Dipset, initially named The Diplomats, was a Harlem-based crew that ruled the charts during the 2000s. Comprised of Cam’Ron, Jim Jones, Frekey Zekey and Jim Jones, the collective was responsible for several hits, including ‘Oh Boy’ and ‘Dipset Anthem’. However, before signing with Roc-A-Fella, the group had an interesting formation.
In an appearance on Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson’s All The Smoke podcast, Cam’Ron (real name Cameron Giles) unveiled that the formation of The Diplomats didn’t take place in Harlem or even in New York.
As confirmed by Snoop Dogg, in the late 1990s, one of the only hip-hop record labels making a substantial amount of money was No Limit. According to Giles, the No Limit craze penetrated New York and admitted that he studied how artists on the label formed crews with an unmistakable aesthetic. He saw how No Limit MCs all had the label’s pendant and wanted to recreate that in Harlem.
Speaking about the impact of No Limit and Mater P (real name Percy Miller) Giles explained, “N*ggas used to have No Limit fights on my block. N*ggas was in New York wearing camouflage. Master P had n*ggas going crazy. Mr. Serv-on, Mystikal, it got down with them n*ggas. Shaq was in the video. They talking about P got $400 million. N*ggas is going around buying fake tank chains. All type of shit. Master P had that shit in a frenzy.”
He continued, “I used to observe these arguments, like, ‘N*ggas is really going crazy about n*ggas who’s in the same clique,’ so I kinda took all that format to try to make the Diplomat brand.”
The Diplomats reached out to Master P in 2002 when the crew remade Miller’s 1996 classic, ‘Bout It, Bout It.’ The record executive and rapper even flew from New Orleans to Harlem for the video shoot to make the crossover official.
In a 2002 interview with MTV, Miller spoke about the crew, stating, “I’m definitely feeling Cam’ron, and I think we got good chemistry together. It’s been fun to be here in an environment where kids want to see it. It’s gonna be something good for the kids and something good for the streets, showing the different communities hooking up.”