The Diplomats - Diplomatic Immunity 2   
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written by Low Key    
A year after their Harlem street classic "Diplomatic Immunity", The Diplomats are back at it again with part two on Koch Records. While last years edition relied heavily on the Heatmakerz magnificent production and a strong showing from Cam'ron, Juelz Santana & Jim Jones, part two goes in a completely different direction. With the Heatmakerz only producing four tracks, the production is nowhere near as satisfying. In addition, "Diplomatic Immunity 2" is more of a mixtape that showcases the Dips up and coming talent, such as S.A.S., Jha Jha, Bugs, J.R. Writer & 40 Cal. Unfortunately, only J.R. Writer and 40 Cal are worth hearing, as Jha Jha, Bugs & S.A.S. put forth awfully bad tracks on the album.

The Diplomats newest group, S.A.S., is two London based emcees with a distinct style, but unfortunately, they fail to show as much promise as the rest of the Diplomats. With their heavy accents, generic lyrics and weak flow, the group falters on their efforts throughout the album. "So Free" which also features Cam'ron, is a tedious braggadocios effort from the duo that cannot even overcome a solid production effort from Rephan. "Duty Clap featuring Jim Jones, is a similar effort that also falters due to Boola's lackluster effort behind the boards with the songs uninspiring handclaps and rolling keys.

Besides S.A.S., newcomers Bugs and Jha Jha also flounder with their respective efforts. Producers Victor Barbb & Frank Visosky fail to match the Heatmakerz brilliance with their own version of chipmunk soul on Bugs' lackluster joint "Melalin". Moreover, Bugs' on and off, doubled timed flow sounds all too misplaced over the track's lush keys and vocal sample. Jha Jha, The Diplomats only female emcee, makes her debut on the dirty south bounce sounds of "Get From Round Me", but unfortunately, the results are not favorable. Jha's irritating and squeaky voice, combined with her lusterless lyrics makes for a boring experience that fails to show any promise.

While The Dips newcomers certainly make for an inconsistent album, the blame does not completely fall on their shoulders, as the veterans of the crew offer some filler material as well. The album's lead single, "S.A.N.T.A.N.A." is easily the worst song the Dips have ever put out. The Treblemakers (not to be confused with the Heatmakerz) offer the worse use of sped up vocals in the history of production (yeah, it's that bad). With an irritating and embarrassing child like voice mumbling throughout the song, its overwhelming how The Diplomats can release a song of such low quality. In addition, Nicole Wray's R&B jacking of "My Boo" for her track, "I Wanna Be Your Lady" featuring Cam'ron & J.R. Writer, was unnecessarily thrown on the album, sounding completely misplaced.

With most of the click offering disappointing efforts on "Diplomatic Immunity 2", it was up to Cam'ron, J.R. Writer and 40 Cal to come through, and thankfully, they did. J.R. Writer is the true highlight of the album, as the Dip's most talented lyricist destroys every track he is featured on. J.R. slaughters Develops heavy drums and lights keys on "Stop-N-Go" and Stay Getting's choppy beat on "Get Use To This", leaving a trail of fire behind. While his wordplay does get repetitive, overall, J.R. shows the most promise out of the crew with his effort on the album.

While not as hyped as J.R., 40 Cal also stands out with his only song, "40 Cal". Producer J. Fahre laces the track beautifully with a combination of ambient keys, triumphant horns and heavy bass. While 40 offers the usual assortment of gun and drug talk, he is able to provide some entertaining and catchy punch lines, making for a solid track. The recently released (from jail) Hell Rell also comes through with some heat on "Wouldn't You Like To Be Gangsta Too?". While lyrically, Rell is nothing to write home about, his gritty persona is able to over shadow his lack of lyrical dexterity.

However, not to be forgotten is Killa Cam. With a variety of his mixtape classic thrown on the album, Killa certainly does not disappoint. Along with Juelz and Un Kasa (who needs more face time), Killa rips Mase a new one on "Take 'Em To Church". Cam labels the ex-reverend as "fake prophet" who is only concerned with profits, proving that Mase wants no part of him. "Dead Motherfuckers" is another heat rock from Cam, as Stay Getting' laces Killa with a soulful vocal sample. However, it's Cam's all time classic, "Bigger Picture", which ends up as the album's main attraction. The Heatmakerz provide a classic production effort with their trademark vocal sample and hard-hitting drums, while Cam puts forth some very solid lyrics.

While The Diplomats core members can hold their own for an entire album, newcomers such as Jha Jha, S.A.S & Bugs have shown they are unable to do the same. With inconsistent emcee performances, as well as production efforts, "Diplomatic Immunity 2" fails to live up to the standards the first album set. Hopefully next time The Dips will focus their album around the group's most talented members and leave the newcomers to play the sidelines.

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