Jim Jones Presents: A Dipset X-Mas
hen I mentioned this album in my review of Huster’s P.O.M.E., questions abounded. But it mostly boiled down to just two: “Just how blasphemous is it?” and “are you fucking kidding me?” As far as the latter goes, I can assure you this album actually exists. As for the former, it’s probably not all that blasphemous. I mean, doesn’t Dipset’s outrageous consumerism actually seem kinda sensible this time of the year?
To be honest, the Christmas theme actually softens the Dipset aesthetic into something that’s more easily enjoyable than usual. Shit, there should’ve been more holiday songs on here. “Have a Happy Christmas” is a genuinely heartwarming tale filled with memories of wiffle bats and Super Nintendo. And there’s not a gun in sight (unless it’s in aid of getting something under the tree for the kids come December 25th).
Sure, there’s nothing that could have stopped “Ballin’ on X-Mas” from happening; there’s the title and the fact that it’s a cover of “Christmas in Hollis,” which, thanks to BET playing it approximately 10,000 times each December, will end up as Run-DMC’s most influential song. But even so, Stack Bundles and Jones attack it with ridiculous flair. Wasn’t there some other way to keep it going? Why not go pan-religious with stuff like “Kufi Smackin’ On Ramadan” or “Hannukah At My Lawyer’s House”?
Alas: the transition from X-Mas to X-rated is about as jarring as possible: right after “If Everyday Was Xmas,” Jones begins calling out faggots, bitches, and hip-hop cops on “We Get Money.” But, hey, if the title A Dipset X-Mas seems a bit misleading, the “Jim Jones Presents” is pure truth. Jones outsources most of the mic time to guys you’ve never heard of. Too bad no one on Dipset’s second team does a whole lot to distinguish themselves. They mostly spit so-so NYC bluster over beats that could’ve been made in a half hour (and probably were). If nothing else, we witness the bizarre sea change of DipSet’s JV team imitating Jim Jones instead of Cam’ron.
Look, we’ve tolerated a lot of shit from Jim Jones that would probably be unexcused coming from someone like Diddy. But this pretty much crosses the line from everyday villainy to cartoonish super-villainy. How are you gonna have the audacity to say there’s three “bonus tracks” when this is pretty much a “bonus album” that would’ve been better as a four-song addition to holiday shipments of Hustler’s P.O.M.E.? Let’s face it: this is basically Jim Jones making a bald-faced request for ten dollars. You’d have to go back to Extremely Live to find a cash-grab as threadbare and obvious as A Dipset X-Mas.
Reviewed by: Ian Cohen
Reviewed on: 2006-12-05