Jim Jones

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About this artist

As self-proclaimed Capo of Harlem's Dipset clique -- think The Warriors meets The Wu Tang Clan -- Jim Jones has more street cred than almost any NYC artist. And while his somewhat stilted flow and simplistic rhyme scheme won't be drawing any comparisons to Nas or Rakim, Jones' sadistic braggadocio and coke kingpin rhymes project a certain menace that has made him a favorite in the Big Apple. Jones came into the game in the mid-1990s on the coattails of fellow Harlem emcee Cam'ron. He initially focused more on the business side of things, preferring to think of himself as more of a hip-hop entrepreneur than a hip-hop artist, though the distinction between the two is continually blurred and forsaken. In the first half of this decade, he helped form Diplomat Records -- home to Juelz Santana and one of hip-hop's most successful and recognized indies. Jones would make numerous cameo appearances on Diplomat records and numerous mix tapes; he didn't release an album until 2004's In Da Church. Though that album and 2005's Harlem: Diary of a Summer explored religious themes, songs such as "Shotgun Fire" and "Crunk Music" ensured that Jones was regarded as more of a Don Corleone than a Jerry Fallwell. And while he occasionally enshrines himself in political rhetoric during interviews -- labeling Dipset "the new Black Panthers" and himself "Harlem's Che Guevara" -- there is very little evidence of a specific political agenda. in 2006, Jones years of grinding in the underground finally paid off in a big way. His single "Fly High" was one of the biggest club hits of the year, and established Jones as a commercial force. The subsequent album Hustler's P.O.M.E. sold well and was generally well received by critics. Jim Jones continues to be one of the most celebrated hardcore street emcees.

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