Five Best Songs From Jim Jones’ ‘Harlem: Diary of a Summer’ Album
Jim Jones is equal parts thug and club maven in his music, so it was quite appropriate he cook up a little something to get the dance floor shaking and "Baby Girl," a cut from Harlem: Diary of a Summer, delivers. The rapper spits game to the ladies and ice-grills his haters and foes. Doing damage over a soundbed provided by producer Zukhan, One-Eyed Willie brings in former partner-in-crime Max B to run down the initiation process that goes into being down with the Dipset family to the ladies and opts to hold court on the verses. The first single released in promotion of Diary of a Summer, "Baby Girl" was the calm before the storm that would be Jim Jones' ascension to credible hit-maker.
Dipset is usually known to keep things in-house, but Capo decided to bring in a few heavy hitters on "What You Been Drankin On," which features guest spots from P. Diddy and Paul Wall in addition to former Dipset femme fatale Jha Jha. The third single released from Diary of a Summer, the track was produced by Hannon Lane and is a revved-up number that is the perfect backdrop to a drunken, yet festive night. Jones holds down the fort, but Diddy manages to steal the show with his quote-worthy verse, spitting, "Maybach like that chauffeur, money ain't too far from Oprah's / Should've seen what I paid my chauffeur, it's enough to buy you a 'rosta / This toaster, this holster, take you on a roller coaster." Paul Wall anchors the track with a resounding showing of his own, adding a screwed-up twist to the song that furthered Jones' rise to power.
Harlem: Diary of a Summer blesses has a true gem with the albums title track, "Harlem," a nostalgic cut Jones whips up to wax poetic on his uptown stomping grounds. Co-produced by Jimmy the Greek and Shiest Bub, the record is littered with references of Harlem staples, including Willie's Lounge, Kingdome and the Rucker, as well as memorable events of yesteryear that took place in the confines of what was once considered the hub of black America. "7th, Lenox, and what about the east side / Our barrio, we blowing smoke while we G-Ride," Jim Jones raps, repping hard for his hood. He turns in an anthem that still rings out north of 110th Street til this day.
The Capo proves he learned from the school of Snoop Dogg on the Diary of a Summer heater, "G's Up," which finds him saluting all the real gangsters while relegating promiscuous females to the sidelines. Produced by Pete Rock -- who utilizes a sample of "I Think You Need Love" by Dionne Warrick -- the beat is merry enough for a western saloon, yet gutter enough to rock a New York City block. Byrd Gang member Max B shines on the hook and verses, serving as a worthy co-star for Jim Jones to catch wreck alongside while giving the streets something to vibe to.
Dipset's resident Capo crafts an ode to the south Florida high life with "Summer With Miami," a sleek number from his sophomore LP featuring R&B crooner Trey Songz on the hook and ad-libs. Aside from being the second single released from the album and a moderate hit, the track also contained a few shots directed towards Nas and Jay Z, both of whom Jones had been embroiled in beef with throughout the first half of the aughts. First he takes God's Son to task with the lines, "Mama said I'm lovesick over this hot ass hoochie / First seen her when I told Nas I'd slap his koofie / We don't play disrespect, but that was the day that we met / Summer Jam '02, I hit the stage with my set."
Then he then sets his sight on Jay and the Roc-A-Fella boss' claim as king of the summer. "Her man, he was from Brooklyn, she still slid me the number / She said he's vacation so get wit me this summer / Now I been flirting with her for the past two years / So now she hate, say me and Winter ain't gonna last through the year / No I'm looking at Winter like life's an adventure / And when June comes, I'll be gone til September," Jones rhymes. The Harlem rhymer takes a swift jab at Jigga while creating a classic record in the process. Not bad for a glorified hypeman-turned-executive-turned-rapper.