On this day, July 15, in hip-hop history…
1976: Bronx-born, Harlem native Joseph Guillermo Jones II, better known as The Diplomats’s very own Jim Jones, has shown the hip-hop industry his many capabilities during his multifaceted 16-year career.
In 2004, Jones’ debut album, On My Way to Church, brought Jones’ into the limelight after several years of being the hype man of childhood friend and fellow Diplomat Cam’ron. The album put Jones on the Billboard charts immediately, most impressive being No. 4 on the Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.
Jones’s success continued to build, with his 2005 sophomore release, Harlem: Diary of a Summer, bringing him more acclaim with memorable hits such as “Summer Wit’ Miami,” featuring Trey Songz, and “Baby Girl”, which reached No. 58 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop chart.
Showing no signs of slowing down, Jones released Hustler’s P.O.M.E. (Product of My Environment), which maintained the most commercial appeal of his works at that time, featuring various members of Dipset, including Lil Wayne. This was also the album that bore Jones’s infamous single “We Fly High”, which then led to the rapper’s signature ad-lib/dance combo “Ballin!” and quickly made Jim Jones a popular name.
Among these successes and many others, Jim Jones continued to expand his brand, with various business ventures and positions. During his Diplomats days, he was not only the hype man but also the music video director of most of their reputable music videos, directing under the moniker CAPO. He also has dabbled in fashion design, the most recent of his brands being Vampire Life, a clothing line based in New York. Few also know that Jim Jones maintains acting creds as well, appearing in State Property 2 in 2005, the Starz series Crash: The Series in 2008, TV drama series The Wire in 2009, and even headlining Dame Dash’s off-Broadway musical Hip-Hop Monologues: Inside the Life and Mind of Jim Jones.
These days, we get selective insight into Jimmy’s fast-paced life during the VH1 shows Love & Hip-Hop and Chrissy and Mr. Jones, which chronicle the life of Jones and his fiancee Chrissy Lampkin. Most recently, he has been involved in music collaborations with Jeremih and DJ Spinking for his new single “Nasty Girl” and has remixed the Daft Punk/Pharrell smash hit “Get Lucky” into a hustler’s anthem fittingly entitled “Get Money”. We certainly look forward seeing more of what Mr. Jones has up his sleeves.–Christina Kelly