It has been almost 15 years since their last release, and now they’re back. The Diplomats (more popularly known as Dipset) have released their third studio album, “Diplomatic Ties.” The group includes notable Harlem rappers Cam’ron, Jim Jones, Juelz Santana and Freekey Zekey. This nine-track project brings the feelings of ’03 Dipset with features from The Lox, while also including some newer acts, such as Tory Lanez and Belly.
The first song, “Intro: Stay Down,” starts out with audio of a Drake interview expressing how he locked himself in the studio with his producer to get some “Dipset Heatmakerz shit.” This is a nice touch to start the album, especially considering that Drake released a single titled “Diplomatic Immunity” earlier this year. Including this audio lets everyone know that Dipset has been the standard for most rappers for years now. It is also a dope pun to include since The Heatmakerz produced a majority of this album.
In the intro, Cam’ron throws shots at past Roc-a-Fella mate Kanye West, accusing him of not actually being bipolar. He also claims West is displaying come “coonery” actions that just do not sit right with him. Cam’ron and West have a history of great collaborative work and were always considered to be friends. The verse in this intro makes it clear that is no longer true.
“He told me he was bipolar/I looked and said, ‘Bipolar?’/Don’t be ridiculous,” Cam’ron raps. “The ones in the Taurus, nigga, he a tourist/Uncle Tom nigga know nothin’ about this chorus.”
Once you get past the theatrics thrown in the first song, the rest of the album gives off the nostalgic vibe of the early 2000s. The group is doing what they do best: rap freely over slow, heavily New York City-influenced beats. Dipset makes it known that, though all members have gone on to have solo careers, the bond between them still remains strong. This can be heard in the song “On God,” as they sing “I would die for anybody in the squad.”
Besides the clear shots at West that seem like an attention grab for more listens, the shortness of this project presents itself as a teaser album. For the group to have gone 14 years without an album, one would think they would have more to say. Not to mention, when talking about streaming, having more songs would definitely help boost numbers.
One thing that will leave joy in people’s hearts is the final track, “Outro: Un Casa.” If you are an avid Dipset fan then you know their debut album “Diplomatic Immunity” starts with the similarly titled “Un Kasa.” The newer version is performed by member Un Kasa, who has been a distant piece within the group. It also gives a shout out to Colin Kaepernick and yells the common slogan “Fuck Trump” before fading out.
With the shortness of this project, it is hard to judge its quality. Once the project is over, there is a desire to hear more. It is almost as if the project is incomplete, giving it a non-cohesive sound. Their previous works have skits and 20+ songs on there. This is a huge difference from what Dipset usually delivers and thus comes off as a slight disappointment. Though short albums are becoming more and more prominent, with a 14-year hiatus, the release of this project is lackluster. Overall, it is still nice to see the gang back together and one can only hope there is more to come in the future.