Hip-Hop Notes from the Iraqi Frontlines

What’s going on AllHipHop.com? This is ya boy live from the frontlines of Iraq, a.k.a “Flaco” Hip-Hop’s wartime ambassador. It’s just another day of gunfire, mortars, sand dunes and heat for the kid. Today I decided to reminisce a little bit and for my listening pleasure I popped in the first Dipset double album release […]

What’s going on AllHipHop.com?

This is ya boy live from the frontlines of Iraq, a.k.a “Flaco”

Hip-Hop’s wartime ambassador. It’s just another day of gunfire,

mortars, sand dunes and heat for the kid. Today I decided to reminisce

a little bit and for my listening pleasure I popped in the first Dipset

double album release [Diplomatic Immunity].

The album is straight fire and gets my vote for a certified ghetto

classic. It is a compilation of some of the hottest Diplomat cuts ever.

For a second, it looked as if the Diplomats were on track to becoming

Hip-Hop’s next New York dynasty. Granted, G-Uni

is a force to be reckoned with, but I think I can speak for a lot New

Yorkers and East Coast dwellers in general when I say we don’t feel

properly represented by a G-Unit anything, maybe it’s just me.

I mean if you think about it, the spot has been open for minute, and

not since the epic reign of the Wu-Tang Clan has anybody even attempted

to fill those shoes. Even more recently, the Wu has gone to Europe to

sign their record deal for the latest Wu album to be distributed. I

think subconsciously, we’ve all wondered when and where the next

powerful New York rap group would step up. I mean don’t get it twisted,

the LOX and Mobb Deep

have consistently put heat out for years now. Both groups remain

relevant and potent in they own right. However, The LOX is three dudes

and Mobb Deep is only two. The Roc-A-Fella and Bad Boy dynasties

created their own lane by having incredible producers with top notch

production to include deep rosters of young multi-talented artists who

could shine and move units on their own.

With rumors of Jim Jones and Cam not getting a long for a whole year,

Juelz doing the damn thing for dolo, Freekey ‘s attempt to crossover to

being a artist, JR Writer bricking, Max B locked down looking at Fed

time, 40 Cal’s lack of persona and star quality, Jha Jha’s sounding

like an Amil knock off, and Hell Rell just not appealing to anybody but

the block hugger; longevity doesn’t seem to be in the Diplomats future.

Even the Diplomat affiliated group, Purple City is showing a lot more

unity and promise these days. The kid Agallah put out some straight

heat earlier this year, real talk his [Propane Piff]

album is officially hard. It would seem like the death of a near

dynasty is finally upon us, so I took some time out of my busy schedule

of fighting the war on terrorism to review what they did right and what

they did wrong.

First and foremost, no one will ever duplicate a Dipset mixtape frenzy

like they did. We got nothing but street anthem after street anthem,

and they touched every mixtape possible worthy of recognition. They

flooded the streets with material and that is what Hip-Hop heads want more music. Without a doubt the street was buzzing and they could not be denied the title.

Second, the streets of New York City been felt Cam’ron and S.D.E.

was a certified ghetto classic. Cam single handedly dismantled Ma$e’s

career with the banger, “Let Me Know” and the little street credibility

he had. Third, as we all know Cam has been managed by Dame Dash from

the beginning so it made a lot of sense that they linked up for

Diplomats to sign to The Roc. That short lived marriage at the time was

a good look for everybody, sorry Jay it’s true. The Dipset swagger was

different, unique, and so Harlem. I mean from they own slang, to the

rhymes and clothes the whole world jumped on it. It reminded me a lot

of the Wu era, it happened so quick you might of missed it. Fresh faces

from New York City who talked that s**t and lived it; come on, everyone

loves a true story. The Dips were a true story, the street cred was

real and nobody doubted that.

They brought back the hustler mentality to the forefront of Hip-Hop.

The singles were commercial but street and the albums were full records

of good old fashion Hip-Hop music. Camron’s debut on Roc-A-Fella Come Home With Me

was crack and The double LP they dropped produced the hits that

solidified the fact that these guys were going hard and we needed to

take them serious. Juelz Santana first album is still slept on if you ask me, every song was a single. Jim Jones first solo joint On the Way to Church

was a good album…on the strength he had mad songs on there for you to

vibe to, was a good look from a consumer standpoint. The momentum was

set and the pace was moving. They signed JR Writer and 40 Cal, who put

in a lot of work on the mixtape side of things and both MCs were

building a cult following. Hell Rell was finishing up his bid and was

coming home to do the damn thing. Months go by and Duke Da God brings

you three compilation albums of Dipset music

and depending on who you talk to, the installments were actually

alright. The music was what a New York record should be. I think a

couple of joints could have been left out, but at the very least, they

kept dropping albums for their fans. If you a Dipset fan like me, I

thought it hard as hell all three of them.

So where did the mighty Dipset go wrong? Was it Cam’s ego? Was Jim

Jones’ ego? Is it the classic story of money being the root of all

evil? I mean after the Roc-A-Fella Dynasty broke up, I think everyone

thought anything is possible. From the outside looking in, one can only

speculate what it really going with Dipset. I would have to say

jealousy has not played a major factor in the beef. The fans got a

feeling it got something to do with Cam. Maybe ever since he played

Rico in Paid In Ful,l

it is visually easier to see that Cam could do his familia dirty.

Remember people that is only a movie, but Jim has expressed his

thoughts and feelings on Hot 97, saying that Cam is on punishment for

now and he has done him and Juelz dirty in the past but we let it slide

out of loyalty for what they built. He also said he and Cam have not

spoken in about a year that is a long time not to speak between friends.

The beef is unfolding as we speak, we just have to wait and see what

transpires. As far as our next rap super group it looks like the clock

has been restarted and yet again we wait for the next Hip-Hop dynasty

to rise and show themselves. The Dipset movement at one point showed

promise and potential. The next collective group of talented MCs who

decide to attempt to fill the void for Hip-Hop should take notes. I am.

SPC Daniel Barea can be reached at daniel.barea@us.army.mil


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