“Cam’s bettin’ the house on me” declares Juelz Santana on
Diplomatic Immunity’s “Ground Zero.” So given that disclosure,
don’t be surprised to see Cam’ron out on the streets soon.
Juelz, much like the other Diplomats – Cam, Jimmy Jones and
Freeky Zeeky – doesn’t flow well, and Immunity is a showcase of
impressive production, horrible rhyming and amazing stupidity that
would be funnier were it not obvious that the Diplomats thoroughly
buy into all the drivel that so readily flows out of their mouths.
The album’s glorification of the asinine commences from its outset,
“Un Casa,” a song on which a character of the same name shouts out
“Taliban, bitch.” Absolutely stunning.
From there, the record’s verses never improve as the nuggets of
ignorance pile up, and many listeners may grow frustrated knowing
that a major label actually allowed this album’s creation and
dissemination. Through the persistent shouts to the Dip Set
Taliban, incessant boasts about preeminent drug slangin’, and
moronic invocations of the 9/11 tragedy, the Diplomats redefine
“vacuous” and “worthless.” Their preoccupation with Sept. 11 is
almost offensive given the meaningless context they construct
around the subject.
Such lyrical ineptitude is also unworthy of the fine beats that
the Diplomats “rhyme” over. A sample-driven double album, Immunity
gets excellent productions from a smattering of producers including
Roc-a-fella standbys Kanye West and Just Blaze and newer beatsmiths
like Heatmakerz. The wide sampling of beat makers lends the record
a varied tone, something necessary given this release’s bloated
track listing. Unmistakably, the LP should have been a single disc,
yet the extended length allows listeners to hear all manners of
sample styles, from the rock of “Built This City” to the soul of
“Who I Am.” The production display can be engaging, and among the
better beats are Spike n’ Jamahl’s “Ground Zero,” Hiroshima’s “The
First” and the Heatmakerz’s “Dip Set Anthem.”
The puerile Diplomats habitually ruin such fine beats, though.
“I Love You” epitomizes this problem, and those who pay attention
to Juelz on the track will invariably shake their heads having
heard one of the worst recorded verses in some time: He doesn’t
actually rhyme and commonly addresses that problem by using the
same word repeatedly.
At the beginning of this record, Cam and Casa waste studio time
incessantly asking each other “What’s really good?” By the album’s
conclusion, it’s clear that the answer is the record’s beats, but
not the Diplomats.
2 1/2 Stars