Joseph Guillermo Jones II (born July 15, 1976), better known by his stage name Jim Jones, is an American hip hop recording artist and original member of hip hop collective The Diplomats, also known as Dipset. He is co-CEO of Diplomat Records, alongside childhood friend and fellow Harlem rapper Cam’ron. Jones is also a noted video director under the name CAPO, for artists includingCam’ron, Remy Ma, and State Property.
In 2004, he released his solo debut studio album, On My Way to Church. The release of his second album, Harlem: Diary of a Summer in 2005, coincided with Jones’ landing an executive position in A&Rat E1 Music. A year later he was on his third album, which spawned his biggest single to date, “We Fly High“. In 2006, he formed the rap group, ByrdGang. He also has his own freestyle inline skating team, Dipskate, which he plans to take to the X Games in the near future. On April 5, 2011 Jones released his fifth studio album, Capo.
Jim Jones was born in the Tremont section of The Bronx and was raised in Harlem. His mom, Nancy Jones, is Aruban and his late father was Puerto Rican and was raised mainly by his maternal grandmother. In an essay for Fader magazine, he stated that his mother would allow him to ride the train from their residence at 176th Street and Jerome Avenue to 110th Street and Lexington Avenue. He attended Catholic school but later began cutting church to loiter and play hooky at the train station. In Jim Jones’ The Come Up DVD, Vol. 19, he tells stories about growing up with rapper Freekey Zekey. Jones claimed he would stay at a store a block from the church he attended, and would go in and hang out with the owner; when the owner left, Jones said he took all the money in the register and the candy and would sell it in school; he was later expelled.
2004: On My Way to Church
On My Way to Church is Jones’ debut album. The album spawned two singles that made the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart: “Certified Gangstas” (featuring Cam’ron, Bezel and The Game), which reached #80, and “Crunk Muzik” (featuring his Dipset group members Cam’ron and Juelz Santana), which reached #84. The album peaked at #18 on the Billboard 200 chart, #3 on Billboard‘s Independent Albums chart, and #4 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.
2005: Harlem: Diary of a Summer
Harlem: Diary of a Summer, Jones’ second album, reached #5 on the Billboard 200 and topped the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and Independent Albums charts, selling 350,000 copies. Three of its singles placed on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop chart: “Baby Girl”, which reached #58; “Summer Wit’ Miami”, which reached #78; and “What You Been Drankin’ On?” (featuring Diddy, Paul Wall, and Jha Jha), which reached #106.
This song was among the most popular of 2006.
2006–08:Hustler’s P.O.M.E. (Product of My Environment)
Jones’ third album, Hustler’s P.O.M.E. (Product of My Environment), was more commercial and once again featured Dipset members along with Lil Wayne. The album spawned Jones’ biggest single to date, “We Fly High”. Jones introduced a signature dance move in the “We Fly High” video, throwing up a fake jump shot every time the ad-lib “Ballin!’” was stated in the song. This dance move became so popular that it inspired Michael Strahan and Plaxico Burress to do the dance move after big plays during a Monday Night Football game in 2006.
From 2006 to 2008, Jones released a collaborative album with his rap group ByrdGang, titled M.O.B.: The Album, which peaked at #29 on the BillBoard 200, selling 16,000 the first week in stores and eventually selling 65,000 units. He has two Christmas compilation albums, A Dipset X-Mas and A Tribute To Bad Santa Starring Mike Epps, and a load of mixtapes, including Harlem’s American Gangster, which peaked at #19 on the Billboard 200 chart and spawned his single “Love Me No More“.
2009: Pray IV Reign and The Rooftop
Jones’ fourth studio album, Pray IV Reign, released March 24, 2009, was his major record label debut. The album peaked at #9 on the Billboard 200 chart. On July 8, Jones released a promotional single titled “The Good Stuff” featuring NOE.The album features “Pop Champagne“, producer Ron Browz, and Juelz Santana. A bonus track on the album is “Jackin’ Swagga From Us” with Twista, NOE, and Lil Wayne, which takes shots at T.I. and Jay-Z for allegedly stealing their styles and mocking their song “Swagga Like Us“. It is his first solo album under Columbia Records. Along with releasing the album, Jones headlined in an off-Broadway musical called Hip-Hop Monologues: Inside the Life and Mind of Jim Jones, produced byDamon Dash and Footage Entertainment. In 2009, Jim Jones became Vice President of Urban A&R at Koch Records, which is now E1 Music.
On June 11, Jim Jones appeared on 106 & Park along with DJ Webstar and announced that they will be releasing an album together titled The Rooftop. He also announced that his documentary, This Is Jim Jones, will be released June 30, 2009. The first single off the album is “Dancin on Me“, featuring Juelz Santana. It was officially released via iTunes, April 28. On September 22, hip hop website, RapRuckus, stated the album was scheduled for an October 6, 2009 release. The second single is titled “She Can Get It”.
In late 2009, Jones left Columbia. According to XXLMag.com, Jones signed a deal to release his next solo album on E1, as well as a mixtape. The mixtape, titled The Ghost of Rich Porter, was released March 23, 2010.
2010–present: Capo, Dipset reunion and The Rooftop 2
Jones’ fifth studio album, Capo, was released April 5, 2011 on E1. On November 3, Jones released a mixtape, titled Capo Life, to promote the album and celebrate the launch of his new website. The lead single off Capo, “Perfect Day” featuringChink Santana and LOGiC, was released on iTunes December 7, 2010. The album is the first to feature Cam’ron since Hustler’s P.O.M.E. (Product of My Environment), other guest appearances include rappers Game, Lloyd Banks, Prodigy,Raekwon and R&B singers Rell and Ashanti among others, and features notable production from longtime collaborator Chink Santana, Aaron LaCrate, Wyclef Jean, Drumma Boy and Lamont “LOGiC” Coleman. The album peaked at number 20 on the Billboard 200, selling 21,000 copies in its first week, making Capo his lowest charting album to date.
In April 2010, Cam’ron and Jim Jones announced they ended their feud. On June 26, 2010 Jones reunited with Cam’ron and Juelz Santana on a track titled “Salute”, marking the return of The Diplomats. They have begun working on an album together, and have been reportedly working with Dr. Dre.
On October 1, 2011 when Funkmaster Flex premiered a song on New York City‘s Hot 97 titled “It Ain’t My Fault” featuring rappers T-Rex, Boogie Black and Sen City, it was revealed that it was the first offering off of Webstar and Jones’ upcoming second collaborative effort The Rooftop 2. On October 30, 2011, for the Halloween holiday, Jones released a mixtape titled Vampire Life: We Own the Night. The tape features twenty-four tracks, including bonus tracks, freestyles, and guest appearances from Meek Mill, J.R. Writer, Chink Santana, 2 Chainz, Maino, Yo Gotti, Jadakiss, and Danny!,among others.
According to an interview with Tru-Life in the June/July 2006 issue of Complex Magazine, rumors had spread that Tru-Life was referring to Jim Jones in his diss song “New New York”. Jim Jones reportedly began calling several rappers and telling them that he had a DVD of Tru-Life dissing them. Tru-Life responded by calling Dipset bosses Cam’ron & Jim Jones “bitches”.Tru-Life
Jones responded by challenging Tru-Life to a brawl with US$50,000 at stake.Months later, Jones told an interviewer that Tru-Life did not respond to the challenge, does not count in the rap industry, and lacked the money and heart to accept Jones’ challenge.
The argument continued into 2007, when Tru-Life released his DJ J-Love hosted mixtape titled Tru York with Dipset diss tracks and whose cover superimposes an image of Jim Jones’ face over a swimsuit-clad Borat picture.
Jones’ dispute with Tru-Life may have stemmed from a dispute between Cam’ron and Jay-Z, as Tru-Life was signed to Jay-Z’s Roc-La-Familia label at the time. Jim Jones has also dissed Jay-Z’s performance as president of Def Jam Recordings.
Jay-Z has since responded with a “diss” track called “Brooklyn High” over the beat from Jones’ “We Fly High“. On December 1, 2006, BET‘s Access Granted debuted the video for Jones’ “We Fly High” remix, with Diddy, Baby, T.I., Young Dro, and added Juelz Santana‘s verse from his response on the “We Fly High Beef Mix”.
On December 22, 2008, Jones had an altercation with Jay-Z associate, Vaughn “Jayvon” Smith, at a Louis Vuitton store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue and turned himself into the police shortly afterward. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge and was sentenced to time served – the few hours he was in custody after turning himself in to police in January. Jones’ defense attorney, Scott Leemon, stated that Jones didn’t start the fight but pleaded guilty because he did not want to risk probation – and potential touring restrictions – if convicted. Jones still faced a civil suit Smith filed after the incident. MTV reports: Smith is the brother of Tyran “Ty Ty” Smith, who works with Ne-Yo and the longtime best friend and colleague of Jones’ lyrical nemesis, Jay-Z. In February 2009, Ne-Yo stated on Power 106 radio in Los Angeles that Jones and Smith “have had drama in the past”.
Jayvon was shopping with Ne-Yo when the altercation occurred, and initial reports indicated that Jones’ altercation was with Ne-Yo. However, it was later revealed that Jones did not get into an altercation with Ne-Yo; the false rumor was intended to increase tension.
|2005||State Property 2||Jimmy Jones||Direct-to-video DVD|
|2005||A Day in the Fast Life||himself||Direct-to-video DVD|
|2006||Killa Season||himself||Direct-to-video DVD|
|2007||The Wire||Man standing in front of store||Cameo/Extra|
|2009||This Is Jim Jones||himself||Documentary Direct-to-video DVD|
|2009||Red Apples Falling||himself||Feature Film|
Jim Jones appeared on Season 5, episode 8 of the critically acclaimed TV drama The Wire on HBO on August 29, 2009. He is seen as one of Marlo Stanfield’s henchmen.
Jones also appears in seasons 1 and 2 of the VH1 show Love & Hip Hop (which premiered March 14, 2011 and November 11, 2011, respectively); the show loosely follows events in his, and his fiance Chrissy Lampkin’s, personal life.
- 2009, Best Collaboration ft. Ron Browz & Juelz Santana ‘Pop Champagne’ (Won)