So Dipset is back huh? Earlier this week a promotional video featuring Cam’ron, Jim Jones, Juelz Santana and Freekey Zekey hit the net. And though there were pictures that leaked two weeks ago, watching the footage made me feel like this Dipset reunion is really going down (no basement). But I should probably wait until the first song leaks before I start getting my hopes up. It’s fucked up to say that one song will make or break this whole project, but for me, that initial joint will hint at whether this reunion is built on a real camaraderie or if it’s just business.

Back in the early 2000s so much of Dipset’s chemistry was built on their close-knit relationship with each other and the fact that they were the industry underdogs. First there was Cam’s beef at Epic Records, which led to him going to Roc-A-Fella. Then there was Cam’s beef at Roc-A-Fella, which led to the Diplomats becoming the Roc’s redheaded stepchildren. Then there was the beef with Nas, and probably a few more rap skirmishes that I’m forgetting. And with 50 Cent’s G-Unit crew being NY’s premier street-rap clique, the Dips had a lot to prove. Despite it all, there was a time when the Diplomat sound was inescapable and it didn’t matter if the rap industry didn’t fuck with them, because the streets did.

Back then, Cam, Jim and Juelz— they all needed each other. And even if there were internal tiffs that the public wasn’t privy too, they all unified and fought against an industry that seemingly shut doors on them at every turn. In 2010, after about three or four years on the outs, can Dipset recapture that feeling? From a business standpoint a new Diplomats album is a no-brainer (even considering the industry’s current sales slump). I’m pretty sure every label imaginable is lined up to take a crack at releasing the project— though I’m not sure where each member’s individual contracts leaves things. But if this reunion is built purely on dollars and cents, it may not work.

I’m a natural optimist— my glass is always half-full. So in my mind Cam and Jim have already had a couple of sit-downs and worked out there problems. Wishful thinking, I know. More than a Dipset record, what the fans actually need is that Dipset energy— that us-against-the-world type vibe that they embodied when they first broke-through. If Jim and Cam can work it out— who knows, maybe there is hope for Jay and Dame… on second thought, nah. — Rob Markman, Deputy Editor