Jim Jones vs. Cam’ron – Beef or Tofu?

I really don’t like focusing on rappers supposedly beefing, but since the Hip-Hop world seems to be abuzz with the idea that two of DipSet’s favorite sons aren’t getting along so swimmingly I would be remiss if I didn’t weigh in on the situation. Over the past handful of years The Diplomats’ Cam’ron and Jim Jones have positioned themselves as two of New York’s most popular rap artists, earning themselves a legion of fans as rabid as an army of dumpster dwelling raccoons. For this reason it seemed odd when the idea that the two were beefing was brought up, and quite frankly I’m not buying it for one second.

First off, let’s take a look at where this beef was generated, on Hot97 radio personality Miss Info’s blog. Now Miss Info’s name alone should have people begging for a more credible source. Sure she probably created her moniker thinking it could have a witty double meaning, but that double meaning contradicts itself. Some folks may look at her as Miss Info, the woman to go to for information, but many others are like me, viewing her name as being short for misinformation. Do you seriously want to trust a story from someone whose name can be construed as misinformation?

After Miss Info revealed her supposed scoop she went on to pimp her fellow Hot97 radio personality Funkmaster Flex's next radio show which, not so coincidentally, was to feature Jim Jones as a guest. Jones backed out of the appearance, though, making Miss Info's story seem all the more contrived as nothing more than attempt to generate ratings. The next day members of DipSet appeared on DJ Green Lantern’s Sirius Satellite radio show in an attempt to squash the story, saying “don't believe the hype, don't believe everything you hear.” First off, man oh man did Green Lantern make Hot97 look terrible by grabbing the story they were supposed to have and getting it on his on own show. Second, what does it say for commercial radio when a group feels it’s better to get on satellite to tell their story? Yeesh!

In addition to what was said on Green Lantern's show there are two other reasons I’m not buying the notion of any inner conflict within DipSet. For one, Cam is an Executive Producer (as usual) on DipSet’s just released More Than Music Vol. 2 which features both him and Jim, and then there's the fact that I spoke with DipSet's Freekey Zekey less than two months ago and he told me the only reason the beef with 50 Cent started was “(Cam) felt that he took a shot at Jim. Cam did what any older brother would do while his little brother ain't around and he defended him.” That doesn’t sound like inner conflict to me.

My feeling has been, at worst this could have ended up a marketing scheme like the Jay-Z / Nas “beef” was (c’mon, at this point you all know that's what really went down). I figured if they wanted to go the beef route and play that angle it would temporarily boost sales for the members of DipSet that aren’t as well known as Cam and Jim because people would suddenly be interested in hearing what they had to say, and then the big sales numbers would come after the inevitable reunion. I’m actually pretty happy that’s not what happened, since it would have just been a continuation of the idea that rap beefs are essentially the musical version of pro wrestling storylines. I love pro wrestling, but we do not need storylines in real life, reality does a perfectly good job of writing them for us.

As an aside to all this there was the supposed incident with Tru Life and Cam’ron outside of a club in NYC. For those who don’t know who Tru Life is (and as of now why would you), he’s a rapper who’s associated with Roc-La-Familia and who seems completely incapable of completing a sentence, or even a thought, without saying either “nigga” or “fuck” (charming, I know). The irony in this supposed incident is that Tru Life’s original beef was with Jim Jones, making the concept of a Diplomats split even more unlikely if Cam is still standing up for Jim in nightclubs throughout the city as recently as a week ago.

So in the end what does all this add up to? Fairly meaningless hype perpetrated by radio personalities looking for ratings. Forget beef, this will turn out to be nothing more than some light, fluffy tofu. It’s kind of sad that in the internet / satellite radio age beefs and battles seem to be fought more via online press days and radio show appearances than on wax. In fact, the next time someone says “did you hear so and so is beefing with so and so?” Ask them if they’ve battled someplace, or if one of them has recorded a song about it yet. If not, let’s make more of an effort to ignore anything non-lyrical. Beefs and battles should be settled on the mic, not on a message board or some radio show. Canibus hit us with “Second Round KO” when he had an issue with LL Cool J, not a bunch of interviews about how much he disliked him. Remember, it’s supposed to be all about the music.


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