It’s been 15 years, and yet the movement moves on.
The story doesn’t begin in 2003. It all starts in 1996. Jay-Z, Damon Dash, and Kareem “Biggs” Burke team together to create what will become one of the biggest record labels of the late 1990’s and early 2000’s called Roc-A-Fella Records. They took matters in their own hands, and released Hova’s debut album Reasonable Doubt.
Over the years, the record label grew to become one, if not THE biggest collection of talent under one label. Beanie Sigel, Freeway, Memphis Bleek, all carried the flag in the late 90’s, early 2000’s with hit after hit after hit, and platinum albums.
To add to that pool of talent, Cam’ron signed with the label in 2002 along with his group of artists he called The Diplomats. On May 14, 2002, he then released what many consider to be his best album to date with Come Home With Me. Thanks to the buzz following the release of The Diplomats, Vol. 1 mixtape, fans were ready to see what the group will bring with a brand new opportunity. Its first two singles “Oh Boy” and “Hey Ma” introduced a young rapper named Juelz Santana who is featured on both classic tracks.
Following the success of the tracks, the Dipset movement got underway. Less than a year after the release of Come Home With Me, Cam’ron, Jim Jones, Juelz Santana, and Freezey Zekey all brought the movement to a new level with the release of Diplomatic Immunity.
While “Dipset Anthem” was a smash hit on the charts, it was tracks such as “I Really Mean It,” “I’m Ready,” “Hey Ma (Remix),” that brought this project to a special place to this day.
To this day, the vintage Dipset sound is remembered for the creative production of Just Blaze, and Heatmakerz which ran the second disk of the album. The way the samples were used with its high pitched voice
It wasn’t just the music that made them special though. The Harlem natives gave hip hop fans a brand new style. They helped bring the explosion of NBA warmups, and fitteds, Juelz Santana’s signature bandana, digital belts, G-Shock watches, making it cool to wear pink, and gold earrings Cam’ron called “lemon heads.”
After the project’s release, Dipset continued its dominance in hip hop without taking their foot off the pedal. Juelz Santana, and Jim Jones released their debut albums, and Cam’ron followed up with his oft delayed solo follow-up in Purple Haze.
The group’s signing can be seen as the peak of the Roc-A-Fella era, as well as the beginning of its downfall. It’s been 15 years yet songs on this album still get some of the best reactions when played in the middle of a party.
Listen to the full album below.