This post is a tribute to the DIPSET family and everything they represented and meant to a young man like myself growing up in up$tate, Beacon, New York.
There was a time when DIPSET was almost a cult movement, and everyone I knew including myself looked up to the members of the group. They were the modern day "Wu-Tang", only difference was they were from Harlem, USA, and not "Shaolin" (Staten Island). I used to hang the DIPSET eagle logo up all over my room, and I had posters of "Juelz Santana".
The group consisted of "Cam'Ron" (Camron Giles) "Jim Jones" (Joseph Guillermo Jones), "Juelz Santana (Laron James)", 'JR Writer (Rusty Brito)", 'Hell Rell (Durrel Mohammed0", "40 Cal (Calvin Byrd), and hype men such as "Duke da God" and "Freekey Zeekey".
From the time period of 2001 to 2007 they where what we as young New Yorkers knew as Hip-Hop. Everything they did was cool, and appealing. My personal favorite out of the group was "Juelz Santana". I looked up to him as if he was a hero of sorts in my mind.
I remember thinking back to that time when everything was good in music, when they were their most effective was when they were together working as a group. One unit. It started with Cam'Ron and Jim Jones coming together and forming the group, and the label Diplomat Records, originating out of East Harlem. "Cam'Ron" started gaining commercial success off his 3rd album titled "Come Home With Me". It featured chart topping hits
It featured the likes of a young, energetic, and charasmatic "Juelz Santana". From there they took off. They then started to form movements or scripts every young black, or latino kid in the NY, NJ, or CT area would follow. "Juelz Santana" had everyone wearing bandanas of every color to match outfits they would wear, which was his signature. 'Cam'Ron' had young men wearing the color "pink" for the first time., and just overall as a group they were distinguised by "red, white, and blue". Around early 2006 Jim Jones started wearing clothes that fit his body, almost form fitting. Because of this it was no longer cool, or acceptable to wear baggy clothes.
DIPSET as a group had much success with studio albums titled "Diplomatic Immunity I and II", also followed by compilation albums titled "More Than Music Vol. I and II". Feature smash hits from those albums included
(My ALL-TIME fav. DIPSET song) "I'm Ready"
Thats what they did collectively. Not to mention the smash hits they had individually.
"Cam'Ron" has to date 6 solo studio albums, which includes arguably his most successful album titled "Purple Haze".
To date in present day 2010, the group has since split apart due to jealously,bad managing amongst each other, and possibly just overall guys wanting to venture off and do their own thing in the industry.
Juelz Santana has started his own label "Skull Gang Records". All the members now distribute music for themselves however at the end of the day, it will always be Rocafella/DefJam, for all the members.
Jim Jones started his own label titled "Byrdgang/MOB Records", which had a lot of local support, due much in part to the rise of a superstars in the making by the names of "Stack Bundles" (Raekwon Maurice Elliott), and "Max B" (Charlie Wingate). Cureently Max B is serving a 75 year prison sentence for felony murder, kidnapping and armed robbery.
"Stack Bundles" was the next new big act of out the New York City area, hailing from the streets of Far Rockaway, Queens. Having being named the mixtape artist rookie of the year in 2006, and with his thuggish ways, catchy punch lines, memorable qoutes, and his chant that still rings heavy in my head "SSSSSSSS SQUAD UP! CHEAAAAA", Byrdgang/MOB entertainment couldn't lose. However on a muggy summer night on June 12th, 2007, the Byrdgang superstar was gunned down in front of his building in the Redfern housing projects of Far Rockaway.
Much to the chagrin of MANY loyal DIPSET fans like myself. The music just hasn't been the same. That feeling of pride and exitement that I used to get when I played a DIPSET song is no longer there. A few of the members have had minimal individual success, but they will never be as successful by themselves than they were together as a team. Overall, the group had what it took to take the country by storm, but it just didn't pan out that way. I felt it was important to reflect on the impact that they had on my life, and many individuals who lived throuhg that the time period of prominence.