dukedagod.jpgDuke Da God does not rap, but he sure does spend a lot of time with rappers. Growing up in Harlem with Cam’ron, he witnessed first-hand the birth of Children of the Corn, the Harlem super group made up of Cam, Ma$e, Big L and Cam’s late cousin, Bloodshed, all in their teens at the time. He began as the group’s road manager, and stuck with Cam after its demise, rising to the status of A&R of Diplomats Records. After bringing massive success to the crew’s mixtape racket through dipsetmixtaps.com, Duke took his street-tested, block-approved brand to Koch Records and released his debut compilation Diplomats & DukeDaGod Present: Dipset: More Than Music, Vol. 1. (It sold more units than Jermaine Dupri’s Young, Fly & Flashy compilation, a fact that Cam’ron would not let anyone forget when he was interviewed on Hot 97 this winter.) Duke has now moved over to Asylum/Warner where he is overseeing Cam’s Killa Season and preparing his own follow-up, The Movement Moves On, for an April 11 release. Although he only sleeps three hours a night, Duke still found the time to let XXLMAG.COM in on some secrets of the Set.

Click here to listen to “White Girl,” the first single off Duke Da God’s new album that samples R. Kelly's "You Knock Me Out":

Ma$e. Fair-weather friend?

“Ma$e is a nigga we knew forever. Me and Cam saw him in Miami last May, before the G-Unit stuff. It was kind of cool, actually. We was happy to see him. We ain’t had no jewelry on. We was playin’ basketball together. It was like we was like 15, 16 again. We didn’t wanna do business with Ma$e, but we went and ate dinner, and it was all good. We have the pictures of all that. We had the Back Like Cooked Crack T-shirts, so we all wore them shirts. And the mixtape just came out last year, so you know it’s a new picture. It’s funny to see Ma$e with a Juelz Santana T-shirt on. The relationship was cool at that point and then I guess he got with 50 and them and he wanna get a buzz. We probably not gonna diss him no more. But, just like three days ago, Ma$e tried to get in touch with Cam, actually. He wanted to speak to him. We don’t know what he wanted. He was ridin’ around Harlem with a lot of security [laughs]. Ma$e got some issues he got to work out for himself.”

Chickens & Beef

“I done seen all types of people with Dipset tattoos on they neck. Fans we never even met before in their life with all types of tattoos. Not too long ago, a girl backstage had a Dipset tattoo on her neck at a show in Philadelphia. A white girl at that! She had mad love. She had the T-shirt she must’ve ordered online. But yeah, it’s mad groupie love for Dipset and the movement. We get it poppin’ anywhere. After the show is a no-brainer—you could be Fat Albert [but] you could get some. But two years ago, it got crazy in Boston with the groupies. It was a bunch of bitches that came to the hotel at night after the show. We wasn’t fuckin’ with these bitches, but we was fuckin’ with these other bitches. Then those groupies wanted to fight the other groupies. They were mad ’cause they [thought] they were cuter. It got into some shots and all that [laughs]. It was a bunch of bitches beefin’ with bitches. Over some dick shit! Pretty bitches vs. wack bitches. We got up out of there when the police came.”

Cease, Lies & Videotape

“I didn’t really think there was beef with Junior M.A.F.I.A., they were like off the radar to us. Not even ‘they’—who is Junior M.A.F.I.A.? It’s just Lil’ Cease. That shit is dead—niggas have jobs like nine-to-five now. I guess the beef is with Lil’ Cease ’cause he was the one showing that tape [which shows Cam’ron and Jim Jones getting into a fight at Harlem’s Rucker Park and fleeing the scene]. They act like it happened yesterday, but that tape was like 8 years old—[from] like 1998-99. That was some old stuff that people was just pumpin’ up. The program was on TNT. It was a show about the Rucker called On Hollow Ground. But they act like nobody can’t get jumped. We seen the tape, but what really happened is we went back to Rucker next week. You get jumped, you come back. Shit happens. Why all this negativity? No disrespect, but [Cease and Junior M.A.F.I.A.] had to switch careers—flip burgers and all types of shit. They not eatin’ like how we doin’ it. I guess we on top right now and they don’t have even a little bubble of buzz, so they looking for an old opportunity.”

Banned in the U.S.A.

“S.A.S. [Strictly About Stackin'] are the Diplomats from London. Dame wanted to sign [the duo] to Roc-A-Fella, but they hearts was with the Diplomats. They wanted to be Diplomats. When they visited, they got they Harlem swag up. You would think they’d been here forever. We did mad songs together. They went back home and now they can never come back over. I think one of them caught a charge, and they banned from the U.S. The other is not allowed to leave the UK. They caught some type of charges too. We still speak on the phone and we try to do things together, but it’s hard to do business with them. They still rep so it’s all love. They official Diplomats, but it’s kind of hard to do business.”

Bloodshed & Tears

“It was only Cam left. Big L had died, Ma$e went on to be Ma$e, and Cam’s cousin Bloodshed had died. He died in a car accident in New York right on the Harlem River Drive. Clear day, nice afternoon, he just checked out. He was in the car with his girlfriend and she lived, able to have the baby with no scars. Bloodshed died on March 2 and then B.I.G. died on March 9. So when we was grieving for Bloodshed, the whole world was grieving for B.I.G. It helped us get through it because we was cryin’ our hearts out but then everybody had to cry they hearts out. It felt miraculous. Blood died and things started happening and doors started opening up. Bloodshed died in March 1997 and Cam got the [Untertainment] deal in like September 1997. Not for one second did Cam want to stop. The way I see it is that he passed on and everything got rosy and bright for us. That’s why I think it was something miraculous.”