For some odd reason, I’ve always felt like The Diplomats would have one last hurrah before they decided to drift off into the sunset. At one point, that didn’t look like it was going to happen, as each of them had their issues with one another that caused major disruptions in music being released. Thankfully, the crew was able to hash things out, and now have a project called “Diplomatic Ties” that symbolizes everything they do well.
I’m not going to lie, I thought some of the features on this album were pretty weird… “No Sleep,” a song that features Tory Lanez, might be the weirdest of them all. It is powered by this bratty ass hook by Tory that almost sounds comical on first listen. As for the verses that you get from the Dipset members, it is on some ‘treat women reckless’ type s**t college boys that are still learning to be men will absolutely adore. All in all, I thought the track was fun to listen to, but definitely one of the more useless ones on the album.
I swear, the melody Tory Lanez uses on this song sounds very familiar…
I have absolutely no problem admitting that both The Lox and Dipset were responsible for making me love street rap. I thought they were raw in their own unique ways when they were in their prime, and affiliated themselves with some of the most important players in the game at the time. In “Dipset/Lox,” the two groups link up for this gritty banger that features no chorus, just back and forth bars by everyone involved that has them effortlessly boasting their heinous ways and dishing out some solid punchlines. If you are a fan of real street s**t, you’re going to love this joint!
How come beats don’t have stops in them anymore?
3. SAUCE BOYZ
On “Sauce Boyz,” the Harlem legends spit serious bars over this heavy-hitting/emotional instrumental that sounds like it took a couple whoppings before it was laid down. Each rapper does their thing over it, gloating about getting the respect they deserve for ushering in one of hip hop’s most explosive eras. They also diss the current one, letting the world know that they are saucer than anyone you’ve seen walking the streets today. Personally, I think it’s a bit lame to talk about how ‘drippy’ you are when you are over forty years old, but I do admit, the style that the crew rap with on their verses does rank high in the slick-o-meter.
2. DIPSET FOREVER
“Dipset Forever” is your stereotypical Dipset record: It has this gritty instrumental, some real ass bars by Jim Jones, finessing ass lyrics from Juelz, a slick ass verse by Cam’ron in which he comes across like the best thing since sliced bread, and a bizarre ass soliloquy from Freeky Zeeky at the end. What I do love about the song is that it sorta feels like a freestyle, as each of our heroes try their hardest to say something cool on each and every one of their lines. Matter of fact, I would love to see these dudes perform this song in Big Tigger’s basement.
1. INTRO: STAY DOWN
Starting Diplomatic Ties off with “Intro: Stay Down” was such a great idea! It sorta feels like a gangsta’s theme song in which each member in The Diplomats get a chance to remind the world how hood-certified they are. I thought Jim Jones’ verse felt like a complete shake-down of the industry, while Juelz was on some young drug-dealer type s**t when he got a chance to spit. As for Cam’ron, he tittle-tattled his ass off on his part, spending most of his time talking about how much Kanye West is a pawn. When you sprinkle in Trav’s gritty ass hook to the full equation, you’ll realize you were just gifted with unapologetic song that never lets up in toughness.
Killa Cam really doesn’t like Kanye… Did Ye sell him a bad Kabob or something?
SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN
1. INTRO: STAY DOWN (4/5)
2. DIPSET FOREVER (3.5/5)
3. ON GOD (3/5)
4. SAUCE BOYZ (3.5/5)
5. DIPSET / LOX (4/5)
6. UPTOWN (2.5/5)
7. NO SLEEP (3.5/5)
8. BY ANY MEANS (3/5)
9. OUTRO: UN CASA (2.5/5)
I hate to say it, but I didn’t like this album at all… I thought it had a bunch of lazy records, lacked energy and was very predictable. Most of the songs also had blahzay-blahzay subject-matters, and the chemistry the members showed with one another was poor. It’s almost like each rapper in the group had a gun to their head during the project’s making.
Do you know what I also found bizarre about this album? The features. One of the songs had Belly on it in which he didn’t drop a verse, a hook by Tory Lanez that I found goofy, and a random hook by Trav. I did enjoy The Lox’s feature on “Dipset/Lox,” though, mainly because I loved the overload of lyrical genius on it. But on the real, none of the features moved the needle for me.
I thought lyrically, Juelz Santana and Jim Jones did their thing. They brought great energy to their verses, and did a good job of staying true to the characters we’ve all known them to be. However, I thought Cam’ron’s contributions to this album were forgettable… Matter of fact, it didn’t even sound like he wanted to be there most of the time. Since Cam is the leader, his lack of effort had a major impact on the project’s overall sound.
The Diplomats impact on the rap industry was amazing. I think their free spirit when it comes to pushing boundaries has resonated in the hip hop industry quite a bit. However, in 2018, their new music hasn’t been appealing enough to play-back. Don’t get me wrong, I still think they can rap decently, but their ability to put a complete song together isn’t there right now. Weirdly, it’s almost like they were trying their hardest to fit in with what everyone else was doing, something they did the opposite of when they first hit the scene…
Quincy is the creator of Ratings Game Music. He loves writing about music, taking long walks on beaches, and spaghetti that fights him back.