a year now, total silence. Cam, guyswhat happened?


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