NEW YORK — Jim Jones is in a good mood.
The menacing Harlem rapper with a penchant for making public threats seems much more relaxed these days. His latest single, “We Fly High,” has introduced yet another trademark Dip Set phrase to the masses (“Ballllllin’!”), and with his third album, Hustler’s P.O.M.E. (Product of My Environment), tentatively due November 7, Jones said to expect a more mature Capo.
“You got to have a level head if you want to get certain places,” Jones said Tuesday during a photo shoot for his album cover. “You can’t let your emotions get the best of you, and through age, I guess, I learned to deal with my emotions better. And that’s landed more opportunities for me. But at the end of the day, I’ll still slap the sh– out of somebody; that’ll never stop. But there’s a certain integrity you have to keep when you get older if you want to accomplish things. Certain people don’t want to be around that type of [rowdy] environment. But by all means, n—as know what I represent.
“I’m the mean nice guy,” he added, smiling.
Jones is so pleasant, it seems, he was able to recruit some of rap’s top earners to appear on the soon-to-be-released “We Fly High” remix. T.I., Diddy, Cash Money’s Baby, and Lil’ Kim have all been confirmed to spit alongside Jones, he said, with Jermaine Dupri holding down ad-lib duties on the intro and outro to the song.
While a video for the remix is being discussed, Jones is simply enjoying the original’s visual treatment, which he said was an intended sign of unity between Cam’ron and himself. The rapper wanted to silence the persistent rumors of strife between the Diplomat co-CEOs and felt a joint clip would silence the chatter.
“I tend to be on the defensive side, so you got to pardon my demeanor when you see me, but I’m a happy-loving dude,” Jones said. “I was tired of people asking me that dumb sh–. Like, leave me alone with that.”
Though he didn’t mark the 10-year anniversary of Tupac’s passing this week with any commemorative activities, Jones did record a tribute song dedicated to the late rapper on Hustler’s P.O.M.E. (Product of My Environment). “My Life,” produced by Jones and featuring former Roc-A-Fella singer Rell, finds Jones reveling in ’Pac’s spirit, but the rapper was quick to admit he can’t fill his shoes.
“I’m scared of that whole connection,” Jones said of ’Pac comparisons. “It hurt my soul to see that they killed ’Pac. Without him, a lot of us wouldn’t have made it to where we are today, as far as us coming up out of the ’hood. And people that are around my age really understand what his music did for us.”