Jim Jones

Jim Jones

Jim Jones has been on the block since 1997, riding shotgun with his longtime friend Cam'ron. "I've been with him in the game since his horse and carriage days," he professes. "I've been on every album he did. I just stayed patient until it was my time to blow up." And now it looks like that time has come. This time Jones is behind the wheel, riding fast and furious to the top.

On My Way to Church is the title of his debut cd. "I came up very church-oriented family. My grandmother used to send me to Sunday school after I was able to go out on my own, I would end up playing video games or on the block hustling trying to make money. So I left the house and I haven't gotten to church yet. I'm still trying to find my way there," says Jim Jones.

From track to track, Jones spits rhymes, tells stories and teaches what true hip hop is all about. With guest shots by T.I., Lil Flip, Chico DeBarge, Bizzy Bone and of course, Cam'ron and their clique the Diplomats, On My Way to Church is loaded with star power.

Jones says the songs on the set are a true reflection of his life, creating a musical backdrop to all that he has experienced. "My music reflects everything that I've been through. I've written the soundtrack to my 'hood because I came up so hard and that's all I talk about." Jones says his music speaks to people who need all the hope and inspiration they can get. "There are a lotta people who ain't got too much to look forward too so we do what we gotta do to survive and to get some money to pay our rent. I don't glamorize that at any rate but it's a harsh reality."

Growing up in the Bronx, Jones watched his mom hustle and grind to make a living. "My mom was one of the first ladies to move crack, she got rich doing it. As time went on I started to get a little bit looser because there really wasn't any guidance. They shipped me to Harlem to stay with my grandmother in the projects."

Even as Jim Jones found himself in the throes of street life, he also discovered rap music, finding inspiration from a vast array of hip hop artists.

Jones says he's still trying to get to church and along the way, he'll continue to drop pearls of wisdom for others to pick up along the path that he's paved for them. But he feels he's getting closer. He's already reached some of his goals, he says. "People might think my goal is to sell a million records. No! I already passed my goal. I did it. Being in this game is my goal. This is my first album. Just to get on it and get the shit in the stores -- I reached my goal. Everything else is just a blessing."