FEATURE: Jim Jones, Internal Affairs
XXLMag.com: With Juelz, why would Cam not let songs be cleared if it was an opportunity for all of them to make money? If it’s all about the money, then Juelz’s songs and appearances would’ve generated money…
Jim Jones: You missing two things, ego and we were the label and now that we all know Cam was the label and the label doesn’t get paid for appearances. Unless he can negotiate something different, from his point of view that might not have been his best interest because he wasn’t getting a dollar from it. And then you have this thing called ego where, oh, this shit ain’t going right, I still have control over the most powerful entity that we have in this bitch and, I guess I’ll show my ass a little bit. And do it the way that I wanna do it. He might have been feeling like that. Everybody wanna feel like they bigger than me and all that, who knows. That could have been one of his emotions at the time.
XXL: I remember when Nas went off on Summer Jam and dissed Cam’ron and others on Power 105 radio because they wouldn’t let him lynch Jay-Z at Summer Jam. You guys went to the studio that night and did the “Hate Me Now” freestyle, that was like a great hip-hop moment. Just because the response came so immediate, like the next day. We didn’t really get that when Cam dropped “Courtesy Curtis.”
Jones: Because it wasn’t urgent like that. It was more two people snapping on the side of the street like, “Ah, nigga you got on funny shoes,” nah mean? It didn’t feel like that, for nobody in America. It was just like, “Oh, these niggas is fighting, these niggas is fighting, did you see this Youtube?” It didn’t feel aggressive at all. Above all he’s still my brother so if we felt like it was something crazy we would have jumped in head first like, It ain’t going down. If I felt like in any way it would have tainted our brand, we would have jumped in, but I knew that they wasn’t gonna hold that accountable because it was that type of funny. But you see it’s been forgotten, like nobody dwelled on it, you dig? But when we did the Nas thing, we was young and eager and so rebellious for anybody to slip because we wanted to jump in the game, badly. We just needed one opportunity and his stupid ass was the opportunity, you dig? And if you rewind it, we just bullied that opportunity. He didn’t really say nothing crazy like that.
XXL: He was hanging Jay on stage, and you were Roc-A-Fella…
Jones: No, we didn’t care about him hanging Jay on stage. We wasn’t coming to fight Roc-A-Fella battles. That’s not why we jumped in. He slipped up on the radio and said something like he didn’t like the way Cam rhyme, or something he didn’t like.
XXL: Step your rap game up…
Jones: Yeah, so we was gonna put the chokehold on his stupid ass. He should not have said anything. Good lookin’. We gon’ drown him. And that’s what happened, we drowned him for our way in the game. We buried a legend at that point in time, like that was Nas. He was fresh off of “Ether,” he was kicking ass but he had fucked with the wrong young individuals. And that’s what happened. And you chalk that up. That was our real claim to fame to jumping in this game as the Diplomats. We mobbed him, we mobbed on his ass and anybody who tried to jump in the way that was worth it, we just rolled over them and got them out the way real fast.
XXL: So it’s safe to say that your history with Jay-Z has never been a positive one…
Jones: Not the whole stretch of the history. There was some positive moments there when we were signed to Roc-A-Fella and we used to be at Bassline [Studios] and it was always a bit of aggressive competition amongst the artists, but we never really felt no real type of way towards him until it seemed to be a problem for him to jump on one of Cam’s records. He was that obnoxious that he wanted to do it when he wanted to do it and we just came in one day and he was like—Kanye had a beat—”I think you should do it,” and from there it was a battle. Cam was like, “Do it?” And I never seen no shit like…I never to this day. I ain’t never seen no shit like, this is the most historical moment in my life as far as being a rapper in this game. Not Kanye, Just Blaze had the beat like, Let’s do the joint tonight, trying to catch Cam off guard. Cam was like, “Do it?” These niggas went in the booth back to back, no breathing time, none of them. And I wouldn’t discredit none of them, I mean none of them, done. Juelz had the hook on smash, that was done. Bang. And him and Cam went in there like boxers, blow for blow, Jay went in the booth, came out, Cam went in the booth, came out, then Jay went back in and they looking at each other like, “Word?” Like that was some incredible shit. I’ll never forget that. That was down at Bassline.
XXL: So was everything downhill from there?
Jones: It wasn’t downhill from there. It was kinda like after that moment, after that song, it just got sour. It got sour with the vice president thing and we got to see people’s underlying hatred and they started to show it on they face and before it was a cool thing, you know. It was pool going on, it was gambling going on, nah mean? Then we tried to do the tour and they didn’t wanna…the tour was straight and everybody get money and they didn’t wanna do the tour but they end up doing the tour but we weren’t included. So we would be going to the tour and buying all the front row seats and stalking ’em ’cause we was still Diplomats at the time, we was rockin’.
XXL: So what was going on with the vice president thing?
Jones: How crazy is that? There was things going on that they didn’t wanna include us in and we was already so hot that we didn’t give a fuck.
XXL: So you were stepchildren just trying to be accepted.
Jones: We was just trying to make some money. At the end of the day it never went in our favor. It never included us. I don’t know what it was with that.
XXL: With you and Dame being so tight do you have any hard feelings with Jay-Z on behalf of Dame?
Jones: I definitely took it personal but I’m not trying to revolve my whole career around it. It’s been a fun thing for me at this point. I mean, I’ve found some witty ways to get at him, he’s responded to where I’ve never really seen him respond to anybody else, nah mean? So I must have gotten up under his skin in a lot of ways. To the point where, if I got money I don’t think it’s too much that to respond for. I’d think I won at that point in the game but, some people, I don’t know if they glutton for fame or they’re so passionate about doing this. I don’t know what it is but I gotta eat and I aint gon’ be here ’til I’m 47 so niggas got to move the fuck out my way or else you gon’ be the butt of my joke every time I get a chance ’cause you still in the fuckin’ way. The only niggas in the game is 50 [years old] that’s getting busy. The only nigga that’s not 50 [years old] is 50 that’s making some money. These niggas gotta move over. That ain’t a cheap shot, these niggas is 40-something years old, literally, what’s up? I mean what the fuck is up? –Vanessa Satten