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Saturday, 14 May 2011



Jimmy's jams leaves us jonsin' for more.

Throughout his decade plus career rapper Jim Jones has been through highs and lows but has shown and proved that consistency and longevity are the key. From dominating with his Dipset crew (featuring leader Cam'ron and shining star Juelz Santana) to The Diplomats group falling apart and getting back together and from the death of a Rocafella record dynasty to the success of his soaring, huge hit 'We Fly High'. Through all of this Jim has remained Jim helping on his affiliates albums and also featuring his own impressive catalogue, including his last and most consistent album 'Prey IV Reign'. Last Christmas came early for the Harlem rapper (who's familiar with success in the season releasing his own 'Dipst Xmas' album in '06) as the Dipset reunion was confirmed on the warm feeling Kanye track 'Christmas In Harlem'. Now riding on this rich vein of form, Jones pumps out a new album before his crews new 'Diplomatic Immunity' sees a release.

Once again Jim makes his favourite guest artists feel welcome on the features from his Diplomats to his allies of Rell and Chink Santana who appears on the albums 'Intro' with Jones' new artist showcase Sen City. On this hard track Jim spends big and talks tough, swallowing a bitter pill of industry woes and spitting lines like "I.R.S. say I owe them 8 mill (that's a lot of taxes)/my accountant try and tell a n**** make a will". This introspective number is a bit heavy to take first-off but it affirms that Jim is here and back, stating "thirties the new twenty' in his new comfort zone.

Then on 'Deep Blue' Jim and Chink smooth it out over a fresh, cool, kinetic beat. Jones then shows us what the games been missing with 'Carton Of Milk'. A track that reunites Jim with 'Certified Gangster' and collaborator The Game as the pair skim through the verses. Then the Byrd Gang leader keeps it rolling on the hard cut 'The Paper' before producing 'Heart Attack'. A song with a rhythmic heart beat that attacks the concept of the title.

Then things get more experimental and mo' better on 'Everybody Jones', which despite the teenage girl "oooh myyy gaaawd" type ab-libs that more annoying then Tim Westwood drops on his worst day is a totally awesome track. Jones returns to the hard times and rhymes on the Raekwon assisted gem 'Drops Is Out'. A rugged and raw story rap that the Wu would be proud of, word to Ol' Dirty. Then on 'Let Me Fly' with former Roc hook man Rell Jim steps up on another top collabo with great depth from the feature friends. Speaking of friends, former 'Frenimies' Jones and mentor Cam'ron get back together on 'Gettin To The Money' and for the paper Cam and Jimmy pass the lyrical baton back and forth finishing the competition and raising the diplomatic flag back up where it belongs. Speaking of old feuds more great songs are made in redemption with 'Take A Bow' with Lloyd Banks and Prodigy, as this Diplomat unities with G-Unit for a gangster track where all the foot soldiers strap on their boots and go to lyrical war for the same cause.

Still if you thought things couldn't get much better then wait for the 'Perfect Day'. As over guitars, Jim gets electric and eclectic with a different track, one which is one of his and raps better in years. Then with the key to making the best records he can Jones rescues the princess Ashanti from career purgatory prison on the Rap/R&B royalty crossover 'Changing The Locks'. If you give Ashanti the two minutes this track allows that's all that's needed to show she's back on this classic relationship break up track that could murder nostalgia and make Ja Rule proud. Then on 'God Bless The Child' Wyclef Jean blesses Jim with a creative chorus on a grown up, heavenly collaboration. While on 'Itza' the versatile Jones keeps making moves that translate to hits even if he's only talking his language.

The travelling man gets introspective like Mos Def on 'Baggage Claim' while he handles the Wayne Gretzky references on 'Hockey Bag' to show how much he's got, ice included. Jim then fiends for more on this deluxe edition before he goes cold with 'Dope Boi', while on 'Bussa Move' he keeps it going and hitting with some label mates. Still one of the biggest records on the album is his 'Salute' with Dipset warriors Cam' on and Juelz Santana. This big three of a kind bring the Heat like Miami and reference their success to Kobe ("I'm wearing five rings") on a song that harks back to those 'Crunk Muzik' days. This track and the list this album offers up more then whets the appetites for those looking forward to the next Dipset anthems. Jim once again delivers rain or shine on an album that blows more hot then cold. Still for the best forecast you better wrap up the deluxe edition to show just how much this 'Capo's worth. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

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