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Dip Set Capo Jim Jones Still Gaining Altitude
1/15/07 - exclusive interview



rapper Jim Jones

Between Jim Jones and fellow Harlem Diplomats Cam'ron and Juelz Santana, the Dip Set movement continues to weather the beefs and build on their brand. Jones' new album "Hustler's P.O.M.E. (Product of My Environment)" moved over 100,000 unites in its first week and debuted at #1 on the Billboard Rap Chart and #6 on the Billboard Top 200.  His third album to date and by far his most recognized, the Harlem rapper has enjoyed greater mainstream status thanks to the hit single "We Fly High", which also sold over one million ringtones and marked the first time an indie label's song had topped the Billboard Hot Ringmasters Chart.


 The co-CEO of Diplomat Records takes time out to speak with LatinRapper about the success of his new album, his ongoing beefs with select Def Jam artists and much more in our exclusive interview. You're Puerto Rican and Aruban, do you speak Spanish?

Un poquito, I speak a little bit of Spanish, I don't know too much.

J.R. Writer is Dominican, Juelz' Brother Twin said that they were part Dominican, and you're Rican, is it coincidental that half of Dip Set has a Latin flavor to it?

No, its coincidental that probably half of New York got Latin Flavor to them, ya smell me. It's all in the heritage baby, its no coincidence, that's how we came up. 'Cause obviously that the grownups liked that Black and Puerto Rican mixture back in the days when they was having us, so, (laughs) they was having fun, baby.

Is there any aspect of your music that reflects your Latin background, do you ever incorporate that into your music?

I do, I just finished doing two reggaeton songs. I did a reggaeton remix of my song "We Fly High" if you wasn't aware.

Did you collaborate with anyone on that?

With Tego Calderon and Don Omar.

As far as indie album sales, your new album as done well, how do you feel about that right about now?

I'm ecstatic about the album, I feel good about the album, people buying the album. I been doing shows all over the country, I've been getting a warm reception, its been a great thing.

So you're touring?

I've been touring, spot dates and all that, I've been getting it in.

Soundscan numbers show that you've passed the halfway mark to this album going Gold, do you have any plans to try to push it to Gold status?

Yeah, I'm about to drop a second single, that should carry me smooth into a Gold album.

What's the single gonna be?

It's called "Emotionless."

First big single, you've got NBA players and the Giants doing the "We Fly High" dance, did you really expect that track to get as big as it did?

I never thought it would take that much of a life of its own, it really has gone out of hand as far as the success of the song "We Fly High." I appreciate all the NBA players, NFL players and anybody that play sports that been supporting me, and I appreciate all the people that been supporting, its just a crazy feeling.

On this new album, you didn't have that many guest features outside of Dip Set.

I like to keep it in-house, baby, know what I mean. I don't really need too many other people to get my point across when it comes to music, its about my life and the road that I traveled.

Is there anyone you hadn't worked with that you would have wanted to collaborate with?

2pac and Biggie.

As far as this new album Hustlers P.O.M.E, how does it differ from your first album and you evolving as an artist?

Difference is the money. Still going through the same s**t, the same struggle, the same problems, s**t like that. Now its really more money, more problems, I understand what Biggie definitely was talking about. As opposed to my first album, that's the hustles, everything that I learned from the streets. And I was just getting in the game, that was one foot in, one foot out.

The Dip set movement has grown almost to a cult status, you being Capo, where do you see Dip Set five years from now?

Man, man.... Sky's the limit, man. The direction hip hop is going into, we can pretty much do anything.

A lot of people on are familiar with Tru Life. Supposedly you challenged the Roc La Familia artist to scrap for $50,000. Did he ever at any point respond to you?

Nah, he aint gonna respond. You gotta have money to respond to things like that, you gotta have money and heart, ya dig. Personally, he doesn't count in the game, if you could name two songs that he's done, then I'd say he counts in the game. You know two songs he's done?


Okay, so let's not talk about him anymore (laughs).

Well if you want to mention a heavyweight, even if it wasn't your intention to use the Jay-Z beef as a marketing tactic, has all the attention benefited your Soundscan numbers?

Yeah, all the attention has improved Soundscan numbers, has improved my sales, my spins, my video spins. Jay-Z fell for the loophole, he bit the bullet and I was the one with the gun. It worked out in my favor more than it worked out for anyone else. I appreciate him for answering me back and things like that, but I think he had his own publicity stunt. His album was so f**ked up, that he had to get back to the streets. There was only one way to get back to the streets, and that's to holler at Jones, know what I'm talking about?

Well talking about sales -

His sales are definitely outside of my sales, but this year I am the number one artist for this year, statistically. BET, MTV, all radio stations around the country, the number one song and the number one artist was Jim Jones, and "We Fly High." Can't beat that with a bat, that's statistics, that's what they got down in the papers, in the books.

You mentioned not to discuss beef with certain artists, but I wanted to bring up the Tony Yayo thing.

What Tony Yayo thing? Everybody got that Tony Yayo thing misconstrued. That was just blew out of proportion, that wasn't nothing, shouts to Yayo.

I read that Yayo made a reference saying "Boring" instead of "Balling", and at the end of your video you waved your hand in front of your face to mock him.

(laughs) I didn't know people were taking it that deep. We out here having fun, shout to Yayo, shout to G-Unit, yall know my name is Jones and we run with Dip Set and the game is built on aggressive competition. If yall can't see the fun we having, yall don't know the game (laughs).

I'm in favor of squashing beef, what would it take for you and Jay-Z to squash the beef, if you want to call it that?

Its not really no beef. For me, beef is a different thing. These ni**as in this game, they don't want to get into that, they not built like that, they know where I come from and where my heart's at and s**t like that. They know I'd tear these old ni**as up, I'd rather keep it on music and s**t like that, let everybody have some fun, let the people have their opinion and s**t.

Just as far as the verbal thing going on -

The verbal is good for the game, smell me? nobody gets along with everybody, ya dig. We all got our own personal opinions, that's what the motherf**kin amendments is for, the constitution and s**t like that, we can say what we want, cause its our motherf**ing opinion, get it?

On a positive note, what are you doing outside of the music?

We do DVDs, we do liquor, we do clothing. I'm just out here working, I'm about to do some movies and s**t like that, that I just got some major roles for, its gonna be good this year.

Are you doing your own thing as far as clothing?

Just myself, its these belt lines and this clothing line that's about to come out, you know, let's have some fun this year.

Can you tell me one thing about Jim Jones that even the biggest supporters out there who read all your interviews don't know about you?

I say my prayers a lot. A lot.

Do you consider yourself a spiritual man?

You could say spiritual. For me to be in this position I'm in, I gotta count my blessings.

Anything you want to say to the fans?

You know, life is all about hard work and dedication. no matter how corny it may seem, that's the remedy and s**t like that. I want everybody to keep their head above water, have some integrity. I tell people stop snitchin', not 'cause I'm advocating crime or anything like that, but I tell them don't do the crime if you don't do the time 'cause people out here, they gotta take a risk to make that money.

You mention integrity on your intro to The Game's "One Blood" remix, is that what you were talking about?

Oh yeah you mean when I'm talking, when I'm telling these ni**as, stop triple nining, before it be 1090, have some integrity. Exactly, I'm telling ni**as stop snitching and s**t like that, keep your mouth closed if you want to be in this game, or don't gangbang.

Last thoughts for people reading?

Besides that, if you see me, say hi, 'cause I aint hard to find, holla at a G, ya dig?

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