Diamond & Princess (Crime Mob): Things Done Changed

Yep, the Crime Mob you know is no more. We got Diamond and Princess, separately, to offer their takes on the situation. The whispers started in early 2007. One member short of their original line up, Warner Brothers recording group Crime Mob was enjoying their most successful hit to date with the release of “Rock […]

Yep, the Crime Mob you know is no more. We got Diamond and Princess, separately, to offer their takes on the situation. The whispers started in early 2007. One member short of their original line up, Warner Brothers recording group Crime Mob was enjoying their most successful hit to date with the release of “Rock Yo Hips.” By the time their second album, Hated On Mostly, dropped, rumors were surfacing  that the group’s line up would change again. Fans and industry insiders were speculating that a proposed album featuring only Diamond and Princess was part of a larger plan by Warner Brothers Records to release M.I.G. And Cyco Blac from their contractual obligations. When Diamond took to appearing in public without even Princess, to whom she had been so close before, onlookers felt it was only a matter of time. In November 2007, the gossip became reality. After walking the red carpet at Radio One’s Dirty Awards nearly 30 minutes after the rest of her crew, Diamond announced her departure from the group and plans for a solo album. Warner Brothers Records has yet to release a statement even validating the break up of Crime Mob. Only days after Diamond’s announcement, both she and Princess spoke to AllHipHop.com at length; each giving up an exclusive look into the apparent growing pains that pushed Crime Mob apart.DIAMOND INTERVIEW AllHipHop.com: So the rumor is that you’re no longer a part of Crime Mob?Diamond: Yes, that’s trueAllHipHop.com: What happened?Diamond: Well basically, it was a decision that was just made. I feel like it’s the best decision to make because the choices and opportunities that was presented in front of me the whole time while I was in the group, I’m able to take that now and not feel bad about it or not feel like I’m being disloyal to the group; or trying to leave the group, or I’m being held back. So now, I’m just in the process of trying to do something different. I got new management, Polo Grounds, Bryan Leach. So, it’s a new situation. It’s definitely gonna better myself as a person and as a solo artist.AllHipHop.com: Was it a mutual decision that you made with the group? Or was it a decision you made alone and presented to them?Diamond: I wasn’t originally the one to make the decision. The whole idea was brought to my attention by the group and that’s [why] I felt like it would be a good look.AllHipHop.com: So they came to you and they said that they thought it would be a good idea for you to be a solo artist? Where they beefing?Diamond: Yep, that they wanted me to be a solo artist, they didn’t want me in the group.AllHipHop.com: Is there any animosity? Are you guys still cool?Diamond: It’s no animosity. I mean, people grow, they change, they make decisions, as you get older, that you feel might better yourself. So now, like I said, I’m able to take the opportunity of doing this and doing that and a whole bunch of other stuff that was presented in front of me, without feeling bad and feeling like I’m doing the group wrong or I’m leaving the group hanging.AllHipHop.com: For a lot of people, this probably comes as no surprise, because its looked like that’s the way things were heading. Were you surprised?Diamond: Yeah, a little. Because at first it was supposed to be the Diamond and Princess project. And that didn’t go good. It was just a lot of bad people around the circle that it wouldn’t be able to function right. It wouldn’t be what the world would want it to be. Then personally, me and her didn’t see eye to eye on certain things, when it was time to record and stuff like that. So… people change. And for me to be by myself, it was a big big change, you feel me? I was thinking, “Well, ok, not the Diamond and Princess album, but we still could do the Crime Mob project.” Now, it’s a better situation. Everything happens for a reason.  AllHipHop.com: Ok, so how soon should we expect to see stuff out there as a solo artist?Diamond: Well I have plenty of songs out there. I’m still surprised at the response that [B***h Music] [Ed. Note: Diamond’s Mixtape with Big Mike, DJ Scream & Don Cannon] had. It was a big response. I just been recording, really. Wake up, go to the studio, go home, go to sleep, wake up, do it again. I’m just so happy that all these different producers and all these artists is willing to work with me. It’s not like my management has to do a favor for a favor. Everything is mutual. It’s a beautiful thing.AllHipHop.com: As far as your label situation, are you going to remain signed to Warner Brothers?Diamond: It’s still under the works right now. But the most important thing is new management. So whether I do go to another label or whether I am still under Warner Brothers, I have a great machine behind me, so it really wouldn’t matter. I would have all the promotion I need, all the support I need for anything that I’m tryna do. It’s just a totally different situation than how the Crime Mob thing was. AllHipHop.com: So overall, you feel like this is a better move, in terms of the exposure you’ll be able to get?Diamond: Most definitely. That’s really what’s making me most comfortable about the situation, because of course, thinking back to how Crime Mob we had a lot of good music, and for some reason, we still stayed underground! “Rock Yo Hips” went Pop, we were supposed to crossover. AllHipHop.com: Do you think that was due to dynamics within the group, or was it the people around you?It was both. Because the first time around, it was a lot of problems. The boys were in and out of trouble, wrong place at the wrong time. Well, first it was the management we had on the first album was ter-ri-ble. Terrible. Like I’m not even gonna spend energy on how horrible the management was. But that’s what made the label not even wanna have anything to do with it, because the management was just so bad. Then after we was in the process of changing management, that’s when the boys was in and out of trouble. And the label was feeling like, “Where is this going?” People started focusing on me and Princess. And then “Rock Yo Hips” came out, it was a big success, everybody was back on they feet again. But even if we was on our toes, and the label wasn’t doing what they was supposed to be doing, or management wasn’t doing what they were supposed to do or vice versa, it still wouldn’t work, because you need that machine, you need everybody to be on their p’s and q’s: the artist, the management and the label. AllHipHop.com: Overall, is there anything that you wanted to say to your fans? Because if I’m understanding correctly, there is no beef between you and your former group, right?Diamond: I definitely don’t want the fans to feel like they have to choose between Diamond inside of Crime Mob, Diamond outside of Crime Mob, or the Crime Mob members. I just wanna tell them thank you for supporting me. I’m getting a lot, a lot of love. This is a big step for me, and a big decision that has been made. And I just wanna tell everybody, even the artists, the people that’s in the industry, the DJs, everybody that’s been coming at me supporting me: I appreciate it and I will not let y’all down, believe it!AllHipHop.com: When was the decision made? When did you find out?Diamond: The day before the Dirty Awards. I  was already gonna walk by myself, because one of the reasons, I was nominated by myself for Dirty Chick of the Year. Two, I wanted people, like I said, to see there was a separation between Diamond and Princess, because a lot of times, the boys wasn’t getting shine, wouldn’t be getting attention. Like I said, going back to the contract, it was to the point they wanted us to sign a contract, me and ol’ girl, that said that we would be in a whole other group and we would leave Crime Mob, that would leave them to get dropped. So what type of person would I be to wanna start a new situation and end the old situation off bad and putting somebody else in that predicament, feel me? I wasn’t gon’ walk with nobody, I was gon’ walk by myself, and then it just came up that me and [Scrappy] would walk together. It wasn’t nobody supporting me.AllHipHop.com: Did the guys know that that was the situation presented; for you and Princess to sign a contract by yourselves?Diamond: I told him the day before, when I had a conversation with M.I.G. that’s what it was. Because I didn’t hear it for myself. Somebody that they told, told me and I was just like, Well dang, lemme call and see what’s going on. And I just heard where he was coming from, and I still let him know what was going on, one of the reasons I didn’t do the Diamond and Princess album, and other reasons that didn’t have anything to do with her. I was just shedding light on the whole situation period. AllHipHop.com: So basically, you felt like if you did that album, it would have ended up a situation where the guys would have gotten jerked?Diamond: Oh yeah! I know it would have! I don’t think, I know. And not only that, like I said, we didn’t have the right machine. You only got one shot at doing something like that. We would have been looking like Salt-n-Pepa, not saying I have anything against Salt-n-Pepa, but you see the stuff that they’re going through. When you see the stuff that people are going through that’s similar to your situation, you gotta look at that and really learn from it. When the window of opportunity for female MCs is so small, why would you wanna set yourself up like that on the business side. And not only that, on the personal side, it was so many bad people around the outside of the circle, so many negative people that it wouldn’t have been what it was supposed to be.AllHipHop.com: Has your friendship with the group been affected by your careers? Do you still feel like you guys are going to be able to stay cool?Diamond: When we were younger, everybody was all tight and close. But when you grow up, people done had kids, people got girlfriends, boyfriends. That’s with anything in life. It’s like best friends: it could be a clique of five girls and they like, “Best friends forever ‘til we die.” Then one might get married, one might go off to college, one might have a job where she working all the time. We was only really talking when it had to do with our music. Or if we was celebrating for a particular reason, we would go out on a personal tip. But other than that, people grow up and do different things.PRINCESS INTERVIEWAllHipHop.com: So you guys came to this decision on Sunday at the Dirty Awards?Princess: No we didn’t come to the decision on Sunday. It was over the weekend. First I want to correct some things that I’ve heard. [Diamond] was on 107.9 with Mizz Shyneka, she said that when me and her had the Diamond and Princess deal, and if we signed the deal, the boys would’ve got dropped. That’s not the case at all, that was totally false. AllHipHop.com: I heard that rumor from someone else too; that it was the label’s plan.Princess: Nah, the boys wasn’t [fitting to] get dropped, if you think about it, we’re still signed to the label as a group. So with the Diamond and Princess project, that would’ve added one more to the Crime Mob in total, as far as how many CDs we gotta turn in, before we can get off of the label. We have to turn in like six, so we’ve already did two, the Diamond and Princess would have been three, so we still had three more to do. So it wouldn’t even have made sense for them to get dropped. And that’s just speaking about the legalities of the situation. But that was totally false, and I think she was really playing it like…I don’t really know if her rep told her that or anybody, but I just wanted to clear that up. The boys weren’t gonna get dropped. They still do production, so they would’ve have been continuing doing production under Warner Brothers, like my brother Lil’ J does. He’s not in the group anymore, but he still does production for the label. Another thing, she did not find out about it Monday. It was over the weekend that we actually came together to tell her. But the reason behind it is, and this is the most that I’ve explained it to anybody, is that over course Crime Mob started off as a group. Everybody know, and everybody says that me and Diamond are who everybody knows out the group. Everybody know that’s ‘cause we’re females, that’s obvious. So Warner Brothers decided that me and her would do an album together. With the album came a reality show. And all of this was already on the table, they was ready to cut the check. But at that time, me and her wasn’t seeing eye to eye, and we really weren’t speaking to each other. But at the end of the day, I’m a business person, so I’m gonna do whatever needs to be done to handle the business and make sure it gets handled correctly, whether that be we do this album and we just keep it strictly business and we just call each other co-workers or whatever it is. And we take separate flights, two different hotels, that would be fine as long as the business get handled. But we’re not the same peoples, so she saw it a little different than I saw it. But while we weren’t talking, she had new management and it turned into a solo deal. The thing that bothered us was, if you have a problem with me, ok; you’re still in the group. You don’t have to like me! Groups don’t always get along, but at the end of the day, you gotta take care of business. So when that news came out, it was like, ok: it’s not just that you have a problem with me, it must be the whole group, because you’re doing this and you didn’t even tell the boys. Damn me! You didn’t even tell them. It was a lot that went on, but we felt like that was the best decision for right now, because obviously she’s on another page. So we did that, and now we have to move on. And as she announced on the stage [at the Dirty Awards] and Scrappy announced: her album is coming out. Obviously, if she would have known on Monday like everybody else, she wouldn’t have been announcing that she has a solo album coming out soon.AllHipHop.com: She said that people were telling her about the groups decision and that she spoke to M.I.G. on Sunday, the day before the Dirty Awards. Princess: I haven’t talked to her in a minute, for real for real. She probably talked to somebody else. But the thing that I don’t like is she’s trying to act like everything is just spur of the moment, and she’s just so innocent, when really it’s, you had an ulterior motive already set in store! We been sitting around for a minute tryna do this Diamond and Princess project, and obviously she didn’t wanna do that. So we gotta move on, we can’t just sit down and wait for everybody to be on the same page.AllHipHop.com: Are you guys planning on replacing her?Princess: No, there won’t be any replacement.AllHipHop.com: Now y’all have been in this group for a minute, which has included what is a big transitional period in anyone’s life. Do you think whatever you were going through is something that you guys could have overcome?Princess: In the long run, yes, I think we could have. Like I said, as long as the business get handled. We can record in two different studios, at two different times. You don’t have to see me until you get on stage. But when you bring other elements into the situation, to where it can’t even happen. How can we get passed it? Because even if we did it that way, in two different studios and not even seeing each other until we get on stage, after a while, we’ll both get tired of doing that, and we’ll realize, ok, this need to stop. And we’ll move on. But since that didn’t happen, you gotta go with a plan B, C, and D. AllHipHop.com: So what is the plan B? Are you guys gonna continue to promote the album without Diamond?Princess: Yeah, we’re still promoting the album. We’re back in the studio, working on another album. We got bills to pay.AllHipHop.com: Do you think that the fans are gonna be polarized on this? Princess: It should be enough room for all of us to be successful. At the end of the day, we just gotta respect the situation for what it is. We’re just all on different agendas right now, and whatever works, I pray it works.AllHipHop.com: Have you decided whether or not you’re going to release a solo album as well?Princess: Right now, I just finished up my mixtape, Taking Over the Dome, produced by my brother Lil’ J. That’s really the only solo thing I’m doing on that. I don’t wanna be categorized as a rapper, because I’m more than just that. So I’m working on ghostwriting for other people, I got a book deal that’s being finalized. Just a lot of other things I’m working on other than just music.AllHipHop.com: Are you concerned that it may look like a catfight between you and Diamond, since you’re speaking on behalf of the group?Princess: The boys are so laid back. They have their opinion, but I’ve always been the outspoken one, so it’s gonna seem like it’s coming from me. But I think the media, they gon’ do they job. And if they think that it’ll be more of a hype to make it seem like we’re going against each other, that’s how they gon’ make it look. But I think we’re gonna be able to handle what the media throws at either one of us in a positive way. AllHipHop.com: Anything else that you want to touch on that I may have overlooked.Princess: Really, to anybody who reads this: it’s no beef. It’s really… just the business. I mean, I can’t really put it [any other way], it’s the business. We wish her much success on everything that she does. She just dropped her mixtape, B***h Music.