Mon 19 Apr 2010
(Cam, Juelz and Jimmy, “Ballin'” video shoot, 2006, photo by Hasain Rasheed)
Last week I had a conversation with two old friends. But what was remarkable about this wasn’t the fact that they called, or even what we talked about….what really meant something is that, for the first time in over three years, these two guys were calling me together…
“Minya, it’s Jimmy….I’m sitting in the passenger seat of this car right now. I want you to talk to the driver real quick.”
[brief pause] “What up, Min. It’s Cam…”
Yes!! Now we’re finally getting somewhere…Before I could start grilling them about the who/what/where/why/when….Jimmy made it very clear that he had to get something off his chest, with Cam right there…
Jim Jones said: “It’s 2010, and this is something I gotta get off my chest…You’ve known us from back when we didn’t have what we have now, so you remember, that above all, me and Cam, we still brothers. And we’re building on getting back on track but first, I apologize for being a rude brother, for saying things publicly without first trying to handle them privately. I apologize for not leading by example because what I didn’t realize at the time, I was venting but it wasn’t all about me. There were other people whose dreams were also part of this movement. So by not leading by example, they were left stranded too. The way I handled our business issues was with emotion, and it got totally f–ked up. That’s what selfishness does….”
read the rest after the jump
Jim Jones (cont.): “…I have demons that I’m learning to deal with. We’re all successful, me and Cam and Juelz, so we’re blessed. But that comes with responsibilities. I had complaints and I’m not backing away from the issues I had, but I’m just mad at how I handled them. The business of the Diplomats could have been fixed before. But by putting my emotions out in the public, it only made things worse. And of course, some of us became bitter about it. We had this luxurious life, but the rest of the family, they had slow down because of the ball I started rolling. I’d be pissed at me too…
But God works in mysterious ways…a couple people took vacations, and there’s a lane that’s wide open. What we built solo since Dipset grew apart, we can combine and make even stronger together. I needed to clear my conscious before we work on building a bigger and better movement. Plus, consider it fair warning to everyone else.”
When Cam got back on the phone, he was definitely more pragmatic and cautious with his words.
Cam’ron: “There’s nothing really Diplomats-related to show you yet. We all have our own obligations right now, our own projects. I have this Boss of All Bosses Pt. 2.5 mixtape with Vado and DJ Drama dropping soon. But yes, me and Jim have been speaking, we’re working out the mechanics of this, and looking at our options right now. If it makes sense, it can happen.”
Ok, so no speeding, Dipset fans. Let’s not call it a “reunion” just yet. But this is still progress, especially since the last time the subject came up.
Tracing the history of the Dipset split and the rollercoaster ride that followed, it always felt like the main problem was a communication disconnect. Two brothers who stopped talking to each other and just talked at one another. The lack of communication prompted Jimmy to air out his gripes about Cam. Third Diplomats member, Juelz tried to stay neutral but without dialogue he eventually walked off on his own. The public comments made Cam so disillusioned with his own crew that he walked away. Then everyone started moving dolo: alliances were made and concert appearances, and reactions followed. Time passed…and MTV reported that Cam and Jimmy spoke. But then Jimmy backed away. It was 2 steps forward, 3 steps back. But then last March, Jimmy offered another peace pipe to Cam on the Funk Flex Show.
“…if Cam is listening, maybe we can sit down and get some business together and…give the people what they want.”
And it’s true. Through it all, that is still what “the people” have always wanted. They want to see Killa Cam and Jim Jones, in a stretch limo with a hottub in the trunk, Juelz Santana on deck with a bandana on…all rhyming over a Kanye West or Just Blaze beat with a good sped-up sample; ) I don’t want it if its just a series of .wav files sent via AIM. I want 5H. But I’ll even take a couple guys who have grown out of 5H, having a couple drinks and reliving the struggle they came through, and enjoying the chemistry that they still share.
(Cam and Jimmy, center, photo by Hasain Rasheed, “Ballin'” video shoot, 2006)