Review: It Was 2003 All Over Again On The Diplomats’ ‘Pledge Of Allegiance’ Tour Stop In New York

Live Reviews

Harlem World’s very own Diplomats brought out New York City’s grittiest thugs and thugettes last night (Feb. 24) as they kicked off their Pledge of Allegiance tour with DJ Funk Master Flex. The Dipset crew—comprised of Cam’Ron, Jim Jones, Juelz Sanatana and Freeky Zekey—packed Manhattan’s B.B. King Blues Club & Grill, bringing back the early 2000s with their classic catalog.

To set the party off, opening acts, rappers Chris Webby and Fetty Wap, lit up the stage with their brief sets but it was Wap’s infectious single “Trap Queen” that had the venue cooking pies, with or without their baes. Brooklyn’s rising dope boy, Troy Ave—clad in a long fur coat and New York Yankee jersey—also took the mic and ran through his street hits like “Doo Doo,” “Your Style” and “All About The Money.”

Flex continued spinning, satisfying the crowd by dropping bombs on throwback singles like 50 Cent’s “What Up Gangsta,” Biggie’s “One More Chance” and despite the so-called beef with Hov, Jay Z’s “Public Service Announcement” came blaring through the speakers. Later, Flex joked, “Don’t text me with all caps,” referring to a text message that Jay sent to Flex after the DJ said that Jay’s Life + Times website is trash. It was the perfect LOL moment to kick off an evening with Cam & Co.

As the clock struck 11pm, Killa Cam’s better half, Juju, graced the stage and offering up some eye candy before the Diplomats strolled on-stage to a thunderous applause. Their set commenced with their latest tracks, “Have My Money” and “Do Something.”

To a crowd of weed smokers and liquor chuggers, the rap quartet brought back hood memories with live renditions of their vibrant Diplomatic Immunity album. Juelz Santana performed the emotionally raw track “I’m Ready”  before reminding everyone of the electricity he brought to Dipset years ago. Even entourage member Murph brought the laughs with animated dances throughout the set.

Cam even called out members of the crew crowding the stage, saying, “Yo, y’all got to back the fuck up. It’s a hundred niggas on stage and only four niggas performing. I need to wiggle a little bit.” It was a friendly reminder why hip-hop loves Cam and Dipset.

The Harlem collective then banged out their solo gems, individually. A buff Jim Jones—more laidback than his 2000s self— spazzed on cuts like “Certified Gangstaz,” “Pop Champagne,” “We Fly High,” “Emotionless” and “848“. Santana followed with his own rap stash, including “Mic Check,” “There It Go (The Whistle Song),” “Murda Murda,” “Oh Yes,” and crowd favorite “S.A.N.T.A.N.A.”

Killa was up next, rocking three gold chains with a hefty “C,” zipping through hits like “Wet Wipes,” “Touch It Or Not,” “Down And Out,” “Get Em Girls,” and “Get Em Daddy (Remix),” where Hell Rell made an appearance. 2015 became 2003 with the quickness.

Dipset closed the night as a unit, performing their smashes “Crunk Muzik,” “Salute,” “Hey Ma,” “Oh Boy,” “Dipset Anthem,” and “I Really Mean It.” Dipset reminded fans how team work makes the dream work.—darryl @darry_robertson