The Start and Stop of Juelz Santana

Categories: Dipset

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Juelz Santana
A decade ago the city limits of Harlem seemed to expand worldwide as the Dipset movement became a universally celebrated entity in hip-hop. From critics to customers, mainstream audiences to underground heads, traditionalists to avant garde indie kids, Dipset seemed to have something to offer everybody. Lead by Cam'ron's unshakable charisma, Dipset left a footprint of that first decade of 2000s rap, the likes of which we're still feeling the effects of. However, one of the most peculiar career trajectories of the outfit has been the crew's youngest and most promising member Juelz Santana. Performing this Sunday at B.B. King, Santana's career buzz has had a roller-coaster-like momentum, garnering him signature hits and huge moments of attention with limited and often evaporating follow-through. This is the Start and Stop of Juelz Santana.

See also: The Top 20 NYC Rap Albums of All Time: The Complete List

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The Best Dipset Songs Ever

Three The Hard Way (pause)
Time flies especially when one of your aliases is "The Fly Boys." It's been 10 years since the Cam'ron, Jim Jones, Juelz Santana and the rest of that "hooligan gang" the Diplomats (a collective of Harlem hustlers and goons) released their double disc effort, Diplomatic Immunity. Since then they've gone through more then their fair share of label drama, beefs, break ups and make ups. To celebrate the fact that they were able survive the turbulent rap game, they are commemorating the 10 year anniversary of Diplomatic Immunity with a concert tonight at B.B. King.

Of course such an event deserves some shine so we compiled a list of their best songs as a group. No solo spots, just songs where at least two of the three star players rocked out together. Say it with us now... DIP SET! DIP SET! DIP SET! Owwwwwww!

See also: Live: Dipset Brings Pandemonium To The Best Buy Theater

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Juelz Santana on His New Album: "It's Time To Follow the Leader Again"

Like Kurt Cobain was here...
A decade ago, Juelz Santana burst onto a rap scene that didn't know it needed him, rapping about trapping out of Harlem crack spots and moving weight for the goon demographic (and delusional, escapist hipsters too) but he also made pop friendly, sing-along raps for the MTV and the now defunct 106th & Park crowd. Santana was, in every sense, what the game was missing in 2005, the last time he put out an album. Unfortunately, he's hit a few bumps in the road in the form of his collaboration album with Lil Wayne I Can't Feel My Face never seeing the light of day and of course the much publicized dispute with Dipset founder Cam'ron over the deal he'd signed.
The Weezy collab is still in music label purgatory, but at least he and the rest of the Dips have reconciled. So now Santana is ready to resume his place at the upper crust of rap society. But is this still Santana's Town? If the title of his new album is any indication, God Willing, it is.

See Also:

- The Ten Best New York City Rap Albums of 2012

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Live: Drake Brings Dipset, Busta Rhymes, A$AP Rocky, And More To Jones Beach

Drake w/ J. Cole, Waka Flocka Flame, Meek Mill, 2 Chainz, French Montana
Nikon Theater at Jones Beach
Saturday, June 16

Better than: That other suburban rap mega-show.

Well over halfway through his set, having already given the crowd a festival's worth of openers and played everything but his biggest hits, Drake turned to the crowd: "New York, let me show you how much I love you." Four hours in, his Club Paradise tour had bridged the gap not only between openers Waka Flocka Flame and J. Cole or genres like rap and R&B, but also across a wide range of demographics, seating spoiled 16-year-olds rocking "Self Made" tees side-by-side with old-school heads who first heard surprise guest Busta Rhymes on "Scenario," and not "Look at Me Now." But regardless of that, Drake was right: The show's most exciting moments were still yet to come.

At concerts like this, all those demographics share a desire to believe that their performance is particularly special, realer than all the others and put on just for them. Drake, once awkward in these settings, now knows better than to spoil the fun, spending a long ten minutes moving through the crowd singling out the girl 300 feet away in the red tank top and the couple in matching YOLO hats, but as he spun across the stage to the descending piano chords that anchor "Take Care" or called upon The Weeknd's Abel Tesfaye for some unexpected crew love, it was hard to believe that audiences in Akron or Saratoga saw the same thing.

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Dipset (13) Clashes With Bette Midler (5) As SOTC's March Madness Gets Heated

​Sound of the City's search for the quintessential New York City musician enters Round Two this week. Today, all the remaining contenders in the Uptown division battle it out in the Round of 32. Keep up with all the action here.

As if predestined by the Moirai, Bette Midler and the Diplomats will have it out in Sound Of The City's tournament—and in the round of 32, no less. It was going to come down to this at some point, of course, but it seems so soon! Uptown's hardest going in against a bunch of rappers? It chills the blood. Midler murked Kool Herc—one of a few guys who basically invented hip-hop—in the first round, so what chance do Cam'ron and company stand? Find out after the jump.

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Sound Of The City's March Madness Begins With An Uptown Faceoff Between Diddy (4) And Dipset (13)

Categories: Dipset

The Round of 64 for Sound of the City's own version of March Madness—in which we determine the quintessential New York musician—launches this morning with a series of polls. Up first: Harlem's quintessential hip-hop cadre, Dipset, takes on the genre's megamogul, Diddy. Check out the arguments in favor of each contestant below, and then cast your ballot on Facebook.

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Live: Dipset Brings Pandemonium To The Best Buy Theater

The Diplomats & Vado
Best Buy Theater
Friday, September 30

Better than: Waiting for the next big NYC hip-hop collective to appear.

"It ain't over! Fuck y'all talkin' about?" Cam'ron emphatically declared at one point during Friday night's celebration of the Diplomats' debut Diplomatic Immunity. He was right. The Diplomats—Cam, Jim Jones, Juelz Santana and Freekey Zekey—have managed to reign as one of NYC's definitive hip-hop groups, despite in-fighting and a relatively limited body of work.

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Live: Rick Ross Lives Out His Dreams At Summer Jam

Hot 97 Summer Jam
New Meadowlands Stadium
Sunday, June 5

Better than: Sitting at home and moping like 50 Cent.

Rick Ross closed out Summer Jam.

Just so there's no revisionist history here, let's remember how incredible that statement is. Three years ago, Ross was the punching bag of hip-hop, the laughingstock of the streets. After recording countless verses that fetishized Tony Montana fantasies, someone pinched him—Ross' cartoonish thought bubble vanished into thin air, and he was rudely snapped back to reality. He wasn't a druglord superhero; he was William Roberts, a grown man playing dress-up, a former correctional officer who wanted to be a rapper so badly that he rewrote his personal history. Two years ago, he wasn't being played on New York radio.

And here, onstage at Giants Stadium, was Rick Ross—his chest puffed out, his black-and-yellow Hawaiian shirt open wide but still somehow stretching tight—cheered on by fifty thousand strong. They welcomed his street anthem, "B.M.F.," chanting a chorus and cadence that, in various incarnations, has blasted out of car windows on 125th ever since it came out last summer: "I think I'm Big Meech, Larry Hoover." Rick Ross can make up a lot of things, but even he couldn't make this up.

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Q&A: Incarcerated Rapper Max B on His 40-Year Jail Sentence and His New Record Vigilante Season


"They found me guilty as an accomplice to murder and a co-conspirator for felony murder and robbery, which they had no proof of whatsoever." Max B is talking on the phone from Bergen County Prison in New Jersey, where he's serving out a 40-year sentence for these charges. The offenses relate to an incident on September 22nd, 2006, when a man named David Taylor was shot and killed as Max B's fellow defendants Gina Conway and Kelvin Leerdam attempted to rob Taylor and his associate Allan Plowden of $30,000 at a Holiday Inn in Fort Lee, New Jersey. It's a spell of incarceration the rapper is appealing -- not least because he says he was back home in New York when the fatal robbery took place. Max B is confident his appeal will be approved, and estimates he could be a free man as early as this July.

In the interim, he's just released Vigilante Season, his debut album via the Amalgam Digital label. Recorded before he was locked up, the project sees Max, who came to prominence by helping one-time Dipset capo Jim Jones write 2006's summer smash single "We Fly High (Ballin')," teaming up with the producer Dame Grease, who crafted many of DMX's early hits. (According to Amalgam Digital's DJ Next, Jones sent out a cease and desist order when Max B attempted to sign to the label, claiming that he still owned rights to Max B's contract; following a lawsuit, a judge ruled against Jones's claim.) Unable to promote the album and its first single, "Money Make Me Feel Better," in person, Max B says, "We just got to ride on this one, hopefully it do good and I can come out and give you the next one and be behind it 100%."

In the days leading up to the album's release, Max B engaged in two phone calls from Bergen County Prison to speak about the rigors of his incarceration, anomalies in his trial, the perceived foulness of the New Jersey prison system, and the days when he held down a pre-rap nine-to-five at the World Trade Center.

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Live: Araabmuzik Harasses His MPC at Brooklyn Bowl

Brooklyn Bowl
Tuesday, April 5

Better than: Bowling.

In the past few months, I've read a handful of articles and reviews suggesting that watching a DJ is boring. In one sense this is true, as watching the moves a DJ is making is almost always secondary to dancing to the records that DJ is spinning; watching the DJ generally happens only if the music is lacking. On the other hand, the last half-century is filled with DJs whose showmanship topped anything happening on the dancefloor before them. Even if he doesn't use a turntable, Araabmuzik is one of those DJs.

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