Nov 30, 2018

Ransom Report IV: Diplomatic Ties (words by Charles Ransom Polk)

Put your 3D glasses on player haters, because another Ransom Review is coming straight at you. This is a VERY special one for me. For the select few who truly know me know that I have roots going back to Harlem over 20 years. I remember copping the first dipset mixtapes from the African gentleman out front of Mony (All my real fashionable people and real New Yorkers/Harlemites will know about this) on 125th street in the early 00's. I've always been a Harlem half n*gga at heart. It's just something about the music, fashion, swagger, and food of that area that I always identified with. With that being said, you can't love Harlem and not love Dipset. Matter fact, you can't be a respectable music fan and not like Dipset. Matter fact, if you don't like dipsett stop reading this, this aint for yall. And while you’re at it do seven shots of bleach and take a long walk off a short bridge. You won’t be missed, believe that. The last time we got a Dips album was '05 (Sheesh). Since then they’ve gone through more drama than the Kardashians and all the Love & Hip-Hop b*tches combined. We’ve had a few reunion false starts, so when they said new music was coming on Thanksgiving, I didn’t hold my breath. But sho nuff it arrived like a miracle. A Diplomats EP after 14 years?? Much has changed since their incredible run (they’re the second greatest group in rap all time after the Wu, and that’s a scientific fact) but no one stays on top forever. Father Time is undefeated. Do the Dips still got it? Lets begin, the Doctor is in. Time to take your medicine haters.

(PS I love the Dipset but I gotta be real that album cover was questionable as all hell-and the broad that’s walking around with that on her chest is shot all the way the f**k out.)

Intro: Stay Down (feat Trav): Off the bat you knew the Heatmakerz was gonna be all over this s**t. They go together like Trump and bulls**t. Inseparable. As soon as the sample kicked on I was like 'ahhh s**t this is what we’ve been waiting on.' All three of them get busy on the track, Juelz killed it though. Makes me think of what could’ve been had he put out more albums. One of the biggest musical what-ifs of all time. I LOVED Cam's verse. He b*tch slapped Kanye (aka the white man in black skin aka the dumbest smart person you’ll ever hear aka he only sounds smart to dumb motherf*ckers). FACTS. I love how he tried to backslide recently saying he’s not trying to talk politics anymore. Na man, you crossed the line, now stay the f*ck over there p*ssy. If you still support Kanye and you’re black I'm ashamed of you and you should be ashamed of yourself. Anyf*ckin' way the intro was PURE fuego, beats and verses.

Dipset Forever: Gahdamn the Heatmakerz MURKED this beat too. First time I heard this beat I made the same face you make when you smell those collard greens from thanksgiving a week later. This beat MEAN. All three guys sounded real good, I really liked Cam' s verse, he shouted out Charly Rambo the wave God himself. Can’t wait till Max B comes home. This song was fire as well, so far there’s no cobwebs or rust. This song is on repeat, and I loved Freaky Zeeky on the outro he’s always comedy. How many people remember him in the Hey Ma video? Classic

On God (feat Belly): When I saw that Murda Beatz made this s**t I was anxious to hear it. It’s one thing for the Dips to murk Heatmakerz tracks, but it’s another thing entirely to rap over modern day production. Thankfully this song didn’t disappoint. I like Jimmy on this beat the most even though Juelz and Cam both had bars on here. I think it’s because Jim has been the most active member of the Diplomats in the last 10 years, and it shows. He’s the most at home on modern day production. My mans Belly was a real nice touch on the hook. This song bumps play this on good speakers.

Sauce Boyz: More Heatmakerz, never ever a bad thing. When I heard this song about a week before the album dropped, I didn’t hate it but I didn’t love it. My man Juelz killed this song though, yo Juelz fix your teeth man! If you haven’t seen my man's grill do your googles, I don't know wtf is going on there. Cam was killing this verse as well. I think this was his best verse so far except for the first song; however so far this was the weakest of the heatmakerz' productions on the album. It's a solid song, but not great.

Dipset/Lox (feat The LOX): I know y’all hear Cam talking his s**t on the intro, Cam is the greatest trash talker of all time in rap after Diddy (matter fact it might be a tie). I loved this song, and I think the sequencing was key here. Cam/Jada (the main guys), Juelz/Styles P (the lyrical beasts), Jim/Sheik (the tough guys) it was perfect and the beat was fire (I did my homework, Cool and Dre did the beat). I played the hell out of this song.

Uptown: Now here comes the first chink in the armor. This song is ehhhh. I really wasn’t feeling it, and the hook was annoying as f**k. The beat was meh and the verses were kinda lazy. They were on a serious roll for the first 5 songs and then they hit a major speed bump here. Don’t get my wrong it’s not a terrible song, but it’s not nearly as good as the other songs. I’ll still replay this s**t though it’s starting to grow on me.

No Sleep (feat Tory Lanez): Bro, Tory Lanez used to be one of my fav artists but he’s gotten ESPECIALLY WHACK as time as gone on. Did any of y’all listen to his last album? Unless you’re a complete bozo you thought the album was mucho basura. His last album was ABSOLUTELY NOT worth a Ransom Review. He’s completely garbage now, which is sad because he had a lot of promise, and I bought into him once I heard that song Real Addresses. Anyway that being said besides him this song isn’t terrible it’s got a bop and for a party/strip club song it’s got potential. I could see broads twerking to this, and I’m not mad at it.

By Any Means: This song grew on me. I really liked this beat and all three of the dips did their thing. There’s really not much for me to say here. It was a decent song not a great song, but it was decent which I’ll take as a W for the Dips in 2018

Outro Un Casa: Ok now when I first read the tracklist I immediately saw this and I gave the people’s eyebrow like the Rock. Now y’all may or may not remember Un Casa. He was on the unforgettable intro to Diplomatic Immunity (Kanye produced the track-Little known fact) and he had a top 10 hottest dipset song of all time: Purple City Byrd Gang. Still to this day that beat is FUEGO and Jimmy dancing in the rain with a purple umbrella and casa rapping next to a purple piano in the midst of the projects is CLASSIC. But that was all over a decade ago. I didn’t want nor NEED Un Casa in 2018. Like my brother in law said to me, they threw him a MAJOR bone on this one. Because no one but his moms is looking for Un Casa in 2018. He probably took weeks to write his bars and they were still trash and super tired. I would’ve loved to hear JR Writer or even Hell Rell on there. I can understand they tired to recreate what they did on their first album but they failed miserably. And plus you guys only gave us 9 songs after all this time and one of the songs was wasted on UN KASA? Cmon son, that song left me with a bad taste in my mouth (no homo, word to Cam’ron). It was a major misstep to end the EP.

So after 14 years we got 9 (really 8) original songs with Cam Jim and Juelz, with freaky talking s**t here and there. I’ll keep it short and sweet, and I'M NOT talking like an “Old Head”, I already told you haters what you can do with those “old head” remarks. To be honest, I was feeling the album. It wasn’t great but it wasn’t bad at all. I was expecting a lot more rust than I heard and a lot less chemistry than I heard. I’m glad they made an EP and not a full album. The brevity definitely helped. I don't know what would’ve happened if they made a full length album. OF COURSE it’s not hotter than Diplmatic Immunity 1&2, but it wasn’t ever going to be. The real bottom line is this: After all these years I expected a little more, but after all these years what I did I REALLY expect? On Thanksgiving I was thankful for what I got from the Harlem Trio. Dipset now and forever.

Album grade: 6.8/10 Pink Range Rovers

Jonathan C. Ramsey
Jonathan C. Ramsey

Multimedia Journalist, Founder and Chief Editor of WTM Host of A-Side B-Side Podcast and more. I like to talk about stuff and write it down. Sometimes to a microphone. Either way, I need you to feel this.

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