For the Diplomats’ Duke da God, putting together the More Than Music mixtape was like picking players for baseball’s Midsummer Classic.
“I tried to make a lot of collaborations, [sort of] like the Dip Set All Stars,” the Harlem native told AllHipHop.com. “I tried to bring that type of element to the table because the last album was a lot of solo stuff, but this album was about putting them all together like a big pot, stirring it up.”
The Uptown collective has been wildly successful with a string of mixtape releases, including their Diplomats and Byrd Gang series. But More Than Music is the Dip Set’s first official mixtape album, which will be released in conjunction with Koch Records. And, according to Duke, the album will mark the beginning of a long summer for Dip Set releases.
“We’re gonna heat the summer up real good,” he exclaimed. “Right after this album comes out, Jim Jones’ album comes out August 8, along with Juelz Santana’s in early September.
“We just trying to clear our roster— put everybody in the game,” Duke continued.
For More Than Music, Duke, who grew up with Cam’ron and got his start in the industry by carrying boxes of CDs before evolving into the Dip’s A&R, paired artists together with the intent of creating a more cohesive LP, in comparison with the previous Diplomat albums. “I’m real hands on with everything,” he explained of the process.
The only guest featured on the album is Fabolous, which Duke said he included because of the chemistry and the resulting product.
“It started off all Dip Set, but the Fab record was just real hot, I liked the concept of the record, so I was like, ‘I got to throw this on there’,” said Duke
In addition to overseeing the mixtape projects, Duke is currently working on a deal to bring Dip Set Radio to the airwaves.
“We just movin’ in a positive direction, trying to branch out,” he said. “The merchandise, the web site and the radio station are all ways to get Dip Set’s name out there, because they don’t get much radio or video. [But] that’s the movement, that’s what makes it a movement, people know how to find us, they just know how to find our music.”
More Than Music arrives in stores July 12, and features appearances by Cam’ron, Jim Jones, and the rest of the Diplomats.