Joseph Guillermo Jones II (born July 15, 1976), better known by his stage name Jim Jones (formerly Jimmy Jones), is an American rapper, record executive, and music video director. Jones, an original member of hip hop collective the Diplomats (also known as Dipset), is also the co-CEO of Diplomat Records, alongside longtime friend and fellow Harlem-bred rapper, Cam'ron. Jones is also a noted music video director under the pseudonym CAPO, having directed videos for artists including Cam'ron, Juelz Santana, Remy Ma and State Property.
In 2004, he released his solo debut album On My Way to Church. The release of his second album, Harlem: Diary of a Summer in 2005, coincided with Jones landing an executive position in A&R at Entertainment One Music. A year later he was on his third album Hustler's P.O.M.E. (Product of My Environment) (2006), which spawned his biggest single to date, "We Fly High". The song reached number five on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
In 2006, Jones also formed the hip hop group and label ByrdGang. The group released their debut album M.O.B.: The Album, under the newly found label in 2008. Jones followed up with his fourth solo album Pray IV Reign, which was released in March 2009, under Columbia Records. The album spawned the hit single "Pop Champagne". In April 2011, Jones released his fifth album, Capo, which was supported by the lead single, "Perfect Day". He returned on 31 May 2019, for his sixth studio album titled El Capo, which featured the likes of Dave East, Rick Ross, among others. Early life
Jim Jones was born in The Bronx borough of New York City and was raised in Harlem. His mother, Nancy Jones, is Aruban while his late father, Joseph Guillermo Jones was Puerto Rican. Jim Jones was raised mainly by his maternal grandmother. In an essay for Fader magazine, he stated that his mother would allow him to ride the train from their residence at 176th Street and Jerome Avenue to 110th Street and Lexington Avenue. He attended Catholic school but later began skipping church to loiter and play hooky at the train station. In Jim Jones' The Come Up DVD, Vol. 19, he tells his story about growing up with fellow rapper Freekey Zekey. Jones claimed he would stay at a store a block from the church he attended, and would go in and hang out with the owner; when the owner left, Jones said he took all the money in the register and the candy and would sell it in school; he was later expelled.
2004–05: On My Way to Church and Harlem: Diary of a Summer
On My Way to Church is Jones' debut album. The album spawned two singles that made the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart: "Certified Gangstas" (featuring Cam'ron, Bezel and The Game), which reached number 80, and "Crunk Muzik" (featuring his Dipset cohorts Cam'ron and Juelz Santana), which reached number 84. The album peaked at number 18 on the US Billboard 200 chart, number three on Billboard's Independent Albums chart, and number four on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.
Harlem: Diary of a Summer, Jones' second album, reached number five on the Billboard 200 and topped the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and Independent Albums charts, selling 350,000 copies. Three of its singles placed on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart: "Baby Girl", which reached number 58; "Summer Wit' Miami", which reached number 78; and "What You Been Drankin' On?" (featuring Diddy, Paul Wall, and Jha Jha), which reached number 106.
"We Fly High"
This song was among the most popular of 2006.
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2006–09: Hustler's P.O.M.E., Pray IV Reign and The Rooftop
Jones' third album Hustler's P.O.M.E. (Product of My Environment), was more commercial and once again featured Dipset members along with Lil Wayne. The album spawned Jones' biggest single to date, "We Fly High". Jones introduced a signature dance move in the "We Fly High" video, throwing up a fake jump shot every time the ad-lib "Ballin!'" was stated in the song. This dance move became so popular that it inspired Michael Strahan and Plaxico Burress to do the dance move after big plays during a Monday Night Football game in 2006.
From 2006 to 2008, Jones released a collaborative album with his rap group ByrdGang, titled M.O.B.: The Album, which peaked at number 29 on the Billboard 200, selling 16,000 the first week in stores and eventually selling 65,000 units. He has two Christmas compilation albums, A Dipset X-Mas and A Tribute To Bad Santa Starring Mike Epps, and a load of mixtapes, including Harlem's American Gangster, which peaked at number 19 on the Billboard 200 chart and spawned his single "Love Me No More".
Jones' fourth studio album, Pray IV Reign, released March 24, 2009, was his major record label debut. The album peaked at number nine on the Billboard 200 chart. On July 8, Jones released a promotional single titled "The Good Stuff" featuring NOE. The album features "Pop Champagne", producer Ron Browz, and Juelz Santana. A bonus track on the album is "Jackin' Swagga From Us" with Twista, NOE, and Lil Wayne, which takes shots at T.I. and Jay-Z for allegedly stealing their styles and mocking their song "Swagga Like Us". It is his first solo album under Columbia Records. In 2009, Jim Jones became Vice President of Urban A&R at Koch Records, which is now E1 Music. On June 11, Jim Jones appeared on BET's 106 & Park along with DJ Webstar and announced that they will be releasing an album together titled The Rooftop. He also announced that his documentary, This Is Jim Jones, will be released June 30, 2009. The first single from the album is "Dancin on Me", featuring Juelz Santana. It was officially released via iTunes on April 28. On September 22, hip hop website, RapRuckus, stated the album was scheduled for an October 6, 2009 release. The second single is titled "She Can Get It". In late 2009, Jones left Columbia. According to XXLMag.com, Jones signed a deal to release his next solo album on E1, as well as a mixtape.
2010–present: Capo, Dipset reunion and Vampire Life series
The mixtape, titled The Ghost of Rich Porter, was released March 23, 2010. In April 2010, Cam'ron and Jim Jones announced they ended their feud. On June 26, 2010 Jones reunited with Cam'ron and Juelz Santana on a track titled "Salute", marking the return of the Diplomats. They have begun working on an album together, and have been reportedly working with Dr. Dre. In 2010 it was confirmed that Jones had started up a new record label imprint with Damon Dash entitled Splash Records. On April 5, 2011 Jones' released his fifth studio album, Capo, on E1. On November 3, Jones released a mixtape, titled Capo Life, to promote the album and celebrate the launch of his new website. The lead single off Capo, "Perfect Day" featuring Chink Santana and LOGiC, was released on iTunes December 7, 2010. The album is the first to feature Cam'ron since Hustler's P.O.M.E. (Product of My Environment). Other guest appearances include rappers Game, Lloyd Banks, Prodigy, Raekwon and R&B singers Rell and Ashanti among others, and features notable production from longtime collaborator Chink Santana, Aaron LaCrate, Wyclef Jean, Drumma Boy and Lamont "LOGiC" Coleman. The album peaked at number 20 on the Billboard 200, selling 21,000 copies in its first week, making Capo his lowest charting album to date.
On October 1, 2011 when Funkmaster Flex premiered a song on New York City's Hot 97 titled "It Ain't My Fault" featuring rappers T-Rex, Boogie Black and Sen City, it was revealed that it was the first offering from Webstar and Jones' upcoming second collaborative effort The Rooftop 2. In the summer of 2011, he was featured on Randyn Julius "Party Tonight" with Teyana Taylor and fellow Dispet member Cam'ron. On October 30, 2011, for the Halloween holiday, Jones released a mixtape titled Vampire Life: We Own the Night. The tape features twenty-four songs, including bonus tracks, freestyles and guest appearances from Meek Mill, J.R. Writer, Chink Santana, 2 Chainz, Maino, Yo Gotti and Jadakiss among others.
On May 1, 2012 Jones released the second installment of his Vampire Life series entitled Vampire Life 2, it went on to be downloaded over 300,000 times on mixtape-sharing website DatPiff. On March 11, 2013, Jones announced he was working on two new mixtapes V3 (Vampire Life 3) and The Ghost Of Rich Porter 2. Vampire Life 3 was released on August 13, 2013. On December 3, 2013, Jim Jones released an extended play (EP), titled We Own the Night. The EP was supported by the single "Nasty Girl", featuring American singer Jeremih. On June 24, 2014, Jones released a single titled "Wit the Shit", featuring American singer Trey Songz. In July 2014, Jones revealed he would be releasing another EP, titled We Own The Night Pt. 2: Memoirs of a Hustler; it was released on September 9.
On January 1, 2015 well known DJ Funkmaster Flex announced via Instagram that he had spoken to fellow Diplomat members Cam'ron, Jim Jones and Juelz Santana about an upcoming Diplomats mixtape which included fellow member Freekey Zeekey. He also stated that he would be hosting the mixtape along with DJs/producers DJ Khaled, Swizz Beatz and DJ Mustard.
Genres Hip Hop, Rap
Years active 2006–2010
Labels ByrdGang, Asylum, M.O.B.
Past members Jim Jones
Stack Bundles (deceased)
Jones formed Byrdgang in 2006, composed of select members of Purple City Productions and Diplomat Records. The group released their debut album, M.O.B.: The Album on Asylum Records.
Music video director
Throughout the early years of his music career Jones was known for being the hypeman of his group the Diplomats, but he was also shooting most of the music videos during their successful early career.
Through 2007 and 2008, Jones was known for creating the rapper rockstar style which was very popular at the time. He eventually created his own "Nostic" clothing label.
In late 2011 Jones was thinking of a new clothing line, and in early 2012 made it official with his brand "Vampire Life", co-owned by Dame Dash. The clothing line is sold throughout New York City, and Jones is looking to expand it worldwide.
Jones made his acting debut in the film State Property 2.He also appeared on the show Crash: The Series. Jones played one of Marlo Stanfield's henchmen on Season 5, episode 8 of the critically acclaimed TV drama The Wire on HBO on February 24, 2008. Along with releasing the album Capo, Jones headlined in an off-Broadway musical called Hip-Hop Monologues: Inside the Life and Mind of Jim Jones, produced by Damon Dash and Footage Entertainment.
Jones also appears in seasons 1 and 2 of the VH1 show Love & Hip Hop: New York (which premiered March 14, 2011 and November 11, 2011, respectively); the show loosely follows events in his personal life and that of his fiancée, Chrissy Lampkin. Jones also stars in season 1 of the VH1 show Chrissy & Mr. Jones; the show follows him and Lampkin, focusing on their personal lives.
Jones has his own freestyle inline skating team, Dipskate, which he plans to take to the X Games in the near future.
In December 2017, he became part owner of the Richmond Roughriders of the American Arena League.
According to an interview with Tru-Life in the June/July 2006 issue of Complex Magazine, rumors had spread that Tru-Life was referring to Jim Jones in his diss track "New New York". Jim Jones reportedly began calling several rappers and telling them that he had a DVD of Tru-Life disrespecting them. Tru-Life responded by calling Dipset bosses Cam'ron and Jim Jones "bitches."
Jones responded by challenging Tru-Life to a brawl with US$50,000 at stake. Months later, Jones told an interviewer that Tru-Life did not respond to the challenge, does not count in the rap industry, and lacked the money and heart to accept Jones' challenge.
The argument continued into 2007, when Tru-Life released his DJ J-Love hosted mixtape titled Tru York with Dipset disrespect tracks and whose cover superimposes an image of Jim Jones' face over a swimsuit-clad Borat picture.
Jones' dispute with Tru-Life may have stemmed from a dispute between Cam'ron and Jay Z, as Tru-Life was signed to Jay Z's Roc-La-Familia label at the time. Jim Jones has also criticized Jay Z's performance as president of Def Jam Recordings.
Jay Z has since responded with a "diss" track called "Brooklyn High" over the beat from Jones' "We Fly High". On December 1, 2006, BET's Access Granted debuted the video for Jones' "We Fly High" remix, with Diddy, Baby, T.I., Young Dro, and added Juelz Santana's verse from his response on the "We Fly High Beef Mix".
On December 21, 2008, Jones had an altercation with Jay Z's ex-associate, Vaughn "Jayvon" Smith, at a Louis Vuitton store on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue and turned himself in to the police shortly afterward. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge and was sentenced to time served – the few hours he was in custody after turning himself in to police in January. Jones' defense attorney, Scott Leemon, stated that Jones didn't start the fight but pleaded guilty because he did not want to risk probation – and potential touring restrictions – if convicted. Jones still faced a civil suit Smith filed after the incident. MTV reports: Smith is the brother of Tyran "Ty Ty" Smith, who works with Ne-Yo and the longtime best friend and colleague of Jones' lyrical nemesis, Jay Z. In February 2009, Ne-Yo stated on Power 106 radio in Los Angeles that Jones and Smith "have had drama in the past".
Jayvon was shopping with Ne-Yo when the altercation occurred, and initial reports indicated that Jones' altercation was with Ne-Yo. However, it was later revealed that Jones did not get into an altercation with Ne-Yo; the false rumor was intended to increase tension.
In 2017, the two rappers ended their rivalry and Jim Jones signed to Jay-Z's Roc Nation.
During this time, Cam'ron and Jones were not speaking to each other, leading to speculation that the group had broken up. However, despite admitting that he did not want to contact Jones, Cam'ron said that he had no hard feelings towards him. In an interview with Miss Info, Cam'ron said: "I still haven't spoken to Jim. But Jim ran with me for over 10 years, he worked hard, and I wish him the best of luck. Everybody thinks I'm mad at Jim. Why am I mad? I told people for years that Jimmy was gonna be a star. So it's better on my resume. I wish him the best." But after three years of not speaking, Cam'ron and Jim Jones mended their differences in April 2010. In late 2011, both appeared together on Wolfgang Gartner's album Weekend in America, on the track "Circus Freaks".
In early 2014, Jim Jones criticized ASAP Mob for copying his fashionable style. In an interview with HNHH.com, he explained: "They weren’t from the street, they’re a good group of kids and they’re artistic, but they’re not from the street and their style is way different than what we do. It’s a little bit far out there for me. We got bonafide swag and the definition of get fly, ya dig? I’m not trying to disrespect them—A$AP Mob is doing it, they got their numbers and they’re doing what they like to do—but they’re nothing like the Diplomats. They didn’t come up hanging and banging and hustling and really touching the pavement, ya dig? It’s a big difference. We don’t wear kilts and we don’t wear tight sweatpants and funny sneakers. That’s not our style. Price point and high fashion don’t really make it cool. I’ll still go in Wal-Mart and come out and niggas will still think it’s Versace." Angered by his comments, Juicy J provided additional vocals on ASAP Mob member ASAP Rocky's solo single, "Multiply", which in the end, took a subliminal shot at Jones. It says: "Fake ass niggas, you know what I'm sayin'? These niggas be out here, talkin' 'bout they them streets niggas and shit, but man… Niggas be gettin' extorted like a ma' fucker out here. You know what I'm sayin'?
Previously, Jones and Rocky linked together for the track, "Freeze", which appeared on the ASAP Mob mixtape, 2012's Lords Never Worry. Since then, the dispute between the ASAP Mob and Jim Jones seemed to have cooled down after a photo was posted on The Game's Instagram account showing the overall three rappers partying in a nightclub.
In July 2012, a social media-related conflict between Jim Jones and rapper Azealia Banks had started after Banks dissed the rapper for getting more credit for her phrase "Vamp", as in Jones' mixtape series and label of the same name, Vampire Life, or his track "Vamp Life". Enraged, Banks dissed Jim Jones again via a track titled "Succubi".