On this day, March 25th, in hip-hop history…

Roc-A-Fella

If you haven’t heard of the Diplomats, then consider this a short history lesson.

The Diplomats—with high-profile members Cam’ron, Juelz Santana, Jim Jones and Freekey Zekey—made their presence known through a vigorous mixtape grind, notably pushing their highlight The Diplomats, Vol. 1. Over the course of 15 songs, the crew took the mixtape formula to a whole new level by throwing together original music and attacking popular mainstream instrumentals. It helped each member become stars, set the standard for how a tape should be crafted, and kick-started their Dipset movement.

After the success of Cam’s third album, Come Home With Me, the crew collaborated on their compilation debut, Diplomatic Immunity. The two-disc effort meshed outside influences in the South and Midwest—long before A$AP Rocky re-popularized it. Production by names like Just Blaze and Heatmakerz, along with signature soul samples from others, broadened the sonic palette of New York. Its unique aesthetic vision with their absurd and hilarious rhymes made this album a definite classic of the decade.

Looking back, it was a special moment in time not just for New York, but hip-hop as a whole. The Dipset phenomenon was a craze, and one that happened to coincide with the G-Unit craze. To see the two biggest movements in hip-hop both coming out of the same city was a strangely wonderful thing.

In celebration of the 10th anniversary of Diplomatic Immunity, spin some cuts off the album like “Who Am I,” “Dipset Anthem,” and “I Really Mean It.” Dipp Set!

Check Out Cam'ron's Many Facial Expressions

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Camron at the CBS Studios in New York, New York (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)

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