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BLACK FRED
07-27-2005, 05:39 PM
As the long standing VP of A&R for Diplomat Records, Duke Da God is much more comfortable laying in the cut negotiating deals and overseeing albums than he is as the latest emerging star of the Diplomat camp. Although heís not a lyricist, a point abundantly made clear by his habit of sporting an oversized black shirt that reads, ďI AM NOT A RAPPERĒ in bold white letters, he is releasing his debut CD Dipset: More Than Music Vol.1 (Koch).

Itís June 23 and Duke ďDa GodĒ is getting ready to launch the premiere show of Dip Setís latest venture, Dip Set Radio on Sirius Satellite. Flanked by Hell Rell and other Dip Set affiliates, Duke sat down for a minute pre-show to speak with HHDX. With a stacked roster of artists, a new situation at Atlantic and scores of mixtapes and full-length CDs flooding the streets, thereís no rest for a Dip Set soldier. But thatís exactly how they like it.

Down with Dip Set since day one, Duke was instrumental in putting together Children of the Corn with Cam, Mase, Big L and Bloodshed. Unfortunately, both Big L and Bloodshed have passed on, but not without remembrance. Bloodshedís vocals appear on the album on ďBloodshed R.I.P.Ē

The VP of A&R for Diplomat Records talks about Dip Setís new compilation, Dip Set Radio and why Harlem is back.

Whatís going on tonight?
Dip Set radio. Weíre going to launch it tonight. I got Jim Jones coming through. Hell Rell. Weíre going to introduce it like that.

Whatís your situation like with Sirius Satellite?
Weíre starting off every two weeks and after the first two months, we hope to go every week. Like a regular routine.

How did the show come about?
We were interested in having a radio show. We do the mixtapes. We got the streets. We do the Internet thing. We just donít have no radio presence. They gave us a nice little spot here so we thankful for that.

Talk about your compilation, More Than Music.
Itís a Diplomat compilation featuring all the Diplomats. I donít rap. Iím an A&R. I put the music together. I put the collaborations together.

How did you get involved with the Diplomats?
I started off, me and Cam from the same block. Iím from the East side of Harlem. Camís grandmother from the East Side of Harlem. We came up together. I was never an artist. Cam told me he didnít want me to rap. He wanted me to do something else. Be the road manager. I was always part of the group though. When he signed his deal in 1997, we always been together ever since. And now I get to executive produce the new Diplomat album.

What makes you such a key player?
I play for the team. I believe in teamwork. I work hard and treat everyone genuine. I put all my energy into it. I got a nice little staff. Everybody works real hard to lead the movement, lead the path. We keep it going hard.

Are you active with the street teams?
I do street team too. The mixtapes, I do that real hard. I distribute 1,000s throughout the country. I do that on a real high level. I take care of that. I do the Internet. I manage the site. I try to do the streets as well as the A&R, as far as taking care of the projects. I move with the movement. I take care of my man J.R. Writer, Hell Rell. Iím a fan of theirs. I like what theyíre doing. My man 40 Cal. Iím trying to make sure their projects are good. Cam, Jim, Juelz. I do a lot of little things on the side. Itís too much to keep up with. I have to just keep focused.

Now that Jim Jones is an executive at Warner Brothers, are you there too?
Iím over there right now with Jim. My office is where Jimís is at. Itís Dipset/Atlantic right now. Iím up there and helping him out. We trouble hoot, get at each other with projects. We got a big line-up. Lots of artists. Lot of work to do. I try to stay focused. Keep it Dip Set.

What does it mean to represent Harlem?
To be from Harlem means you got to have style. Another word for that is swagger. You got to have that hustler mentality. Harlem means hustling. Weíre known for getting money. You got to have that swag. Dress fly. Be sharp. Make sure everything is right.

What is one thing you have learned over the years about this business?
If you believe in something, go all the way with it. Just go all out. Also, listen to side talk and then you make a decision. Itís a lot of doís and donítís in this game. But just be confident.

zemben
07-27-2005, 09:04 PM
Sounds kinda old