Rapper Jim Jones has joined Columbia's roster, following a series of releases for Koch. The deal does not affect the artist's pre-existing A&R director position at Warner Music Group.

"It's a 50/50 joint venture with Columbia for my production company as well, Jones Family productions," Jones tells Billboard. "Shout to Rick Rubin for believing in my artistry and Kyambo 'Hip-Hop' Joshua for being my partner in this process. Shout to Koch Records as well, because I broke a lot of ground with them and they gave me my own lane. "

Though Columbia Records’ new urban division recently snapped up the rapper, the MC is still tied to Koch Records. The independent record label will partner with Columbia for the radio promotion and marketing of Jones’ as-yet-untitled 2008 album as well as participate in revenue streams. In turn, Columbia will oversee Jones' total project. The rapper is recording his Columbia debut now. A new single, "They Don't Love Me No More," will drop in a few weeks, with a corresponding video.

Jones is a member of the Diplomats, a rap camp that emerged from Harlem early this decade and secured a sizable fan base. But this year, group leader Cam'ron disappeared from view, popping up via occasional YouTube videos that fueled his ongoing beef with 50 Cent.

"We started Dipset to build a brand," says Jones. "And whether we're at different labels or separated from each other, it's all the same brand, Dipset. We are brothers and brothers do fight."

Cam'ron is "not on mars -- he's cooling out," he adds. "I guess he's recording. this is what he usually does when he's recording. So this is nothing unusual."

Jones, who's had a long-standing beef of his own with Jay-Z, told the Web site Missinfo.tv that his new record deal might cause Def Jam's president to take notice.

"That quote was a joke that got misconstrued," says Jones. "I just don't like the dude. But if you look at my music, I don't put out any battle raps. I'm trying to make money."

To that end, the Diplomats extended their brand to include their purple liquor, Sizzurp, and Jones' clothing line, Nostic, which he runs with his mother.

"We just came back from Magic clothing summit in Las Vegas and killed it," says Jones. "The line is for men and women and it's mainly denim, t-shirts and long johns right now. We might cross over eventually into pajamas and maybe boxers."

In other Diplomat news, Juelz Santana is recording his third album for Def Jam, "The Reagan Era." Jones says Santana's new single should be out within a few weeks.