Earlier this month, an M.I.A. Cam’ron surfaced, revealing to New York’s Miss Info that he had sold Juelz Santana’s contract to Def Jam for $2 million, making way for Juelz to sign directly with the label and ready his first album since 2005.
Why the wait? Why the slow down in material from the young Dipset member? Was he jus being lazy? Falling back? There was actually more going on behind the scenes people didn’t know about.
It’s been long rumored that turmoil had plagued the Dipset hierarchy for over a year now. First, it was Jim Jones going through it with Cam, and then people speculated whether or not Juelz had a problem. While Juelz never addressed any qualms publicly, he was definitely not seeing eye to eye with Cam, and finally admits it.
When speaking with MTV recently, Juelz claims that his slow down in material is Cam’ron’s fault. In fact, he says that the Dipset founder has blocked him from doing some high profile collaborations over the past few years by not clearing his verses. In particular, a Nike commercial and Chris Brown’s “Run It!,” which the head of the Dipset sued for compensation.
When MTV asked how many collaborations didn’t take place because of the situation, he responded “tons.”
“I’m just gonna say a lot of big records. … I was on a good portion of those records, or asked to be on a good portion of those records that [Lil] Wayne was on — along with him, not like they asked me before they asked him, or vice versa,” Juelz said. “I know I was on a good portion of those records, ’cause the I Can’t Feel My Face thing. We were pushing that hard. People wanted to get both of us. I couldn’t go as far as the clearances. I could do my verse, then it got to the point where I couldn’t go there with people, because I didn’t want them to think that it was me being the bad guy not clearing stuff. I didn’t want that on my name. So, I would let people know, ‘I can’t really. … If you wanna just put it out on the mixtapes, we could do that all day. The fans definitely missed out on a lot of Juelz due to my contract.”
Despite being held back by his former mentor, Santana doesn’t hold any grudges. He’s actually grateful towards Cam’ron for giving him the chance to make it out of the hood.
“I have no hard feelings towards Cam,” he explained. “I tell people I couldn’t do business with him. But I will say he gave me the biggest chance I needed. I’m a dude from the hood, so the chance he gave me is a chance I needed to never turn back. I’m good.”
However, Santana did admit when he first heard about Cam leaking the news to Miss Info, he was upset. “I was upset about the part of me being ‘sold for $2 million,’ ” Santana told MTV News. “At times like this, nobody is trying to ‘sell’ me. I could have come out and said, ‘Oh, yeah, Cam got bought out.’ But I didn’t go that route. They just gotta watch me move. We gonna make it hot.”
In the meantime, Juelz is prepping a new album titled Born To Lose, Built To Win, and plans to start a new movement and crew called the Skull Gang, which he said stands for “Street Kids United by Loyalty and Loot, Goons and N****s Getting It.”
Despite new factions branching off out of the Diplomats camp, Santana makes it clear the crew is still intact. But for those waiting for a new album from the entire group, he says you gotta ask Cam for that answer.
“It’s no hard feelings, and now that I’m out of my situation, I don’t mind putting a Diplomat album together,” he explains. “All I gotta do is tell my lawyer to handle the business the right way, and the music gets taken care of. I love making music. We all love making music. Me, Jim, Zeke — we all down to do the Diplomat album. You gotta ask Cam what’s up about the Diplomat album when you get him front of this same camera.”
“[People were] looking at us like we’re disloyal. But as the time went by, it’s kinda like, what we gonna do, just die out because the dude that was supposed to be the boss and the head of the table decided to disappear? That means we would have vanished along with that. We from Harlem, baby. We hustlers,” he continued.
Born To Lose, Built To Win is expected sometime next year.