So don’t get me wrong, Jay-Z was the king of all kings in New York during the 2000’s and rightfully so. He still is the king of New York to this day. Some may argue a Queensbridge rapper comes a little close but thats really it. Jay-Z was the given! He was already established (GOAT status), and in 2003 he was casting in his “retirement” from the rap game with Black Album. Wu-Tang as a group was starting to fade and the members relationships with each other wasn’t as strong. With New York’s hip hop scene being maybe up for grabs, two groups made their claims to grab the throne.
The Diplomats (Dipset), was a hip hop group formed in Harlem, New York by rappers Cam’ron and Jim Jones. They would form the original group with fellow rapper Freekey Zekey in 1997. Other popular group member Juelz Santana would later join in 1999. The group had a little buzz and signed with Roc-A-Fella Records as a group between the years 2001-2004. The group however came to popularity with the release of Cam’ron’s third album Come Home With Me featuring the lead singles “Oh Boy” and “Hey Ma” The group would add rappers Hell Rell, 40 Cal., and J.R. Writer by 2004. The group showed major success especially among Cam’ron, Jones, and Santana. The groups bond started to break between the years 2007-2009 where the members would start to create their own little cliques. They would call it “Artistic disagreements” Since 2010, there has been a Diplomatic Reunion has tensions have calmed.
G-Unit all grew up together like Dipset. 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks and Tony Yayo all grew up in South Jamaica in Queens, New York together. 50 Cent was getting a name off of mixtapes and ruthless name calling in the industry. The group though rose to fame when 50 dropped Get Rich or Die Tryin’ and took him and the group to a different universe. G-Unit would even add popular rapper The Game for a split second; before difference between him and 50 would result in The Game cutting his ties. The group would remain very popular but would die down somewhere toward the late 2000’s as 50 would focus on other ventures outside of music. It was also said by 50 in 2008, that Young Buck was no longer part of G-Unit.
The big and successful persona’s of their big three: Cam’Ron, Jim Jones, and Juelz Santana. All three would remain relevant and big figures in the Hip-Hop culture. Cam’Ron had the successful albums S.D.E., Come Home with Me, and Purple Haze. They were critically acclaimed with Come Home with Me achieving platinum status and Purple Haze being seen as one of the Best Hip Hop Albums of that decade.
For Jim Jones, one word… BALLIN! “We Fly High” was arguably the biggest Rap song late 2006 and early 2007 (released in late 2006).
For Juelz Santana, it was his guest features, appearances, and cameos (Although There it Go was a big song). Juelz seemed to be everyones friend. He was great on Cam’ron’s “Oh Baby” and “Hey Ma.” We loved him on Chris Brown’s “Run It” or Jim Jones and Ron Browz’s “Pop Champagne.”
Two words, 50 Cent! He was not only the hottest rapper in 2003, but arguably the hottest artist in 2003. When his hit song “In Da Club” came out, their was no denying it. Whether it was New York, Los Angeles, Miami, or Omaha, you couldn’t really hide from the song. His album Get Rich or Die Tryin was certified sextuple platinum and would even receive a Grammy Nomination for Best Rap Album (where he would lose to OutKast’s Speakerboxxx/ The Love Below). And how could you deny him, he was Dr. Dre and Eminem’s created rap monster to take over the game. Sure Lloyd Banks showed us some success and Tony Yayo would have something here and there. But 50 was the man and would remain the man through his second album Massacre, his feature movie Get Rich or Die Tryin’ and all his different business ventures (Vitamin Water try it).
It all spewed from a February 1, 2007 would have a live argument on The Angie Martinez Show. Cam’ron would trash fellow G-Unit member Lloyd Banks saying that Jim Jones had sold more albums then him. Both would come out with diss records. 50 would release “Funeral Music” and “Hold On”. Cam’ron would release “Curtis” and “Curtis Pt. II” It wouldn’t help the bond of Dipset when members Juelz and Jones would appear on stage with 50 in 2007.
So who do you feel had a bigger impact during that period? Tell us why. Leave a comment below