Last year was filled with plenty of ups and downs for Juelz Santana and the Diplomats.
Among the high points was Freekey Zekey being home for the duration of 2007 after experiencing a couple of turbulent years. In past years, the rapper (real name: Ezekiel Jiles) had been shot and served a prison sentence in North Carolina stemming from a drug rap.
Then of course there was the murder of Stack Bundles, a Byrd Gang member/ Dipset associate, and the widening rift between the Harlem, New York, collective’s leaders, Cam’ron and Jim Jones.
So just how did the youngest Dipset star deal with the turbulence? According to Santana, he addresses it all on his upcoming album, Born to Win, Built to Lose (the Reagan Era), which he said is tentatively due in the summer.
“I deal with everything,” he told MTV News last week on the Brooklyn set of Sean Kingston’s new video, “There’s Nothing.” “If you know me and listen to all my albums, I pretty much talk about everything as they go, so, you know, you’ll pretty much get a whiff of everything. I don’t dwell — you won’t get a whole album [full of] sorrow, never that. You gonna get that ish, bottom line. I’m gonna talk about everything, I’m gonna give you everything, I’m gonna do what I gotta do.”
Although Santana has been relatively quiet regarding Cam and Jones’ battle, he has gone on record saying he supports them both. He calls their dispute an argument that’s been blown out of proportion, similar words to what Jones told MTV News in July when asked about the status of the “We Fly High” rapper’s relationship with Cam’ron.
It’s worth noting, though, that Juelz hasn’t spoken to Cam in a few months, he said.
“Bottom line, in a family, you’ll always have problems,” Santana explained. “Like, I argue with my mother, I argue with my [own] brother sometimes. So that’s pretty much what it was. I feel like the whole Jim and Cam situation kinda got blown out of proportion. People found out they weren’t speaking and they thought it was more than what it was. And it was just that. Me? Like I said, the reason you never heard nothing from me [is] because I love Cam, I love Jim Jones.”
Santana didn’t offer any more clarity on his feelings about the feud, but he did extend an olive branch to fans who continue to support the crew.
“Look out for [a new Diplomats] album,” he said. “I can tell you that … Diplomatic Immunity 3 will be coming soon.”
As of press time, neither participating artists nor a track list were confirmed for DI3.