Juelz Santana: Dippin’ On The Set, Pt. 2

Juelz Santana goes in on Cam’Ron making like Houdini, finally releasing I Can’t Feel My Face with Lil Wayne, and winning over the haters, amongst other things—pause.  [Part 1 right here]AllHipHop.com: Speaking of family, you began your career as part of one of the most powerful movements in Hip-Hop, the Diplomats…Juelz Santana: I am the […]

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Juelz Santana goes in on Cam’Ron making like Houdini, finally releasing I Can’t Feel My Face with Lil Wayne, and winning over the haters, amongst other things—pause.  [Part 1 right here]AllHipHop.com: Speaking of family, you began your career as part of one of the most powerful movements in Hip-Hop, the Diplomats…Juelz Santana: I am the Diplomats movement. I ain’t parts of it I am it. AllHipHop.com: Well, to be fair, that’s the way it seems since you and Jim are the only ones still repping for the Dips.Juelz: That’s what I want all the fans to know, that’s what we’re doing. Bottom line is, there’s a thin line between loyalty and stupidity. N****s tried to make the situation work the best way possible. It just got to a point where I couldn’t. Like I told people, I got to a point where I got tired of being taken advantage of. I felt like I wasn’t getting my just due for the work I was putting in. It wasn’t like I was asking for back credit or back money which was there but that’s nothing to me. The whole point was about moving on and it just didn’t happen and not because of me. I been blessed to see all the things I’ve seen so early. I’m still young. But I want the fans to know what we’re doing. Like, what if we would’ve just sat back and waited for Cam to sit there and decided to do what he wanted to do? Nobody really even heard from Cam in a minute so where would we be? Then how would our Dipset fans be looking at us like, “Where y’all at?” I know what it is when you’re a fan and you’re used to seeing something so together. They forget about everything that comes with it and they just want to see you together. They don’t understand that it’s about more than that. They just like, “Yo, why we not seeing y’all together, where the f**k y’all at?” This n***a could’ve just slapped your mother but they just want to see us together. This s**t is life, this s**t is real. But you’re right, me and Jim been flying the bird. We in the sky, fly up or get flown over. We got to fly until whatever happens, happens. Cam’Ron f/ Juelz Santana “Hey Ma” VideoAllHipHop.com: How was it for you going through the situation of being signed to Cam’Ron’s label and not releasing any music while still trying to keep your fan base? Juelz: I’m glad you said that too because everybody been like, “Just as much as I’m a Diplomats fan…” like what about all the people I didn’t get to deliver music to, due to my situation? A lot of features I was on, a whole lot of songs couldn’t go through. Even people when they interview me now they say, “You were in that same lane that Wayne was in. You were right there.”  It wasn’t due to me, it was due to the situation. That’s what that was really about and it was kind of f**ked up. One good thing about me was that I had the type of resume, and I put in the type of ground work when I first came out [where] I wasn’t a n***a that was built on one record. I was good, my name is good out there. N****s is still expecting Juelz and wanting to know where I’ve been. I’m getting shows like I just put out an album. I’m on bills with n****s that just put albums out and I ain’t had an album out in a while. That’s thanks to the fans and that ground work. That’s the same ground work I’m trying to do with the Skull Gang. It’s not just one record. N****s want to have a following. Diplomats [Cam’Ron & Juelz Santana] “Dipset Anthem” VideoAllHipHop.com: Speaking of keeping fans waiting, people have been waiting for that I Can’t Feel My Face since it was mentioned. What’s your current relationship with Wayne and will that project ever see the light of day?   Juelz: That was another thing that was due to the politics. I didn’t get to be involved the way I needed to be involved or handle things a certain way. Now that I’m out of my deal I haven’t really inquired as much since I been out. I been worried about doing a lot of things with this Skull Gang project and Weezy has been on the road. But the good thing that I like to tell people is the album is done. We recorded all the records. I probably got like 40 records sitting on the computer right now. Once I can go in the office and really sit down and talk to him, which will probably be this weekend [BET Awards Weekend]. I haven’t seen him in a good minute. It’s been about a good month or month and a half but the relationship is still there. That’s my brother. The week he did a million…I think the day before. You usually know the day before what the numbers are pretty much. Even if the number’s 100,000 off. Like if they would’ve told him 900,000 and he did a million that was still crazy. But, to make a long story short, I sent him a record the night before that and he sent it back to me the next day, the day he did the million copies, ya dig what I’m saying? The love is still there. That’s pretty much going to come out once we go back in the office and start talking. I can talk for myself now, I can have my lawyers go in and speak for me on my behalf and not worry about people asking for things. I mean everybody got to compromise and sometimes you got somebody that’s not willing to compromise and make everything work. I just knew how big the album was going to be. To me it really wasn’t about the proceeds. That was just something I wanted to do for the fans. But when there’s labels involved everybody wants their cut. But now I’m going to holla at Wayne. When I seen him we’re going to have a long talk and we’re going to get it right. But it’s done though. The album is done, it’s still coming so look out for I Can’t Feel My Face, ya dig?AllHipHop.com: There is a noticeable difference between how Wayne was before he started hanging with the Dips and after. When people talk about his charisma and swag do you feel some of that is owed to the time he spent around you? Juelz: Nah. That’s my n****a. I don’t look at it like that because that’s like trying to say he took that from us. We were together. It’s love. I really don’t know how to explain that.

Juelz Santana & Lil Wayne “Get At These N****s”

AllHipHop.com: I’m not trying to start nothing but it’s clear he has a little sprinkle of Harlem to him. Juelz: Everybody should get a sprinkle of Harlem. Harlem is that place. I’m sure he wouldn’t even mind. Harlem is that place. I really don’t know how to explain it but its love. That’s my dude for real.AllHipHop.com: You’re a solo artist, a leader of a group, and an executive; how do you make everything work and keep it all going?  Juelz: Just taking everything that I’ve learned. I’ve been around some s**t, I been around a lot of people and I’ve seen a lot. I take everything I’ve learned and just try to be the right person. At the end of the day it’s not about me, it’s about knowing what’s right and what’s wrong. A lot of people just do s**t for their benefit. I’m trying to be a person about what’s right and what’s wrong. That’s what this whole thing is based on. Handling the business is definitely me. I’m becoming more of a businessman because I have to take these steps. I feel like I’ve learned so much being in this business that it’s not that hard for me to jump in these steps. Now it’s just about executing all the plans and getting s**t done the way I need it to get done. I know what these major labels are not doing for these new artists and why they’re not winning. Me coming in the game knowing the things I know is going to make my team stronger than these other dudes. All these dudes out there are just rushing to get signed and let the labels do everything. That’s not the way to do it because labels really don’t know what to do. They’re lost right now. They’re waiting on artists to do half the stuff and they just want to pick it up when the ball is rolling. A lot of artists don’t know that. One record ain’t the ball rolling. Nobody knows who you are with one record. People might hear it and be like, “Oh, who sings that record?” But once you really get outside your town, you know, really get out and start going places…I’m trying to brand us in the way I feel like it’s going to be the right way and it’s going to be monumental to the movement. I feel like people are going to be able to respect it. People are going to grow to love us. We’re going to transform n***s. N****s that don’t really f**k with us, I know how that goes. A n***a could not really f**k with you today, but you’ll do something they’ll like and they’ll f**k with you tomorrow. That’s all it’s about. We’re doing transformations. You got to respect a hustler. I know if I ain’t have no types of talent but I was hustling hard and busting my ass in the studio, even if I’m spitting some bulls**t, at least you’ll respect my grind. At least respect my grind. So I can’t knock a n***a grind but I will tell you your s**t wack. [laughs]

“I’m Dipset, Cam is Cam. Me and Cam couldn’t do business no more. Those are totally different things. I don’t want people to get that confused. Before I came along there was no Dipset. There was Cam’ron. That’s who you knew. Then that’s when we branded it; me, Jim, Zeke, we all are Dipset. Dipset is not just one person.”

Juelz Santana f/ Cam’Ron “Dipset (Santana’s Town)”AllHipHop.com: Coming from a powerful movement such as Dipset, do you feel any pressure to meet or surpass that success with Skull Gang?  Juelz: I always look to do better than what I’ve done, even for myself. It’s not really an expectation but a need to do better. I strive to be better. Everyday should be a better day and you should work to make better days than what you had before. You should always work on whatever you do going forward, not going backward. I want my Skull Gang to be, if anything, 10 times better than what Dipset was, but I still represent Dipset. This ain’t going nowhere from me. [points to Dipset tattoo on forearm] This is a part of me. AllHipHop.com: So there’s hope for another Diplomats album? Juelz: Hopefully. I don’t mind doing a Dipset album. I think the fans deserve a Dipset album. I’m always willing and now I’m in a position where I can do my business the way it needs to be done. I don’t mind doing a Diplomat album. I’m not the one who would hold that back. Whenever the situation presents itself I’m ready to rock out but right now, it’s a Skull Gang takeover. When you see me I represent Dipset. That ain’t going nowhere. Even though me and Cam couldn’t do business together it’s not like I left Dipset. I’m Dipset, Cam is Cam. Me and Cam couldn’t do business no more. Those are totally different things. I don’t want people to get that confused. Before I came along there was no Dipset. There was Cam’ron. That’s who you knew. Then that’s when we branded it; me, Jim, Zeke, we all are Dipset. Dipset is not just one person. AllHipHop.com: What’s good with your solo album? Juelz: My solo album is titled Born to Lose, Built to Win. I’m looking to drop that top of next year. My mixtape is going to be called The Reagan Era. I’m looking to drop that like the end of November or December. That’s the solo mixtape. It’s crazy. That’s for all the fans, all my people. A lot of people heard Skull Gang and they were like where’s your mixtape? I’m like this is my mixtape. I need for people to know that these are not just artists I’m pushing. It’s the same thing when you hear 50 on a G-Unit mixtape. When he was giving you that it wasn’t a 50 mixtape and a G-Unit mixtape. That was all one and that’s what I’m trying to let people know. This is my movement and this is who I’m moving with, we front lining. The reason for The Regan Era is I know they been waiting for that too. And plus I had a lot of music that’s been done for that particular event that I’m just going to release out. Skull Gang will be featured on the mixtape heavy. It’s all about branding the movement then carrying on to that Born to Lose, Built to Win. They want to do the Skull Gang album in December. I’m still in negotiations with them. The mixtape is doing so well so I need to figure out a couple things but we’re going to be promoting that heavy so be on the look out for that Skull Gang album whether it does come before my album or after my album. Definitely look out for that Skull Gang album because we’re on n****s ass real heavy right now. Juelz Santana “Clockwork” VideoAllHipHop.com: Just to be clear, was the situation in London resolved?  Juelz: Ain’t nothing changed man. People use the Internet for attention. I never been a person to feed into what people do on the Internet. I know n****s is fake. Half that s**t is fake. N****s ain’t doing nothing, nothing’s going on. When it was time to deal with the situation in London, we dealt with our situation. Bottom line. N****s just get on the Internet and talk. When we see them it’s never anything. They just talk because they got mouths sometimes. The cameras have n****s going crazy but I never really entertained that part. Shout out to my dudes in London. I can’t wait to go back out there and really get to do my first show the proper way without all the bulls**t that was involved. AllHipHop.com: As you prepare to march forward to build this new movement of yours I know you must have a vision of where you want to see it end?  Juelz: I think we’re going to be sitting here the same way. The only difference is we’re going to be sitting here eating lobsters and s**t but it’s going to be the same type of love. Hopefully we’ll have just as many solo albums as we do Skull Gang albums. The energy will just carry on. S**t I want to see Skull Gang-Kids. I want this s**t to be like a cult. The energy is good. Everybody is learning more and more as the days go by. Just as much as it is about learning each other, it’s about learning the game. I can’t do everything, he can’t do everything, nobody in here can do everything. But all of us can do enough to where it adds up to everything. Like when you ask about us doing it bigger than the Dips, we plan on doing it bigger than everybody. We plan on doing it bigger than anybody whose ever done it. We got the chance to so why not? Only we can stop what we can do. Other than that, sky’s the limit.