They've got Diplomatic Immunity, and they're going to rock Grand Central like straight drop in pyrex.
Fresh from a headlining set at Austin's SXSW, the Diplomats are setting the hip-hop world on fire with their highly anticipated reunion. Even Funkmaster Flex is so excited he can't stop talking about it.
Here's what Jim Jones himself had to say about his first trip to South Beach, how he got down with Little Haiti, and why "we stronger together."
New Times: Wasup, man. You in Miami already?
Jim Jones: I'm in Miami already.
How does it feel to reunite Dipset?
It feels really good to be out there again with my brothers. Somehow, it didn't mesh before, business got in the way, we all went different directions, but it's all been resolved. Shouts to Funkmaster Flex for believing in us. We started doing great music. The music has a beautiful energy. And it feels good.
How did it come about?
It's just a conscious effort to make our claim inside the industry. We been doing this for a long time. Separation put a halt on our dreams and goals cause everybody went separate ways. But we stronger together.
What does it mean to hip-hop?
Hip-hop is in a big transformation. We're in a new era. These kids have their own views on life and music. But we're fortunate to be included in the era before us and in front of us. We bring fresh and new stuff to the game, and we're also adapting to the viral ways of getting our music out. We flipped our business model to maximize our opportunity to kill the game.
I like the Dipset vaporizer pen. How do you like the merch?
I do Vamp Life and some clothing lines, and now we're revamping that and the merch to make it more accessible for people. It's 2015 and we're about to put the game through the wringer again. We've always been trendsetters who worked deeply and passionately. Shout to Little Haiti, all the Cubans, Allapattah, North Miami, Carol City, man. I really respect my comrades. All the people across the bridge, from South Miami to Lauderdale, I got love for you.
What keeps you in tune with the streets of Miami?
Just coming up in Harlem in the hood. I know what it takes. I'm a business man and I like to help people in business and music. It's a bunch of things, the culture, the open arms, the love they give, and the talented kids that need to be exposed. Miami has like a triangle defense with Khaled, Rick Ross, and people who are prominent, so it's hard to break through the shield. I respect making money, and if I feel an artist is the bomb, I put some behind them. I be in the trenches. I sleep on the Beach, but I stay in the trenches.
What can people expect from the show?
Nothing but energy, from the oldies to the goodies. We got some artists that people like to see. We bringing the whole shebang. And we got the afterparty going on too. Headliner Market Group coming out in rare form. We got jewelry, cars, ladies. There might even be a wet tshirt contest.
Did any Miami music influence you growing up?
When I was coming up, the Miami artists we liked were Uncle Luke and 2 Live Crew. Especially that "Doo Doo Brown." That hit the club in New York and went crazy. But Trick Daddy's "Nann Nigga" put Miami on the map from where I'm concerned, with that gritty rap, that d-boy, get-money music. That's what we were living in the street. I tip my hat to Trick Daddy. He made me feel like Harlem when he was spitting.
Who are some artists down here you mess with?
There's Zoey Dollaz, Ball Greezy, and YD. V-Stuck, the first lady of Miami Vamp. Ice Berg. It's a few artists out of Miami. And we're ready to go for it.
What's your history with Miami?
I been coming down for 20 years. The first hotel I stayed at was on 10th and Collins, the Fairwind Hotel. The owner was named Anne and she had a little restaurant. After that, it was dubbed the Dipset Hotel. Our first trip was for a promo tour when Khaled had a pirate radio station. It's been a lot of times. Pre-Dipset, me and Cam would go down there. We did the BET Awards in Miami. We have a lot of memories there.
How did you get down with Little Haiti?
Through a good friend of mine. I was hardheaded and liked to be in the hood and go to strip clubs. I met this girl who was fluent with the gangsters and they introduced me to the Zoe Pound, and I'm pretty sure everybody know who that is, and they took me in as a brother. Zoe Pound is Haitian and they say that I am Haitian now also. I respect them and show them love. The people of Haiti and Little Haiti are some of the most loveliest and kindhearted people.
Dipset's Pledge of Allegiance Tour Presented By Headliner Market Group. 6 p.m. Sunday, March 29, at Grand Central, 697 N. Miami Ave., Miami; 305-377-2277; grandcentralmiami.com. Tickets cost $30 to $100 plus fees via ticketfly.com. Ages 18 and up.