Time flies especially when one of your aliases is “The Fly Boys.” It’s been 10 years since the Cam’ron, Jim Jones, Juelz Santana and the rest of that “hooligan gang” the Diplomats (a collective of Harlem hustlers and goons) released their double disc effort, Diplomatic Immunity. Since then they’ve gone through more then their fair share of label drama, beefs, break ups and make ups. To celebrate the fact that they were able survive the turbulent rap game, they are commemorating the 10 year anniversary of Diplomatic Immunity with a concert tonight at B.B. King.
Of course such an event deserves some shine so we compiled a list of their best songs as a group. No solo spots, just songs where at least two of the three star players rocked out together. Say it with us now… DIP SET! DIP SET! DIP SET! Owwwwwww!
See also: Live: Dipset Brings Pandemonium To The Best Buy Theater
Young Juelz stole the show on this one. Citing lyrics from Notorious B.I.G.and Scarface, this was a lot of people’s introduction to Santana and he came off like a Harlem kid is supposed to: brazen and hungry. Cam was no slouch either delivering the last verse where he shouts me out (“You fucking with Pablo…”). It’s gangsta music at it’s best.
No one ever really expected Jimmy to start rapping full time as he was more a behind the scenes guy, directing the Dips videos and the like. When he released his own album on Koch though it became evident that what he lacked in lyrical prowess he more than made up for in outrageous ad libs. All had strong verses but Cam took the cake when he imitated a siren with “Whoop whoop, wamp wamp, beep beep.”
This was technically all Juelz, but Cam’ron on the hook just tied it all together nicely like one of the bandannas Santana was sporting back then. The adrenaline inducing beat was almost a surefire method to start a fight in the club. It solidified Santana as a solo act which in turn solidified the Diplomats brand as more than just Cam’ron and some lackeys. Who was the old head leaning on the car with Cam’ron though?
I Really Mean It
Mr. Cameron Giles stomped a mud hole in this Heatmakerz beat with a slow deliberate stop and go rhyme scheme. Golly he’s gully. Not quite as gully, though, as Jim Jones’ shit talking in between verses. A lot of it was directed at Nas, who had just gone on his anti-Summer Jam tirade on 105.1, simultaneously throwing Cam under the bus. Off with your kufi!
Rarely straying from the sped up soul samples on most of their earlier work, this song epitomizes the Dipset sound. They’d also let the beat breathe, using the vocal sample as a part of their lyrics and/or hook, resulting in a oft-imitated but never quite duplicated style of rhyming. Say what you want about their goonish content, the Diplomats were always innovators. You thought your cousin wasn’t?
Only One Way Up
Officially setting off Jim Jones’ debut, this hookless beat was so distinct and electric it always got a few repeats before moving on to the rest of the album. All three star payers contributed lyrics but Cam’ron, batting clean up, knocked it out the park. Applaud the villains.
Reunited and it feels so good! Tears of joy streamed down Dipset fans’ faces when Flex premiered this Araab Muzik produced banger. After a few years of internal strife the Dips put aside their differences and gave the fans what they wanted. Now if we can just get them to put out an album together we won’t need Christmas this year.
Come Home With Me
Jimmy, Juelz and Cam all made appearances on this title track produced by Ty Fyffe painting pictures of what it was like in their neighborhoods and even in their households. Mice on the sticky trap, rent backed up and so many cops the block is boiling. That’s some vivid imagery.
Losin’ Weight 2
Word to Bloodshed this song kicked off Cam’s third release (his first on Rocafella) Come Home With Me with a haunting track that revisited a theme off his second album. Luckily Santana got that brick and half from Papi, finally getting back on his feet. Cam sets it off, but Santana does an exceptional job of putting the finishing touches on this classic with the last verse.
Bout It, Bout It
Cam’ron spent some time in Texas attending junior college on a basketball scholarship. Spending time in the south helped broaden his musical spectrum. When he serendipitously ran into Master P at an airport he asked the No Limit captain if they could redo “Bout It, Bout it.” P agreed and the end product was, well, bout it bout it.
Take Em To Church
After a stint as a preacher in Atlanta, Mase had decided to hop back in the game, but the Dips weren’t having that. After crashing Mase’s HOT 97 radio interview (complete with Jim Jones threatening to put dentures in Mase’s mouth) Cam, Juelz and Un Kasa ripped Mase a new one likening him to Kirk Franklin. “Harlem hustler, I can’t at all knock it/ But you hard when you go in the Lord’s pocket.”
Riding out on a chopped up version of Eazy E’s “Boyz In the Hood” Jimmy spit his brand of gutter phrases and Blood references while Cam’ron kicked his humorous yet threatening lyrics. At the time it was criticized for “being on some Cali shit,” but with A$AP Rocky tipping his hat to his Houston and Cleveland influences, this song was really just ahead of it’s time.
Just Juelz and Jimmy on this one. The beat was so heavy and deliberate yet far from plodding it was the perfect backdrop for these Harlem gentlemen to brag and make threats over. Had Cam been on this it would have topped this list.