It’s All About The Money, Ain’t A Damn Thing Funny…

One hundred and Thirty Fifth Street at the intersection of Seventh Avenue is the center of Harlem, geographically and spiritually. From that location you can ride a bmx with your ace sitting on the handlebars to anywhere important in Harlem in five minutes. Esplanade Gardens, Willy Burgers, Rucker Park, Taft Houses, Grant Houses, Branson… Okay, Branson isn’t in effect anymore, but Harlem is still beautifully predictably unpredictable. The trends that begin here in this great big incubator for Black people go all around the world. In a barbershop on the Ave. the talk of the NBA Playoffs quickly switches to that of Harlem’s very own favorite sons when some rap music industry insiders enter the shop.

Throughout their relatively short existence the Diplomats have been a trendsetting, exciting rap group. Their music used sped up soul samples and triumphant, majestic drum loops. The Diplomats were riding through rap music like an army. They were everywhere all at once. From the Harlem streets to the midtown offices of Universal records there was nothing that the Dips could do wrong. Diplomatic Immunity may not have been a critical success, but the only critics that the Dips cared about loved them. No one owned the street aesthetic like the Dips did. No one worked as hard as the Diplomats either. With mixtapes and all kinds of side ventures you had to imagine that the Dips were ballin’ out of control. Jim Jones confirmed that feeling in ’06 with his certified smash hit ‘We Fly High’.

In between those two flashpoints the Dips didn’t release as many records as the enemies they made within the rap industry. From Mase to Jay-Z, to Tru-Life and Fifty Cent, without even including Junior Mafia, In all of those squabbles DipSet united to send their legion of emcees at the offending parties. Battling anyone in the Dips meant you had to be prepared to ride on the entire crew because even if you were the CEO of Def Jam and an established veteran emcee you were going to be the named target on a DipSet mixtape, getting dissed by someone that you probably hadn’t even heard of before that track. To the fans of their in your face, ignorant, I don’t give a fuck the world rap music, the Diplomats were the zenith of Hip-Hop.

The Dips were able to stay close throughout their run at Roc-A Fella because the money that Universal was paying the movement flowed to all the members. Jimmy got his checks on time. Santana was paid regularly for his work ethic. Even Freaky could count on a check being cut for him. All of that dried up when the Dips left Def Jam and went to Koch. Juelz remained at Def Jam but even his line of resources was being cut. The Dips had all the swagger but they needed a breakout hit to get their momentum back up. Freaky got back on his drug trafficking grizzly and when he was caught there wasn’t any money to hire a crackerjack to get him off the hook. Finally Jim Jones broke through with his blockbuster single.

This song was the smash that the clique needed to remind Koch why they signed them in the first place. This hit single would bring some money back into the crew and allow them to pay some of the loyal soldiers who had been riding with them for several years now. Jim Jones went on a massive promotional campaign to support the single and his new album ‘Hustler’s P.O.M.E.’ The Jim Jones album didn’t do too bad at the end of the day and it should be considered platinum in the current music economy. The only problem was that the law of diminishing returns was being applied to Jim’s royalties for his record. It could have been a simple accounting error but it was never corrected. Because Cam’Ron is the president of Diplomat Records, the buck ultimately stops with him. Now Jim Jones felt a kind of way because at the end of the day Cam’Ron was more than a brother to him. This was a family member that he was having money issues with, a friend that he knew before all of this rap shit.

Think about all the beefs that Jim Jones and Juelz and all the DipSet riders have put on their backs for their boss. To a man, every single one of them rode out on Jay-Z. To a man, they all shitted on NaS and Mase. So when the time came for the don to bless his underbosses for their services there were several mouths left hungry. Maybe this will make these emcees even more hungrier? The people in the barbershop think that everyone is just going to get more bitter. Cam’Ron did say he was a millionaire didn’t he? That’s still a fictional amount of money on these Harlem streets. Even to ballers. I don’t know if the DipSet crew will ever live up to their hype or their potential, but for the sake of a friendship that dates back before crack and is about more than music, Cam’Ron is going to have to share some of his “millionaire”.

  • Franko Da MC

    Great Read, this shit deserves to be printed yo, It could be a TV movie or some shit “The DIplomats” Word is bond son.

    50 won.

  • krazie-al

    dont be hating on the dips, is snitchy cent paying you to write your columns??? dont hate on the squad hommy….and thats my word

  • miltownhustla

    Im gonna be honest and just straight to the point with you man. To me it sounds like you’re riding Dipset dick and them niggaz is all wack as fuck with the exception of Juelz when he raps with Weezy. Speakin’ of Weezy how the hell can you dislike Wayne and then show respect for Dipset? Anyone with two working eardrums can tell you Weezy is like Jay-Z in his prime compared to Dickset. Your credibility/judgement of music has been suspect for a minute, but this shit takes the cake.

    And WTF. Are all/most NY niggaz broke as hell or something. Ya’ll niggaz speak on a mil-ticket like it’s mythical or some shit. Niggaz in Milwaukee and Chicago must just get more money than ya’ll niggaz. Organized crime probably dominates ya’ll streets (i.e. Colombians and Dominicans)and ya’ll cats aint got room to breathe. Anyway it’s late and Im rambling and prolly buringni my damn steaks so I’m out.

    No disrespect just how I’m seeing shit.

  • che

    billy how the fuck can you call the diplomats great and lil wayne ignorant??? are you fucked?

  • babyboy

    Fck Dipshit

  • babyboy

    they suck no1 cares about them lames

  • http://xxlmag.com bk8732

    i’m a down south ausin, texas dude(80′s baby, 81.) and been ridin with the movement since i could press play. earliest memories were ready to die and illmatic and never left the scene. But I’ve never seen anyone choke the game like 50. All this dip talk like there relevant. I throw in Cam’ron horse and carriage or even better purple haze and cats aint heard of it. if ur not hardcore into the lifestyle their not penetrating the market down here. but u say anything about 50 and the unit and good or bad people know. Sunday ur always hating on the unit but even when they’re catching bricks(200,000 or 300,000) they’re still movin as much as your favorite rapper.

  • http://xxlmag.com bk8732

    another thought sunday. u seen that movie about walk the line where pheonix plays cash? I know its cracker shit(i’m white. If that matters dont want folks to think i’m racist)but at the beginning when he goes in for a deal the cat tells him if u were dieing and had one song to sing, one song for god and everyone to hear what would u sing? Thats why 50 and jeezy sell. cuz its real talk and u believe them.

  • j.rock

    Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ipopXusemagnumXLandreadXXL

    Damn…this old bloggin n#gg@ is makin a “living” off of smashing tha dips (i use tha word living loosely, top ramen and free issues of XXL is hardly making a living). I know ur paid by interscope, 50 and nem…but be real wit urself…tha dips must have a strong movement goin, cuz u keep writing about em…they give u ratings…so, as Cam once put it…”DIPSET ALL MUTHAFUCKING DAY!

  • Mpho

    Diplomats ain’t lost shit.. thats y u motherfuckers talk bout em on the daily.. i have a feeling Killa’s shit is gonna be fire this year.. Capo jus needs to fall back a bit and watch how killa gon smash the industry like how he did with oh boy.. Jim Jones would be really disloyal if he shits or leaves Killa (No Homo) coz when killa was the only one moving units and makin cha ching cha ching, he was buying them niggas cars, jewellery all typa shit.. now that jimmy got 1 hit he wants to be the Don?? fuck outta here with tht shit Jimmy.. anybody that listened to the 1st couple of Diplomats Mixtapes will know what i’m talking about Killa did a lot for these niggas.. And just listen to the track Dipset Forever on Purple Haze(The album that cam starting rapping his bullshit) and tell me he ain’t show love for them niggas

  • Mpho

    And owh, Its Dipset Bitch

  • king blair

    If its money that can be fixed with management simple, what can’t be turned back is Jimmy going all Hova on Cam trying to Dame Dash his ass. The irony in this situation is freaking crazy. Jimmy mad he catching all these ass whoppings and getting robbed by John Leguizamo (I wonder if them wild puerto-ricans threw up that diamond sign before bringing the ruckus WU-TANG style)while Cam perfects his moon-walk, come on the Dips aint that gangsta when you get styled on by B.I.G’s chief weed carrier.

  • Beeyo Beeyotch!!!!

    1. Aight so Jim Jones walked in the barbershop you was at and laid down the whole story for ya”ll, or that’s what the niggas in the shop was talkin bout, right?
    That’s where you came up with this post, right? Mebbe, mebbe not.
    2. I don’t like the Dips. As men, I know that they are punkass niggas 1 on 1, minus Freekey and Rell ( thas a Bronx nigga 4 ya). But I do give much respect to they movement. I like Jim Jones’ motives (well, not all of em) and I love they work ethic. But they got a talented ass artist like J.R. rappin bout bullshit on every track. They don’t help the hip hop culture to EVOLVE, they make it REVOLVE. Jimmy has seen success now. He need to broaden his horizons past the bullshit cats he hang around with and really capitilize off not only his own views, but the 3 or 4 hot niggas around him. Dipset could be the next generation Roc-a-fella ( or G-Unit) if these guys got an idea of a bigger picture.
    3. Cam is the fucking worst. He’s lazy, and I don’t know why he’s still rappin. He stays in some dumb highschool mentality, and he acts like he don’t know better. I can’t stand his ass, and I hope he grows up fore its too late for him. Sell ya bricks buddy, in the end you just wastin ya talent.
    4. 40 Cal sucks balls.
    5. Billy, stay tryin to save H.E.R. Hip hop aint dead, its just actin like a retard.

  • selassiepower

    i’m not sure i understand what you mean by the law of diminishing returns being applied to Jimmy’s royalties.

    i presumed it was either the saturated hip hop market, or a hip hop market saturated with dipset, that caused total royalties off subsequent albums to fall.

    but then you said it might’ve been an accounting error. and now i’m not sure what you meant, i can’t really see the dips getting involved with tax structuring and various depreciation/expense schemes….only because it takes alot of time to execute, let alone understand

    so what happened with jimmy’s royalties? did he not receive 8 bucks an album?

  • N.O. 4 life

    Honestly all these new people in dipset aint as good as they seem…in fact some are lame….the dips are jim,cam,and juelz….. i could care less about what these other people are doing or talking about because there not even close to special or original or even decent….good post billy for a change

  • http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/cleanguns2 RJB is Zilla Rocca

    cookies

  • BlackDante

    Fuck Dipest. Them niggas is whack. The only reason people listen to them niggas is because they flow on some of the tightest beats in the industry. The only member in the crew who isnt lyrically whack is Juelz. If Dipset was doin it like Camron claims they are, why would Juelz stay with Def Jam? That nigga Camron is whack as fuck. I dont even know what that nigga is sayin on the mic half the time. Now he’s “beefing” with 50, which is basically these two gettin at each other to stay in the news and get some publicity. These niggas was done when they signed with Koch. Jimmy had one hit but the album was garbage. In two years Juelz will still be doin it and we’ll be wondering what happened to the Dips’

  • Malik C.

    Looking at the comments posted, I don’t think anyone actually read the blog.

  • gerald n. the birdman

    THE DIPSET LOVES ‘NADS & WANG!!

  • UglyPicsScareMe

    Dr Flav has this persons name on his browser. In order to smash the online game as you claim you want to Elliot, step your programming game up.

  • meenstreek

    DIP-SHITS!!!

  • Dr Flav

    Before I put up my response, let me make a short list of OMG, THATS PLAYED OUT! 1. The terms Dickset, Dipshits, Shitset ecetera, not funny anymore. 2. Cam wearing pink back in 2003, its pics of Jay Z wearing a pink button down shirt to the Mayweather fight last Saturday. 3. The Rucker game, considering many of you would have done the same or cried and begged them not to put it on you. 4. ______ cant rhyme, put an album out, stop listening or shut up, because somebody buying they shit. 5. Cam rhyme scheme from a couple of songs, actually he does have your computers putin, right? I dont see this blog as a Dipset hate one, Sunday is just asking questions.

  • these posts are racist

    Billy great writing and nice analysis.

    But in the end my brotha, i disagree that it is/was Cam’s lack of leadership or sharing of the wealth that caused/is causing this break up. We don’t know what is “really” going on with jimmy and cam…but experience tells us that money breaks up most friendships. Especially in corporate america…and yes, the rap game is corporate america. Its all about the bottom line. Dame Dash helped make Jay’s career, but at the end of the day, Jay thought it in his economic best interest to split. Dame would have done the same thing, if the opportunity was his. I suspect the same thing is going on with Cam and Jimmy…

    I’m 28, but I know the deal…young cats out there, listen: All that talk of loyalty, honor and love for one’s crew is a myth. Money my brothas, money, is all most people care about.

  • dameSTAtus

    Not that anyone cares, but I have money to make out here in the west, so I’m swearing off XXLmag.com b/c it’s essentially the TI’s feeding me opinions through the mouths of black people (read: tools) like Billy and Byron.

    Also had to kick the byroncrawford.com addiction b/c he continues to use really strong racial epithets as if it’s ok. Had a lot of laughs, but it’s obvious he’s never been anywhere too diverse for more than a week or so. I couldn’t even begin to form my lips to say go*k (which really started me thinking), ch*nk, etc..

    Bay all day.

    Go back and listen to Weathermen on Jimmy’s album: “Yadidamean like Keak the Sneak!!”

  • Jerry Springfield

    i dont understand how dis nigga loves da dips and hates lil wayne them niggas is super ignorant and u sir are a region hater

  • Jerry Springfield

    i dont understand how dis nigga loves da dips and hates lil wayne them niggas is super ignorant and u sir are a region hater

  • J.R.O.

    I don’t know, but that “Only One Way Up” track was dope.

  • My Effin’ Opinion

    @ DR Flav

    That short list of OMG was on point.

  • http://wwww.yahoo.com the dips is over

    is dude sleepin on jenny jones’ couch or some shit? these dudes is a stunt “and i don’t mean that in no nice way”

  • Dr Flav

    TPAR, I can say that I am living proof that its not a myth, I took charges, promoted the crew, took risks and sacrificed, unfortunately all I ended up with was a record, a fake friend’s betrayal and the knowledge of knowing I helped somebody make a lot of money @ my expense, however I have the satisfaction of knowing I am a man of honor and its worth more than money. Damestatus, I understand man, sometimes it does get to be a bit much, but recognizing the manipulation is your best defense. Both these guys talk crazy, but they have their moments, Bol been slinging shit like sugar lately though.

  • Dr Flav

    MEO, Im not even a superfan of the Dips, but that same shit be sounding like a broken record of fingernail chalkboard scratchin.

  • Combat Jack

    My inside industry connects DID inform me that Cam stays dipping into the money jar and the whole beef thing centers solely around that. The 50 Cent “beef”, 60 minutes appearance and Tru Life “incident” were the straws that broke the camel’s (no Jay-Z) back. Why else would dudes with such an incredible hustle game part ways. Wake uo people, Billy just dropped an exclusive and ya’ll ain’t even recognizing!

  • these posts are racist

    Dr Flav:

    I do not question “your” authenticity…and am from the school that loyalty, integrity and honor trumps all…but my point is, a lot of young cats don’t understand what these things mean. Moreover, they end up getting taken advantage of by chareltons (spl?) who sell these kids the glory of being part of something that is not tangible and in the end, the youngsters sell their souls in the name of loyalty and honor, while others profit…

    I am always shocked when I talk to recent grads of college, especially those from our community, who don’t understand the mechanics of the real world. The bottom line is…that its about the….the bottom line.

    Dr. Flav, keep dropping knowledge.

  • Dr Flav

    Its still speculation, them dudes need to read they paperwork. They didnt learn from Puff’s Harlem Business School? I bet its paperwork that has Jim signature that coincides with everything Cam is allegedly doing, thats why Jim shut his mouth. Business never personal.

  • Dr Flav

    my last comment may have came up under Mark.

  • http://www.xxlmag.com King Ben

    Fuck Jim Jones, disloyal little bitch. Cam is millionaire because of himself, Juelz got a Bentley and shit on cribs! Jim Jones wanted to be a rapper and turns out to be a shitty one. Remeber he DID NOT EVEN GO GOLD! He flopped, more spins than record sales and that shit made him feel like he was on Killa’s level. HELL NO, thats why Cam stopped all that mess JIm was talkin’ Jim knew he fucked up, and the whole Dipset was shocked at what JENNY JONES said.

  • Combat Jack

    ^ Danny, please do your research and check my pedigree on my vintage posts over at Byron Crawford, you lil bitch.

  • Dr Flav

    TPAR, no doubt and you do the same. It is a shame that some of these dudes will try to pull the pimp game on another man, but are tricks when it come to women, buying pussy, gifts and strip clubbin. This used to be a minority in the game, but now its flipped to the majority. The crack era ruined young black men and women.

  • http://xxlmag.com Billy X. Sunday

    Combat Jack, what up family? This spot over here be like Romper Room sometimes when a little bitch ass feels empowered from they momma’s basement.

    You remember that song from B.D.P. called ‘The Bridge Is Over’? Change that shit to ‘The Dips Is Over’. I guess Cam feels like he owns the movement. Too bad for them. Juelz may end up joining Cash Money team with Jimmy.

  • crackaz killaz fo lifez niggaz

    if you ask me there all nigger rich……..the only hip hop jigs with money these days are puffy,joe camel and mr rush

  • May

    Though i do not like dipset–they, to me, are the most ignorant group of rappers ever to exist–i cannot knock the fact that, up until this point, they move togther as a unit. I have never heard of any squabbles or any beefs occuring within dipset. they stood together, something that doesn’t happen so often with groups in general.

    I get tight when my friend says that he is a huge fan of cam’ron and the rest of the dips, because cam spits nursery rhymes. he can’t rap for shit. I live in the Q boro but attend school at A. Philip Randolph HS and so many kids are huge ass fans too. But can i deny that he and his crew are trendsetters? no, i can’t. the dips are well-loved in harlem. does g unit get that much love in queens? i don’t really think so.

    I must say that I hate that things are turning out like this for dipset. I suppose that good things don’t last forever. I’ll see what happens next.

  • Dr Flav

    Intelligent reply for a high schooler May, props for the opinion without the slander of the group.

  • Cuban Link

    i dont see how this was hating, good post

  • agee

    When keeping it real goes bad.

  • ah huh

    People named “ELLIOT”, I have only ever met 3 of them but they all deserved a slap the supercilious cunts. They must think that as they have an unusually poncey name they must be better than everyone else. Well they are not, they are all cunts in my experience who need a fucking good hiding so that they gain a better perspective on the reality of their place in society. If you come across one I urge casual violence, (not something I”m usually for) but with these cunts you will be doing a public service.

  • May

    Thanks, dr flav

  • http://www.myspace.com/sinistahmoneybagz Sinistah aka Sin Piff

    Dips aint over, I think the lack of communication is causing internal conflicts, i think they did quite well sharing the spotlight as a unit, but as with most groups, creativity and gwap intake starts to manifest itself into different individual manuevers.

    Possibly with the uncalled for heat Cam has been getting lately, Jim feels like he’s tired of being grouped wit him. Remember Dipset aint just Cam, and when someone mentions a Dipset member it all falls under the same crew.

    people been blastin Cam for dat 60 Minutes interview, in which he said nothing wrong, but just put it the wrong way. I think Media-Land seen Cam on O’Riely’s show and figured he’d be the perfect spokesperson for their subliminal “Hip-Hop Funeral” campaign and what better forum than to put it on National TV, even some white dudes on Acid who steal electricity and gas were in “AWE” when they saw that shit from a remote location.

    Cam you my nigga doggie, and all u had to do was keep it funky wit em, fuck ya attempts at being articulate, just say you don’t trust cops, and if you were to snitch, possibly 5yrs later or even months later the same dude you snitched on could come home to body you for speakin. I know round here the cops neva protected snitches, i guess thats why most of them are maggot-food now and have been since the early 80′s and even b4 i existed.

    Bottom-Line to that scenario is i think the Media and general public arent aware of what “snitch” is actually defined as or encompassed of in terms of where the term/theory originates from so they wanna pigeonhole Hip-Hop as “Criminal” or “Deviant” music to further help burry the genre.

    That Tru-Life shit aint stickin to me too tough and i consider it to be anotha Episode of Ducktales. First off in front of Clubs there’s secuirty via Bouncers, Off-Duties, and probably Uniformed Officers as well. That would be considered as an “Assualt” charge, and its in front of a place of bizness, which should be on edge about the possibility of escalating violence be it a smack from Maino’s “Hand Of God” or a patented bitch slap from Lil Bow-Wow.

    I wouldn’t be suprised if they 2-wayed each other to set the whole shit up.

    I didnt wanna initially respond to this because petty internal beefs that go public without reason is like female gossip to me. Did Jimmy even state why he was in disgust besides the fact he wasn’t able to chill with the nigga who put him in the position he in.

    Both of em need to handle whateva it is thats causing th tension b4 this shit comes out like a Mini-Rocafella situation.

    i’ve typed enough, bout to take a break b4 i leave the day job and do some runnin round to check on a few mixdowns of some recently recorded tracks.

    outty 5000, boyyyyeeeeeeeeeee!

  • Dr Flav

    No prob May. Great summary Piff!

  • John Brown

    Billy,

    What happened to the SUNDAY blog?

  • Big Maddi Fresh

    Dipset still lives!!!

  • http://www.myspace.com/sinistahmoneybagz Sinistah aka Sin Piff

    thanks Dr. Flav and John Brown, easy bro, yesterday was dedicated to the Mothers of the world. Family should still hold a high moral value in one’s life, even in 2007!

  • http://dahshyt.blogspot.com Belize

    good write-up my dude

  • Moe Real

    majestic drum loops = not very hardbody

  • http://xxlmag.com Billy X. Sunday

    ^ “majestic drum loops = not very hardbody”

    Listen to DipSet Anthem on Diplomatic Immunity 1. That shit is like a motherfuckin’ army march song, like Hannibal crossing the Pyrennes on motherfucking elephants to stomp out the Romans.

    Aww what do you know?!?

  • Sopath Taing

    you mothafuccas needa stop with all that hating bullshit…all of you mothafuccas who is hatin on tha dips is just like all tha other trendy fags hatin on them cuz everyone else is…dipset is tha shit i dont giva fucc wat any of you mothafuccas gotta say…hatin cuz yall aint got money like the dips…n dat pink shit is old dat shit was way bacc in 2002-2003 so stop wit all dat old bullshit juss stfu…why hate cam? dont blame him he made himself a millionaire…so fucc all of u haterz..dipset is tha shit n i aint no dicc rider either so dont even start wit me…fucc all yall hatin azz bitches

  • soso

    fucc all yall haters..dipset is tha shit…dont hate on cam…all u haters only hatin cuz u wish u can be flashy n got fashion like dipset n they talents..