Jim Jones is a legend in the rap game, and he’s still dropping gems decades later. Coming up as a member of The Diplomats alongside fellow Harlem legend Cam’Ron, the New York native has blessed fans with countless hits and bangers, most notably the group’s “Dipset Anthem” and of course, 2014’s “We Fly High” which took over clubs and functions all around the world.
Now in 2020, Jones has discovered new interests and passions, which include a relentless fitness regime, love for gaming, and even giving hilarious weather reports to his 2.4 million followers on Instagram. In light of the current state of the world, he even dropped a socially-conscious record called “People,” speaking volumes to the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
Baller Alert caught up with Jim Jones to discuss how Juelz Santana is holding up, his love for fitness, his new single “The People,” favorite Dipset song to perform, and more!
What does it mean to drop a song like “People” during a time like this?
I was trying to find my place within everything going on. We need creativity from these artists to push the people to continue the narrative. This is my contribution to giving you an anthem, make you want to go march more. I hope people are enjoying it. I hope they listen to the words because it’s a lot of jewels in that record. I thank everybody who supported it. The proceeds minus some of the mechanicals are all going to his [George Floyd’s] family. I’ve been figuring out how we could do that the proper way, been talking about it on the Gram.
How was it working with Harry Fraud?
Harry Fraud’s dope. We’re actually in the middle of finishing up a project called The Fraud Department featuring Jim Jones. This will be a Harry Fraud and Jim Jones complete project, I wanted to do it on my birthday [July 15], but we’re not there yet. I’ll probably try to drop the El Capo Deluxe on my birthday because I already have those records done. Me and Rsonist of the Heatmakerz did some songs for the last project we haven’t released. We have about 15 records, so I’ll take a few of those and put them out as the El Capo Deluxe.
I know you’ve been gaming recently, how often are you gaming?
I’m not the biggest gamer, but I do have fun playing video games. Even since a child coming up, I got my first ColecoVision. Now, in turn, my son’s actually the bigger gamer. He’s been showing me how lucrative gaming could be with everything kids do, all these events. I try to create a lane my son can dive into because he’s shown so much interest. He shows me how to play video games to keep me abreast of what I need to be doing to reign supreme inside the gaming world.
Is he making money off of it? I heard kids make a lot of money from gaming:
Yeah, they make a lot a lot a lot money off gaming. This is what he’s trying to explain to me, that’s when we decided to start Dipset Gaming. Shout out to HipHopGamer for helping us.
We look forward to seeing what more we can do with gaming, also mixing music with the gaming. Music and gaming is synonymous like music, and fitness is synonymous.
Talk about Dipset Gaming for those who don’t know; members can play on Dipset teams?
We’ve been figuring out all the details. What I see in mind is the same way we have street teams on the streets for these labels, I want to having gaming teams where we can spread the name of Dipset Gaming within the gaming community and whatever it is we have lined up for these kids or any gamers to know how to get involved with us. We’re studying exactly what’s more prominent in the gaming community, opposed to jumping in and not knowing everything — being looked at as we’re trying to snatch the culture from them or being a culture vulture. We’re slow rolling. Hopefully, it’ll be a business that my son can make a lot of money off of.
How old’s your son now?
He’s 17 right now. He’s a junior in high school.
Your son’s been helping you engineer, how do you feel about him entering the entertainment business like his dad?
I encourage him to do the things in life that he wants to do. If he wants to get into the music industry, I hope it’s something he wants to do, not try to make me feel good by getting in the same lane. I always tell him I worked so hard to put him in a position in life that it makes it a little bit easier than where I was. He’s a step above where I was; he can take that to whatever he wants to do in life. I pride myself on that. Even if he wants to be the President, it doesn’t matter. He has a chance right now.
Will we ever see a project with all the Dipset members again?
I’m looking forward to it. Juelz should be home soon. I look forward to us creating music when he gets home, so yes, there will be another Diplomatic project.
How’s Juelz holding up?
He’s doing pretty good, in good spirits getting his weight up. His complexion is clear; I feel good. I can’t wait to see him.
What are your fondest memories from the Dipset days?
One of these Memorial Days in Miami a long, long time ago, the first time we even knew we could rent a mansion on Star Island. Cam had rented this big ass mansion on Star Island, us being damn near fresh from the projects. A big ass yacht in the back, which I chose to take the yacht as my shelter. The yacht was like my house; it had 6 bedrooms. This was amazing how the fuck people was living at that point in time when we first started getting some money. I’ve been on a few yachts since then. [laughs]
Were you spending recklessly when you were first getting that bag?
Yeah, Nah, I spent it all. I spent upwards of $20 million. I spent Hammer numbers. I spent it on living life and losing my fuckin’ mind, but I know how to bounce back.
Did you think “We Fly High” would be what it was?
Nah, it was actually a record I did with Dem Franchize Boyz. My back was against the wall handing in the single, so I took Dem Franchize Boyz off it and put together the “We Fly High” record. Low and behold, it turned into the biggest record of my career.
You had Dem Franchize Boyz on that?
Yeah, around the time they were doing snap music. If you listen to the beat again, you can hear the [stars snapping]. They’re doing all them crazy dances. They’re in New York one day, had them in the studio, we’re doing a record. They told me I had to hand the single in; I’m like “that beat’s hard; let me get that beat.” Did the whole record over.
Do you ever get sick of performing that record?
I get sick of performing “Ballin” all the time. Ballin is a gift and a curse. It makes me cringe when I hear that record a lot; it’s been a long time I’ve been performing that record. [chuckles] But hey, I’m blessed to able to still be here to perform that record and get paid for it. I can’t be mad; I count my blessings daily.
What’s your favorite Dipset song to perform?
“I’m Ready” is my favorite record, one of the first records we did together as a whole. I can’t explain it, one of the earlier records we did when we first started Diplomats. It resonates still to this day with me.
How often do you work out?
Maybe 5 or 6 times a week, I average an hour and a half. Sometimes I go for 2 hours.
Who are you bumping when you work out?
I be listening to Pandora. I listen to everybody. Unless one of my partners got they playlist going or something.
I love that you still use Pandora.
Somebody else was telling me, “you still use Pandora?” I’m not as savvy as everybody else, knowing all the different apps that I could use to play my favorite music. I go with what I know.
I should ask my son to help me out with some better playlists.
How far do you want to take the Quarantine Fitness Tutorials?
I’ve been doing fitness for a long, long time since I’ve been living in the projects when everybody in Harlem was doing pullups on the light posts. That’s how we first learned how to workout. Gradually I gained a passion for it. I have a lot of friends that went away to school and came back with degrees in fitness. Some of them started training me; it turned into something I love. Working out constantly since about 2006, it’s been pretty good.
I heard you’re a meteorologist, can you give us a weather report?
I didn’t even check the weather today. I don’t want to give you something that’s not accurate. [laughs] Before all this COVID stuff, I was actually 2 days into production into an actual weather show. Hopefully, as offices start to open back up, I’m praying we could get back to production on The Weatherman.
Biggest lesson learned from Love & Hip Hop?
Always make sure your paperwork is right. If I wouldn’t have had my pride in front of me when I first started, I would’ve owned the whole Love & Hip Hop, but I wasn’t thinking like that. I was more worried about making sure my lady got a chance to do a reality television show that she’d wanted to do. It’s a lot of different moving parts, but make sure your paperwork’s right. If you got a chance to take ownership, make sure you do that no matter what the circumstances are.
How much do you smoke a day?
I smoke. I own a whole marijuana company, so I don’t gotta count my blunts anymore.
Anything else you want to let the people know?
I appreciate what the people have been doing. I’ve been on this earth a while, and never have I seen in the past four months, ever happen in my whole entire life. The way the events rolled and then us leading to this, to see the people mobilizing inside of our country all for one cause, it feels pretty good. I know a lot of people are confused about the riots and the looting, but that all has to happen to push the envelope. If that doesn’t happen, we don’t get heard because we tried everything else. Keep the narrative going. Be smart, be aggressive, be responsible. Time to put on.