Hate him or love him, Jim Jones is on top. The
Diplomats Capo has risen from his meager beginnings as Cam’s sidekick into a full fledged hood mogul. As a solo artist, he scored big in 2004 with his street anthem “Certified Gangstas”. Additionally,
he got his Hype Williams on by directing videos for Dipset-related projects and other outside artists. But the Harlem World hustle didn’t stop there. Capitalizing on the Hip-Hop drink craze, Jim put his best foot forward as he help launched the purple flavored Sizzurp liquor.
Now almost a year later, Jones is ordering a bigger piece of the pie. He has quietly stepped up his CEO game: locking down a joint venture situation at Def Jam for Juelz, getting appointed as an A&R executive at Warner Brothers, all the while still holding down the Diplomats record label at Koch.
Of course AllHipHop.com caught up with the
braided wonder to see what’s really hood. We talk Mase, getting that independent money, and find out why Harlem cats are so flashy. This is the jump-off of Dipset week. Only the World’s Most Dangerous Site does it this big!
AllHipHop.com: What’s new with you and this album?
Jim Jones: New album. New money. New music. New energy. We have a new sound. You know just keeping it moving, man. Trying to make my next move be the best move.
AllHipHop.com: Can you get into all the situations you have set up?
Jim Jones: Cam just inked a major deal at Asylum, for his next project and a couple of the next Diplomat projects. Still got Diplomat Records at Koch, which I do my albums over at. We did a joint venture deal over at Def Jam to keep Juelz there. I got an executive position over at the Warner Music Group. Just trying to keep it poppin’.
AllHipHop.com: How does the Def Jam situation work since Jay is president?
Jim Jones: We don’t have to deal with him. We deal with L.A. Reid.
AllHipHop.com: So, how exactly did you meet Dr. Ben Chavis?
Jim Jones: I was in Houston every couple of months, doing a lot of things out there. They were doing the Hip-Hop Summit out there. A friend of mine, Uncle Hump from Sucka Free Records, had took me to the board meeting at the Hip-Hop Summit. They had a lot of white-collared people in there, as far people that give out grants and work for non-profit organizations. They was talking about the ghetto, what’s good for the hood and what’s going on with people. You know me, if you going to talk about that type of s**t, I’ma get offended. I feel that y’all people don’t know what y’all really talking about. Not putting no one out there, but from my point of view, it is what it is. I’m the closest thing to it.
I was just voicing my opinion and just talking. [Dr. Ben Chavis] was just like, “I love how you just said that.” Everybody in there was feeling the same. I was just telling them what it is and how I feel. From there, we just clicked. So I started f**king with him. I told him if he needs me to help him with any other s**t, to just call me. I ain’t a shy person, I ain’t never scared. He started calling me up and I started f**king with him. Anything for the kids, anything for the communities.
AllHipHop.com: Why do you think a lot of rappers don’t get that involved like that?
Jim Jones: I don’t know, some people just trying to get their money and get out. N***as is just worried about their kids, more than they worry about politics. They ain’t looking at the overall picture, smell me? It’s an uphill battle for us. These politicians rule, police is on our backs all the time, and we got nothing in the first place. So I do the things to make money. Some of us do good at it, and some of us do bad at it. We end up getting locked up and going through the system. Someone gotta speak up for what’s going on.
AllHipHop.com: You recently recorded your own version the “I Run New York” freestyle…
Jim Jones: I just did the video for that. I killed it. Right on my block, the whole hood was outside.
AllHipHop.com: You compared Chris Lighty to Vince McMahon. Can you get into that?
Jim Jones: I was just voicing my opinion, man. I ain’t really with all the s**t that’s going on in the game. Chris Lighty is a smart n***a, man. Vince McMahon is a smart n***a. Wrestling is what the people love. God bless her soul, my grandmother loved wrestling. It was nothing wrong with wrestling baby, they all got their money from it. Vince McMahon capitalized on the s**t, ya dig? At the end of the day he thought about Vince, smell me? Chris Lighty is responsible for all that s**t. It’s one big circus going on over there.
AllHipHop.com: Game was originally featured on “Certified Gangstas”. Is it true 50 Cent blocked his appearance on your album, because you’re on Koch?
Jim Jones: How could he? Like what do you mean? The video got major airplay and it still plays to today.
AllHipHop.com: Game never made it to your album.
Jim Jones: I didn’t want him on the album. He did the remix. Smell me? The original version was just me and [Cam’ron]. I flew him in to do the remix. Like, “You gotta come f**k with me to do the remix.” That’s how I first met Game. I got to speak to him on the phone like, “Yo, I got this song, old school Eazy-E beat, you need to be on this s**t.” We did like seven songs when he came to New York. And he did mad songs with Juelz. The boy got a lot of s**t.
AllHipHop.com: How do you feel about his current situation with 50?
Jim Jones: Well, I told him – s**t like that happens, it’s bound to happen sooner or later. You got to stand on your own with that s**t. You too much of a powerful person, you got too much of an angle and that s**t is going to clash. You can ask him too. I been told him that. Way before the s**t even started, when it was the summer before the s**t came out, when I started f**king with him, flying back and forth from LA. [I said,] “You got so much about to pop off for you, like there’s a lot of hate about to come your way. It might be more internal than external.”
AllHipHop.com: Let’s bring it back to you. Why do think the Dips get hated on so much?
Jim Jones: I don’t know. It’s a funny thing you say about hate. When you hate something, I think you really love it. Because it must be something that you want to be able to do, but you really can’t do. And I’m glad that it’s irking you that much, smell me? At least I’m on your mind.
AllHipHop.com: Both MC Eiht and Tru Life had made some comments about New Yorkers embellishing the gang culture. What’s your response to someone calling you a fake Blood?
Jim Jones: A fake Blood?
Jim Jones: I don’t do the Blood s**t like that. It ain’t no fake Blood, no real Blood. I’m a G, man. You dig? We’re not going to get caught up in the Blood terms, I’m a G. N***as know me from the West Coast to the East Coast, and all muthaf**king hoods. So you figure that out. I did my video for “Certified Gangstas” on the West Coast, smell me? And I did it in the hood. Shout out to the whole Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E, my dude, Ganxsta [Ridd]. I did the whole video smack dead in the hood, with all the homeys and s**t like that. And that’s the home of the gang banging, so you can make your own assumptions.
AllHipHop.com: What’s the deal with you and Mase now? It seems Cam has squashed his beef with him, as there are pictures of him and Mase playing ball recently.
Jim Jones: I don’t give a f**k about Mase. That s**t don’t move me. That s**t is not on my mind. That was some **it that I was just telling him what it was, ‘cause he wasn’t built, he didn’t come up like that. And the s**t he was saying was really not right. He couldn’t get a drop of water from me in a desert. F**k him.
AllHipHop.com: What’s next in the liquor game?
Jim Jones: We finna to come out with the champagne.
AllHipHop.com: Will it be pink?
Jim Jones: [laughs] I don’t know. But we finna do the champagne thing. We got Sizzurp Sodas coming. Sizzurp is the brand that’s making it. We’ll be making sodas, icees, quarter waters. Everything for the hood that the kids love, s**t like that that I came up on. I told them to make sure that it have vitamin C, that we are on our vitamin game.
AllHipHop.com: Historically, why are Harlem cats so flashy?
Jim Jones: It’s all about style. We set the trends for pretty much everything in the world, smell me? Harlem is New York. That’s our island, it’s all one island. That’s us. We the city of the commerce, don’t nothing move unless we got in. If you watch BET, you think all the rappers are from Harlem.
AllHipHop.com: Why do you think Cam’s Purple Haze didn’t do the numbers it could of done?
Jim Jones: We didn’t do nothing with it. He told Def Jam, “F**k y’all, I don’t give a f**k, that’s your album. I gave y’all whatever y’all paid for, I got my money. This is our last hurrah. I’m going home and I’m going to sleep. Whatever it do, it whatever it do.” And the s**t still went gold while he was sleeping so that goes to show you how powerful the Dipset is.
AllHipHop.com: You guys got a strong fan base. You got cats on the Internet who just swear by the Dips. Why do you think you get so much love like that?
Jim Jones: You can tell when something is real. I got all my style from watching all the hustlers and the drug dealers coming up in the game. When I was younger, I used to watch all the hustlers go get the new s**t. Like he got the cream and white high top [Nike’s], oh I gotta go cop those! I guess we give off the same aura that I felt watching them.
AllHopHop.com: What’s your crowning moment so far that told you you’ve really made it?
Jim Jones: Everyday is a good moment, to tell you the truth. When I wake up, and hop out of the bed and ball out. Last month, I was in Miami for a month. I had this retarded mansion and all that s**t. Just strolling in the pool, looking up at the sky high out of my brain. To do my first album is one of the greatest feelings. To know one person bought one of my albums was the greatest feelings. I’m a real thankful person and s**t like that. There’s a lot of s**t I want to accomplish.
AllHipHop.com: Like what?
Jim Jones: I would love to sell a couple of million records, s**t like that. That’s just me being a competitive person. It ain’t more or less for the fame. I’ve always been about the money. Money makes me, f**k the fame. In the hood, we’ll get you high before we feed you. In the game, they’ll make you famous before they make you rich.