When I think of Harlem, two rappers come to mind for me…Diddy and Jim Jones…that’s right Jim Jones of Dipset, I know there are guys like Mase, Doug E Fresh, Biz Markie, A$AP Ferg and of course Dipset Head Honcho Cam’Ron that many may think of before him. However, for me besides Diddy he truly embodies the Hustler Spirit and Mentality that is Harlem, New York. When you think of Dipset, Jim may not be everyone’s favorite out of the collective (Juelz is mine), but has been the most consistent and visible out of everyone. With “Wasted Talent”, his 9th Album as well as his 28th Project (Albums, EPs & Mixtapes Combined), Jim displays why my theory may prove to be correct and why he will not be stopping anytime soon.
Incorporating skits and samples throughout project from the movie “A Bronx Tale”, “Wasted Talent” is an example of a classic Dipset project while still showing Jim’s growth as a lyricist. On the project, longtime Dipset production duo The Heatmakerz handle majority of the production on 5 of the 18 tracks with help from other top producers like Jahlil Beats, DJ Relly Rel and Dougie on The Beat on the rest of the tracks. From first glance the album is very feature heavy ranging from new comers like Mozzy and YFN Lucci to more veteran rappers like Jadakiss, Yo Gotti and his Dipset comrades Cam’ron and Juelz Santana.
The first track after the Intro, “Never Did 3 Quarters” has Jim setting the scene for the kind of vibe the album will be like, the line that stood out to me was “They treating Meek like he the Unabomber/Abusing your power, that's how you do your Honor?” speaking out against the criminal justice system; specifically the judge who sentenced rapper Meek Mill to jail. “Dust & Powder” featuring Jadakiss is a street hustler’s anthem and shows respect that Jim still has to still be able to get a fellow vet to hop on a track with him.
Another standout for me was “Bangin’ “ featuring West Coast upstart Mozzy that has Jim letting everyone know he was the one who put being a Blood Gang member in New York City popular while Mozzy speaks on his viewpoint as a gang member in Los Angeles.
“Got to B Real” is a special record because it is an ode to Jim’s long time fiancée Chrissy. The record find Jim letting her know she is a real one for standing by his side through thick and thin despite the fact they still have not gotten married, as she wants to. Other standouts include “Diplomatic Immunity” featuring Cam’ron, which samples Drake’s song of the same title, “Bag Talk” featuring Miami’s own Ball Greezy, and “Still Dipset” featuring Juelz Santana.
The only negatives I have for the album are I think “Bangin’ “ and “Catch On Yet” were too short, could’ve benefitted from one more verse from Jim, both tracks end after two verses. In addition, “Living My Best Life” featuring Eric Bellinger, in my opinion as a Eric Bellinger fan was a wasted feature that Eric mailed in despite Jim saying in an interview with Billboard recently they were in studio together when they recorded it.
One of the standout lines and the basis for the album from the movie is, "The saddest thing in life is wasted talent.” With this new album, Jim Jones is letting everyone know that as a Harlem Bred hustler he will not be wasting his anytime soon. Now if only we could Diplomatic Immunity 3 sometime soon…