Photos courtesy of @_macgyver
It was hard to ever imagine a time when Cam’ron, Jim Jones, Juelz Santana and Freekey Zekey didn’t get along, during Friday night’s Diplomats concert in Manhattan’s Best Buy Theater, the last show of Red Bull Music Academy’s Five Out of Five tour of New York City’s five boroughs. The Diplomats’ bond seemed stronger than ever as they rocked the sold-out crowd in front a live band.
Getting the show underway with joints off of their 2003 double album Diplomatic Immunity such as “What’s Really Good,” the Harlem clique fired up the mixed crowd early. After that, Capo Jim Jones, who was sporting a Vampire Life black tee and all red Nike Air Force Ones, began his set that included “Summer In Miami,” “G’s Up” and “Baby Girl” from his solo album Harlem: Diary of a Summer and “Perfect Day” from his latest album Capo. Jones also brought out fellow Harlem native, up-and-comer ASAP Rocky.
Juelz picked up where Jimmy left off, doing his own set. Wearing a Slowbucks shirt just like most of the band behind him, Santana performed his tracks, such as “Shottas,” “Back to the Crib” and “Make It Work for You.” Still, when Juelz really shined was during the repeated technical difficulties that forced him to rap acapella, which actually electrified the crowd more so than when he rapped over a beat.
As Santana completed his set, Cam hit the stage next. The Diplomats’ leader performed some of his solo hits like “Down and Out” and “Wet Wipes,” but he really erupted the crowd when he brought out fellow U.N. member Vado who was rocking a yellow striped hoody. The two stirred up the crowd with “Speakin Tongues,” “Hey Muma” and “We All Up In Here”
“It’s a blessing,” Vado told XXLMag.com backstage about his chance to rock with the Dips. “Harlem in the building. It’s a movement.”
“We love it,” Freekey added. “It’s always good to be on that stage. The crowd still love us.” —Christopher Minaya