Foe Turned Friend. Jay Z Signs Jim Jones To Roc Nation.
At the height of Roc-A-Fella Records, a number of interviews have suggested that co-founder Jay Z was not always thrilled with Cam’ron and The Diplomats. From Dame Dash’s impromptu promotion of childhood friend Cam’ to label VP, to reports of wrongly parked cars in the mogul’s designated spot, to reportedly erased verses, there are a number of storied incidents. While Cam’ron occasionally speaks on the subject, Jay rarely breaks his guard.
Apparently, the past is the past. This week, Roc Nation employee Vic Medina confirmed that Jay Z’s latest label (which has no involvement from Dame Dash) has reached a deal with onetime Diplomats member Jim Jones. Last week, the Bronx native posted Instagram photos of himself in the Manhattan label and management offices.
Last month, Jay Z signed Fat Joe, a previous rival, to a management deal. Nearly 12 years ago, Jay (as President of Def Jam Records) signed his highest-profile enemy, Nas. They have collaborated several times since.
In addition to Cam’ron’s public beef with Jay in the mid-2000s, the Dipset’s then-“capo” Jim Jones took shots at the man who executive produced Come Home With Me and joined him for a brief appearance in Paper Soldiers. In response, Jay made a convenient freestyle to Jones’ biggest hit, 2006’s “We Fly High (Ballin’).” The Harlem anthem featuring Max B, as well as Cam’ and former Roc-A-Fella artist Juelz Santana in the video was re-purposed by Jay as “Brooklyn High.” Nearly three years later, Jones plead guilty to misdemeanor assault in a 2008 Manhattan boutique altercation with the brother of Roc Nation’s Tyran “Ty Ty” Smith, one of Jay’s closest longtime associations.
Currently estranged from The Diplomats, Jim Jones released The Kitchen in 2016, through his VampLife/Empire. The project featured Dave East and A$AP Ferg. Last year, Cam’ron told Angie Martinez in an interview that he planned no resolution to an ongoing dispute with his former manager, hype-man, and eventual protege. Jones has also spoken out against Dame Dash, who brought The Diplomats to Roc-A-Fella and remained working with Cam’ron and Jim after the label’s sale. Previously, Jim Jones held a label job through Atlantic Records in the late 2000s.
In the recent months, Roc Nation’s roster has added a number of New York City veterans. In addition to a management deal with Fat Joe and Fabolous, the label reached a partnership with The LOX. In December, D-Block/Roc Nation released the Yonkers, New York trio’s first album in 16 years.
Another former Roc-A-Fella Records group artist, State Property’s Young Chris, was previously tied to Roc Nation at the label’s launch.