Discography Check: Dipset

By @TrueGodImmortal 

At one point in the early 2000s, the Diplomats movement was unstoppable in hip hop. They had made a name for themselves, especially after their association with Roc-A-Fella Records. Over the years, we've seen their family environment dwindle away, but their legacy as a top tier hip hop movement is solidified. Cam'ron, Juelz Santana, Jim Jones, and Freekey Zeeky were a force in hip hop over the years, beginning with the first album from Cam in 1998. Today, we take a look back at the heyday of Dipset and the albums on their collective catalog. Cam'ron and his solos, Juelz and his solos, Jim and his solos, as well as their big group album together will all be discussed. Let's get into it.

*Cam'ron- Confessions Of Fire (1998)

-The debut album from Cam was a bit slept on, but in reality, the project suffers from too much of a focus on making commercially viable tracks, which was an issue a lot of artists faced during this period. Still, Cam delivers for the most part, with tracks like "Glory" with Noreaga, "357", "Death", and more. For fans of Dipset in much happier times, check the hilarious "Me, My Moms, and Jimmy", where Cam features his mother and Jim Jones on the track together. If I had to rate this album, I'd say it's far from a classic, but it's definitely not a bad listen, just a bit inconsistent despite the hit single "Horse and Carriage" carrying it to gold status. Cam definitely showed promise here on the album, and the fact that he garnered a hit single speaks volumes to his talent.

Top 3 Songs 
"D Rugs"

*Cam'ron- SDE (2000)

-The second album from Cam was a bit under the radar, but much like his first, still boasted a hit single. That hit single "What Means The World To You" would be all over urban radio for the better part of the year in 2000, and Cam seemed poised to learn from the mistakes of his debut. Aside from a tracklist that is slightly too long, Cam doesn't disappoint here and I enjoyed this album. This focuses less on making commercially viable hits and just does what Cam does best. This is where Dipset really started to hit their stride as both Jim and Juelz make multiple appearances on the album. Prodigy from Mobb Deep also makes an appearance on the album, as well as ODB and N.O.R.E., giving Cam a great supporting cast for his sophomore album. Though this album didn't sell well (even with a Destiny's Child feature), it is a landmark album for Cam and his career. His fortunes changed shortly thereafter and he would sign to Roc-A-Fella after this album.

Top 3 Songs 
"Where I'm From"
"Losin' Weight"
"Come Kill Me"

*Diplomats Vol. 1 (2002)

-It would be impossible for me to speak on Dipset without at least including this landmark mixtape. With DJ Kay Slay hosting this mixtape, the Diplomats really changed the way we consumed music on the streets along with G-Unit. They were the originals that made the artist led mixtape important to hip hop in the new era. This is one of the greatest mixtapes ever.

Top 3 Songs 
"Rocafella Get Money"
"Stan (Remix)"
"Dial M For Murda (Remix)"

*Cam'ron- Come Home With Me (2002)

-When Cam go to the Roc, his fortunes changed big time. He would become extremely popular in no time and finally see a platinum plaque, proving the power of the Roc and Cam's ability to shine in the right light. This album is his most commercially successful, and with good reason. It's probably the greatest Cam'ron album, and features his biggest hits, all of which didn't have to try to be viable on radio, they won because they were actually dope. Every song on this album worked in its own right, and some of the production on this project was classic in its own right. The sampling on tracks like "Oh Boy" and "Live My Life" (which was 2Pac inspired of course), made those songs an even better listen and Cam created one of the most interesting "let me holla at you girl" songs with the hilarious yet smooth "Hey Ma". All in all, this is the biggest moment in the Dipset run and in Cam's career.

Top 3 Songs 
"Come Home With Me"
"Welcome To New York City"
"The ROC"

*Diplomats Vol. 2 (2002)

-The infamous mixtape that featured the infamous disses to Nas. Though not an album, it'd be impossible to not mention this one, if only briefly. Cam and Jim Jones, both focused on kufi smacking, perhaps went a bit too far in their disses, but it was still pure Dipset entertainment. This was Dipset at their best and this would be the precursor to their infamous Diplomatic Immunity album.

Top 3 Songs 
"Pain and Agony"
"Hate Me Now"
"Santana The Great"

*Diplomats Vol. 3 (2002)

-Leading up to the Juelz solo run, this mixtape came in late 2002 leading into 2003, and Juelz was given his own cover and he took a shot at Nas' protégé Nashawn over the "We Are The Champions" beat on the fire "It's More Than Music". Juelz taking shots at Nas is a nostalgia trip, and it reminds you of how confident the Dipset movement was during their run. Jim Jones and his rant at the end is epic. This was a great tape and one of the best of the series.

Top 3 Songs 
"Call Me Dame"
"Death Is The Only Escape"
"It's More Than Music"

*The Diplomats- Diplomatic Immunity (2003)

-This is essentially the best album from the entire Dipset catalog. This double album, which to most might have been slightly cluttered, is full of amazing soul samples, hard drums, and the standard Dipset themes along with some of their best lyricism. Cam'ron shows up throughout the album with his chill yet lazy flow and lyricism. With the production from Heatmakerz, Just Blaze, Kanye West, and DR Period in tow, The Dips coast over some of my all time favorite beats like "I Really Mean It" and the classic "I'm Ready". When we speak of this album, it might be one of the greatest double albums ever in hip hop if we are being honest (below Wu, 2Pac, Biggie, and maybe Nas). Diplomatic Immunity is a classic and the most vital album in the Dipset collective catalog. Period.

Top 3 Songs 
"I Really Mean It"
"I'm Ready"
"Real Niggas"

*Juelz Santana- From Me To U (2003)

-The debut Juelz solo album is a mixed bag. He excels a bit, but overall the album seems to lack in a few areas. Songs like "Squalie", "How I Feel", and the beautifully produced "My Problem (Jealousy)" all flow, same for the hit single "Dipset (Santana's Town)", but the tracklist is too extensive, clocking in at almost 71 minutes and featuring 20 tracks. If this album was cut down to about 13 tracks, it would be much better, but like most Dipset releases, it's still a solid album.

Top 3 Songs 
"My Problem (Jealousy)"
"How I Feel"

*Jim Jones- On My Way To Church (2004)

-I've never said this before, but Jim Jones is super underrated. His flow and his delivery is what usually gets criticized, but his stories, wordplay and actual lyrics aren't bad, plus he has a solid ear for beats, just like Cam. This was his debut solo album, and I wasn't shocked that he came with a pretty solid effort. Tracks like "Certified Gangstas", "Only One Way Up", "Twin Towers", and more help round a surprisingly good effort from the most slept on member of the popular Dipset trio (Cam, Juelz, Jimmy).

Top 3 Songs 
"Only One Way Up"
"Certified Gangstas"
"End of The Road"

*The Diplomats- Diplomatic Immunity 2 (2004)

-Deciding not to include the More Than Music releases wasn't hard, as I feel those projects weren't EXACTLY Dipset albums, and this one honestly is close to that, as it feels like a compilation more than an album. Still, I decided to include. There's more visibility from J.R. Writer, Hell Rell, and 40 Cal, but there's still a lot of contribution from Cam'ron, Juelz, and a few from Jim Jones as well. This album is still a solid one, but it doesn't have the cohesive flow that the original Diplomatic Immunity had, and that makes it slightly forgettable honestly.

Top 3 Songs 
"Take Em To Church"
"Family Ties"
"Bigger Picture"

*Cam'ron- Purple Haze (2004)

-I've always felt this album was slightly slept on. This was released in what I felt was the Dipset prime, and everything from the verses (which on a Cam'ron album are sure to be hilarious) to the beautiful production sticks out here with Cam effortlessly floating over each production. Some have crowned this album as his best, and it certainly has a case for it. With appearances from his Dipset brothers, as well as Twista, Kanye West, and Jaheim, Cam doesn't disappoint with this one, a top tier release in the Dipset catalog.

Top 3 Songs 
"Down And Out"
"Killa Cam"
"Get Down"

*Jim Jones- Harlem: Diary Of A Summer (2005)

-For all the flack that I've seen Jim take as a rapper, he's honestly been the most consistent out of Dipset in terms of albums and releasing them, as he came back a year after his debut with this solid project. This was probably the first sign that there was friction between Jim and Cam, as Cam isn't featured on any track here on this album. While Juelz, 40 Cal, Hell Rell, JR Writer, Max B and even Jha Jha (remember her) were featured, Cam was nowhere to be found. Still, Jim held down an album with no Cam features, which includes the dope Trey Songz assisted "Summer Wit Miami", the hilarious "What You Been Drankin On", and the solid "G's Up". All in all, while this isn't my favorite Jim album, it's still a pretty good listen.

Top 3 Songs 
"Summer Wit Miami"
"Penitentiary Chances"
"G's Up"

*Juelz Santana- What The Game's Been Missing (2005)

-I remember when this album dropped, because I was really anticipating it. After a slightly uneven debut, Juelz came back with an album that was more of his identity than what he displayed on the first one. The first one was mired in everything Dipset, but this one saw Juelz stepping out on his own a bit. With only a few features from Lil Wayne, Young Jeezy, Vado, and Cam, Juelz got to carry his album by himself for the most part and he does a pretty good job of it. I wouldn't consider this a classic, but it was one of the best albums released from the Dipset collective catalog.

Top 3 Songs
"Murda Murda"
"Make It Work For Ya"
"Rumble Young Man Rumble"

*Cam'ron- Killa Season (2006)

-This album was accompanied by a hilarious film of the same name. I'm not extremely fond of this album personally, but it's got a legacy behind it. It features the amazing Jay-Z diss track "You Gotta Love It", a dope Lil Wayne feature on "Suck It Or Not" (at the height of Wayne and his ascension), the interesting personification track "White Girls", the hilarious "Wet Wipes", and a few other tracks that work well. Overall, this is a solid album, and does have a Jim Jones feature, which comes on the "Get Em Daddy" remix, but lacks the fire and pizzazz that made Cam's previous two albums so special.

Top 3 Songs
"You Gotta Love It"
"White Girls"
"Let's Make A Change"

*Jim Jones- Hustler's P.O.M.E. (2006)

-When I first heard the big single off this album "We Fly High" off this album, I couldn't help but wonder what Jim had in store. I was never a big Jim Jones fan, but I always respected his work. He seemed like he really had a passion for music and that showed in how much he worked at it. This album features some of the best Jim work, and a ton of features and assistance from Max B, which was much simpler times in the Dipset/Wavy world. This album features the super hit "We Fly High" of course, the Juelz featured "Emotionless", the ridiculously hilarious "Pin The Tail", the Lil Wayne and Max B featured "Weather Man", and my personal favorite "Reppin Time". Jim delivers on his best album period.

Top 3 Songs
"Reppin Time"
"Weather Man"

*Cam'ron- Crime Pays (2009)

-I remember the arc for this album, as it was released during a time that the Dipset crew was seemingly falling apart completely. Separate XXL covers, a ton of rumors about their beef, but at the end of the day, Cam decided to keep working and would release this interesting project. The titles here are hilarious, and the songs are equally as hilarious, as Cam keeps his usual lyrical composite together on this album. Some of my favorites includes "Get It In Ohio", the ridiculous "Bottom of The Pussy", and "Cookies N Apple Juice". This is probably my least favorite Cam album in traditional terms, but it might be his funniest yet, even if unintentionally.

Top 3 Songs
"Get It In Ohio"
"Cookies N Apple Juice"

*Jim Jones- Pray IV Reign (2009)

-As the beef between Jim and Cam started to surface more, Jim decided to step out on his own more with Dame Dash by his side to get a deal with Columbia Records and go to work on another album. With no Cam and Max B features, Jim relies a bit on NOE and Chink Santana to mixed results, but he still managed to pull out another big hit with the Ron Browz and Juelz featured "Pop Champagne". Jim doesn't disappoint overall, but he does have a few stumbles on this album, making this one of his least enjoyable projects.

Top 3 Songs
"Let It Out"

*Jim Jones- Capo (2011)

-This is where I'll end off the article with this project. I didn't hear it when it first dropped, but upon revisits, this is probably my 2nd least favorite Jim album, right under Pray IV Reign. Though there's no big hit from this album, we do see Jim reunite with his Dipset brother Cam for a few tracks on the limited edition of the album. In addition to that, Jim has some solid features with Raekwon, Prodigy, Lloyd Banks, and Rell. Overall, this album has a bit of filler, which is what makes it tough to get through, but there's enough dope music on here for it to be enjoyable mostly. It would be the last official Jim Jones album, and we've haven't seen any signs of a new one yet (he just signed to Roc Nation however), but I'm sure it's coming.

Top 3 Songs
"Take A Bow"
"Drops Is Out"
"Let Me Fly"

Not included here are the Vado and Cam releases, as well as the 1st of the Month Cam EPs and of course, the Juelz God Willing mixtape along with Jim's mixtapes, but those don't fit within the actual discography like the albums here listed do. Most of those projects came when we knew Dipset was virtually done, and although they still rep for it, as a music collective, those days are long gone. Still their place in music history is solidified and that will forever be why Dipset is legendary. DIPSET!



Popular Posts