There are few crews in hip-hop history to have the musical and aesthetic impact that The Diplomats have managed to have and continue to nearly 20 years after their inception. Comprised of founders Cam'ron and Jim Jones, in addition to Juelz Santana and Freekey Zekey, the band of brothers first made their presence known at the onset of the aughts, and would go on to capture the rap world's attention with a slew of landmark mixtape releases, stamping themselves as the leaders of one of the hottest movements in the streets of New York and beyond.
Reaching platinum success with Diplomatic Immunity, their debut album as a group, and becoming fashion icons and trendsetters, The Diplomats appeared to be indestructible. However, with the passage of time, the group's two head honchos, Cam'ron and Jim Jones, would begin to drift apart, professionally and personally, spelling doom for The Diplomats and ending their run as one of the strongest collectives in music.
While it's been over a decade since The Diplomats were in complete harmony and building their reputation as a musical force, fans continue to clamor to see the Harlem reps back in effect, creating demand for the crew to reunite for one last hurrah. However, the long-standing beef between Cam'ron and Jim Jones have made it impossible for the quartet to put their differences aside long enough to give the fans what they've been missing.
Cam'ron and Jim Jones' friendship began prior to Cam's rap career, but it remains unclear the actual year that the two met. While Cam'ron contends that he and Jim never became cool until 1995, after Jim's grandmother passed, Jim claims they initially met around 1989, prior to the formation of the Children of the Corn collective.
Jim Jones Appears on Cam'ron's Debut Album
According to Cam'ron, after Ma$e began to distance himself from Cam and Jim Jones, the two began to broker a strong bond, leading to Jimmy being a major part of the recording of Cam's debut album, Confessions of Fire. Appearing on the song "Me, My Moms & Jimmy," Jim Jones made his first appearance on wax alongside Cam'ron, who introduced him as his right-hand man and just short of a brother.
Cam'ron and Jim Jones Form The Diplomats
In 1998, Cam'ron, Jim Jones and producer Digga would form The Diplomats, but the crew wouldn't truly start to form into a legit collective until the release of Cam'ron's sophomore album, S.D.E., which featured the debut of Juelz Santana, who completed the nucleus of the crew.
The Diplomats Release Diplomatic Immunity
Muscling his way out of his contract with Epic with the assistance of Jim Jones and a few other goons, Cam'ron and the Dipset crew formed a partnership with Damon Dash and Roc-A-Fella Records, where they would truly spread their wings. Riding off the momentum of Cam'ron's 2002 LP, Come Home With Me, Cam, Jim Jones, Juelz Santana, and Freekey Zekey would release Diplomatic Immunity, their debut album as a group. The album peaked at No. 8 on the Billboard 200 and achieved platinum status. Diplomatic Immunity would solidify The Diplomats as one of the hottest movements in hip-hop.
Jim Jones Hires 50 Cent's Lawyer
One of the first signs of trouble in Cam'ron and Jim Jones' relationship came when Jim decided to get a new lawyer, who also happened to be the lawyer of Cam's rival, 50 Cent. Jim would later explain that the move was in his best interest after taking issue with his business dealings within the Dipset infrastructure, a claim which Cam'ron would later dispute.
Cam'ron Makes Tricky Ricky Shirts and Trademarks ByrdGang Name
A surprising tidbit about Cam'ron and Jim Jones' issues with one another that was revealed during Cam's Instagram Live stream was his admission of making Tricky Ricky shirts, which mocked Jim's relationship with his girlfriend at the time, Chrissy Lampkin. According to Cam, the shirts would start the disintegration of their friendship and be the beginning of the end.
Jim Jones Makes Beef With Cam'ron Public
In 2007, Jim Jones would confirm that there was tension between him and Cam'ron, hitting up Hot 97 radio personality Miss Info to announce the news.
“Me and Cam’ron haven’t spoken to each other in a year," Jones said. "I kept quiet out of loyalty, I felt like if we can’t be friends then at least we can do business together. But now I can’t be next to you... I’m through with being in hot water because of you. We still the Diplomats. We worked too hard to achieve our own success and now we’re gonna do something new."
Jim Jones Appears Onstage With 50 Cent
Months after throwing down the gauntlet in his beef with Cam'ron, Jim Jones would let his actions do the talking once again, appearing onstage alongside 50 Cent, whom Cam had engaged in a public dispute with live on the radio. The move would be considered a subtle slight against his former partner, making it clear that Jim and Cam were far from the best of friends at that juncture.
Cam'ron Confirms Beef With Jim Jones
Cam'ron would address his issues with Jim Jones for the first time, appearing on The Angie Martinez Show on Hot 97 to clear the air in April of 2009. Explaining that he and Jim hadn't spoken in more than three years, Cam would conclude that he and Jim's relationship would never be the same. "Once a problem gets in the public for me, it can’t be fixed," Cam said.
Jim Jones Suggests Dipset Reunion
Jim Jones would begin to have a change of heart and hint at being open to the possibility of The Diplomats coming back together as a unit once again.
“We possess the hottest thing in hip hop that hasn’t happened yet and everybody knows it,” Jones said in an interview. “We damn near could be one of the reasons to make hip-hop a lucrative thing again and that being the Diplomats. If we put it back together. There’s a 50 percent chance because I’m in. Smell me? And that’s a high percentile."
Although Cam'ron would initially decline the offer, Jim's olive branch would be the first step towards a Dipset reunion.
Cam'ron and Jim Jones Squash Beef
In April of 2010, nearly a year after whispers of the group getting back together, Cam'ron and Jim Jones announced that The Diplomats were back on one accord and that their fans could expect new music from the crew. The group's comeback single "Salute" would make waves and rekindle the magic the group created at their peak. However, The Diplomats would fail to follow-up with a full-length release, stalling the reunion before it got a chance to get off the ground.
Jim Jones Disses Cam'ron
Jim Jones would diss Cam'ron once again, accusing him of hanging with snitches in response to Cam's friendship with Love & Hip Hop: New York star Mendeecees, whom Jim Jones and his fiancee, Chrissy Lampkin, had beef with in the past. Cam would respond to Jim's retort in a mocking manner, commenting with a few emojis on social media, indicating that he found Jones' remark amusing, but wouldn't address the issue any further.
Cam'ron Removes Jim Jones From Song
The way Jim Jones tells it, he, Cam'ron and Juelz Santana would record a song titled "Oh Yeah" together, but when the track was finally released, Jim's verse was missing. This caused Jim to voice his displeasure via social media. Cam'ron, who would respond to Jim's Instagram post once gain in a mocking manner after the fact, would show no remorse for removing the verse. This was yet another sign that their beef with one another runs deep.
Cam'ron and Jim Jones Diss Each Other on Instagram
The war of words between Cam'ron and Jim Jones continued in November of 2016, when the two exchanged words in the comments of an Instagram photo belonging to Harlem rapper Dave East. While Jim mockingly suggested that Dave East become the newest member of Dipset, Cam'ron would accuse Jim Jones of speaking ill on the rising rapper. The ordeal would prove to be the boiling point in the pair's long-running feud with one another and bring things to a head.
Cam'ron Says Jim Jones Isn't From Harlem
In early December of 2016, Cam'ron would address the ongoing spat between him and Jim Jones during another appearance on The Angie Martinez Show, now on Power 105. This would be his first time airing things out publicly and in-depth. Taking multiple shots at Jim, including claiming his former cronie was from the Bronx and not Harlem, Cam'ron would add yet another wrinkle to the beef with his interview.
Jim Jones Explains His Fallout With Cam'ron In-Depth
Jim Jones would begin 2017 by announcing a deal with Jay Z's Roc Nation imprint, but would truly make a big splash with his appearance on Hot 97's Funkmaster Flex radio show. In the discussion, he gave a full rundown of his history with Cam'ron, the inception of The Diplomats and where his relationship with his former partner-in-crime went wrong. Expressing his disappointment in Cam and his frustration with how Dipset was run from a business aspect, Jim left no stone unturned during the extended conversation.
Cam'ron Responds to Jim Jones' Claims on Instagram Live
After Jim Jones went public with his side of the story regarding his feelings about Cam'ron and The Diplomats, Killa decided to respond with a lengthy tell-all of his own. For Cam's discussion, he went on Instagram Live to clear the air. Making sure to address all of Jim's statements, he clarified what he felt were discrepancies and explained his version of the events. Cam'ron gave what may go down as one of his most legendary interviews of all-time -- with him being the host of his own interview -- and put all hopes of The Diplomats resolving their differences to rest.