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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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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Zach Baron's Top 10 Singles of 2010

Rich aliens, rich alienation. Still via
With sincere apologies to Chuck Eddy, my two favorite records of the year also produced my two favorite singles: funny how that happens. And though ten songs increasingly feels like about forty too few, especially when Dr. Luke is working, nothing was knocking "Runaway" off this list. What can I say? Been waiting fifteen years for rap to get this emo and for emo to get this rap. As for the rest of it, well, as Sean Fennessey noted in this space last week, most of these songs are ignorant as hell. The rest are about love. I'm not proud:

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Was 2010 The Best Year For Music Ever? LCD Soundsystem and Nostalgia's Creeping Scourge

Welcome to Sound of the City's year-in-review rock-critic roundtable, an amiable ongoing conversation between five prominent Voice critics: Rob Harvilla, Zach Baron, Sean Fennessey, Maura Johnston, and Rich Juzwiak. We'll be here all week!

James Murphy, pulling no punches.
Dear fellow illuminati,

My favorite Das Racist line from 2010 remains one they wrote in 2009: "Listening to coke rap, listening to joke rap/Listening to Donuts, listening to grown-ups/Listening to Camu, listening to Cam too." (I have fond memories of watching them perform it earlier this year in Mexico, as a drug war began to break out around us.) But I'm also partial to Sit Down, Man's "We aiight, but media cats think we clever though/Are we?/You may never know." Together, those lines pretty much explain their appeal to rap fans and critics alike--they are us, simultaneously diagramming our passions and, gulp, doing our jobs. Still wrestling with whether there were ten albums released this year that I liked more than their two mixtapes; as discerning rap critics and habitual self-deprecators, I kind of assume they're in the same spot, wondering the same thing.

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Live: Dipset Stage An Egalitarian Reunion Show at Hammerstein Ballroom

Ay! All photos by Jesse Serwer
The Diplomats
Hammerstein Ballroom
Friday, November 27

Better Than: Byrd Gang, Skull Gang, Purple City, U.N., Dipset West

It seems a little silly, really, this Dipset revival. When times grew lean for the Cam'ron-led crew a few years back, the support staff--from Jones on down--convinced themselves that they didn't need the brains of the operation anymore. This turned out not to be true, of course, and it took Cam'ron getting back with the old gang--right as he was enjoying a rebirth of sorts with new ally Vado--to make people care again. "Salute," the first and, thus far, only track issued by the newly reconstituted crew, is noisy, fresh and kind of undeniable. New York rap doesn't have much else going for it these days, so what the heck.

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Live: Fabolous and Nicki Minaj Bring Kanye West, Rihanna, and Juelz Santana to a Thanksgiving Show at Hammerstein

Fabolous/Nicki Minaj
Hammerstein Ballroom
November 25, 2010

Better Than: Awkward Post-Dinner Small Talk

Because the purpose of the Fabolous and Nicki Minaj's Thanksgiving double-billing was, according to the promotion, to give thanks to two of the most talented rappers in New York City (or perhaps for them to give thanks to us), it was in a way fitting that MTA difficulties prevented us from arriving on time. This made for a remarkable entrance, however, as we came through the doors of Hammerstein Ballroom just as Lloyd Banks arrived on stage to join Fabolous for "Beamer, Benz, or Bentley," a favorite in these pages and across the city. And then, as if this pairing wasn't enough, Harlem's Juelz Santana appeared to contribute his own verse. Thanks Fab!

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New York's Most Fierce 2010 Rap Single, "Beamer, Benz, or Bentley," Gets Perhaps 2010's Dullest Video

Still not in the least sick of hearing this song come on the radio--whether in the original, menacing Juelz Santana/Lloyd Banks vintage, the Joell Ortiz "Nissan, Honda, Chevy" remix, or the blistering Fabolous remake from There Is No Competition 2. That said, they somehow found a whips-n-vixens visual that adds virtually nothing, besides the always wonderful Juelz mugging throughout. Perhaps this was a meta move to make a stripped down, back-to-basics rap video for a stripped down, back-to-basics rap song. (It's a lot easier to love the latter than the former). Or maybe those G-Unit Records budgets just aren't what they used to be?

At Long Last, the Video To "Mixing Up the Medicine," Juelz Santana's Best Song In Years

After a two month run obliterating the internet and any club or car in which it's played, the first great Juelz Santana song since 2006 gets the video it deserves--mad scientist Juelz in the lab, gun-addled and chemistry-steeped, Yelawolf lurking in the back, channeling something between Dylan and the cheesy rap-rock sub-Kid Rock maniac he's trying desperately to become. Worth it for the laconic and hostile opening seconds homage to the "Subterranean Homesick Blues" video alone. [2DopeBoyz]