This Week’s Main Pick
Street King: Jim Jones
Holding It Down For: Harlem, USA
Mixtape Album: The Ghost of Rich Porter
Real Spit: Across 110th Street, Jim Jones grabbed his favorite hero — roast beef with ketchup — and threw waves to the police as squad cars rolled by. One of his old friends, just out of jail, came by and got love from the whole crew, which included Jim and Byrd Gang member Sen City. Jones stood in front of a mural of his late friend Bloodshed, a cousin of Cam’ron’s.
Jones spoke of beloved late Harlem figures such as Blood and Rich Porter.
“It’s a lot of meanings behind that title,” Jones said of his mixtape, The Ghost of Rich Porter, which comes out Tuesday. “If you’re not familiar with Harlem, I’ll hip you to game kinda quick. If you’re not familiar with Rich Porter, he set the precedent for us as far as how we wanted to live. As far as getting fast money — the cash, the cars, the girls. Then the underlying story behind it — the betrayal, the disloyalty, the backstabbing. Rich was special to Harlem.
“If it wasn’t for people like Rich and a few other people, people wouldn’t understand Harlem, as far as the culture, the style. So I credit him for that,” Jim continued. “There’ll never be another Rich Porter in Harlem. He set the precedent for us. It was him we was coming up looking at. On the flipside, I say it’s the ‘ghost,’ because when you think what me, Cam and Juelz and Zeek have done for Harlem, it’s changed from when we was directly in the streets to what we doing now. When we come back now, it’s like people looking at a ghost. Some people are in awe, some people don’t know what they looking at. We’re in the ‘hood.”
Shawty Lo, Gucci Mane and the Byrd Gang all appear on the mixtape.
“For the past half a year, six, seven months,” Jim said of the tape’s title, “all I been hearing is people saying it’s a recession. It’s getting bad. I never knew it not to be a recession in Harlem. That’s why it’s Harlem. We found a way to get the money. If it wasn’t no job opportunities, our next best thing was to hustle. I’m not telling you what to hustle. I’m not advocating you do anything illegal. I’m advocating you get the money, the moolah, the muggah! That’s what it’s all about. That’s what it portrays.
“You won’t hear your traditional pop hit,” Jim added. “What you will hear is some hustle music that will make you hit the block early. … Put that iPod on, hit the train or the bus, get on that commute. All my strap-hangers. Then we’ll get to the album and fulfill all your dreams with all that radio music [later].”
Jim’s fifth solo album will be out later this year. It will be an independent release through E1. He has no title yet.
Joints to Check For
» “Black on Black.” “A lot of car talk on that ‘Black on Black,’ ” Jim said, sitting in his all-black 2010 Camaro. “I step outside, it looks like a funeral, all the black cars I bring to your ‘hood. Regular sh–. I’m a car connoisseur. I love fast toys. I love talking sh–, because I can back it up. Still keep a pocketful. What are you doing? 2010 Camaro, this is the latest one. SS and all that. 500 horses. Eight cylinder. Do a 360 on your block with no clutch. Holla!”
» “This How That Life Go.” “It’s talking about the procedures you go through when you filling up those little bottles,” Jim explained. “Survival tactics you need in the game. Talking about when the rap game goes bad, the risks I’m willing to take so I can maintain the life I’m living. Sometimes that risk could be hellafied. Talking about Uptown, how it’s dry Uptown in that work area when it used to be liquid. I shouldn’t say all this on TV, huh? But it’s cold up here in Harlem.”
» “Cocaine Dreams.” “True story. My man had three blocks ‘He was pumpin’/ Three blocks he was runnin’/ Now he’s damn near back to pumpin’.’ Crazy, right? ‘Recession caught him right, where Stevie couldn’t Wonder/ He said his car didn’t match the summer.’ Ya heard? That’s how we live up here. The car gotta match the summer. That means the top gotta go off. [The guy in the song] had to go back. The same thing that could make you rich could be the same thing that make you poor. The same thing that makes you laugh makes you cry.”
For other artists featured in Mixtape Daily, check out Mixtape Daily Headlines.