Photo Credit-my man Phil at Dope-A-Lot aka the go-to guy from now on. Taken last night at the NY Giants Dj Series.
So being that I like to nerd out and really really get my point across, I’ve prepared a list of my favourite Diamond D(fuck the herb who trademarked the name and made D legally change his performing name to just Diamond, it’s Diamond D for life) tracks that I hope will get some run tonight and some that he played in his DJ set last night that I definitely consider his best work.
1. Freestyle (Yo That’s That Shit) from the Stunts, Blunts, and Hip-Hop LP
i’m just an ordinary/brother who is very/dedicated to real rap so don’t compare me/to another brother
First Diamond D joint I ever heard. As Funkmaster Flex said on his now-famous July 4th weekend mix, “this record created the word bop!” and nothing could be more true. I dare you motherfuckers to listen to this and not bop your head. The shit is contagious, from A-yo wait a minute this track just makes me get live and Diamond sets the bar for producers rocking on the mic. I had to actually turn the track off while writing this because I was practically writing the verse down.
2. Feel The Vibe from the Stunts, Blunts, and Hip Hop LP
you gotta get your fingers dusty/and keep your ear to the street so you won’t get rusty
All kiddies, take note. Learn your roots and put on your Timberland Boots. Diamond and Showbiz lace these chunky drums and the ill repeating horn sample with a fresh hook and a couple solid verses. Diamond is already lamenting the passing of realness in music and tells a very timeless hip-hop story in his last verse. Not to mention how they throw in that vocal sample from “Fanatic of the B-Word” as a sort of outro. That was my shit from De La Soul is Dead. Word up.
3. A Day In The Life from the Stunts, Blunts, and Hip-Hop LP
hit the stereo in an instant/then I twist up a bud/light an incense
I’ve definitely started plenty of days like that, and thanks to Madlib, I was able to pick my quote from this song immediately. Lord Jamar and Derek(ahem, oh I forgot, I meant Sadat) X from Brand Nubian join Diamond D on this absolutely classic joint. The only guest appearance on this album that wasn’t immediate crew, and could this song be any easier to listen to? I swear by the time Sadat’s verse is on, I’m already wanting to run it back. The ill minor flange on the adlibs at the end of both Lord J and Sadat’s verses is one of those things I just picked up listening to this joint 5 times in a row.
4. I Went For Mine from the Stunts, Blunts and Hip-Hop LP
the object of a song is to keep your head movin’
This album was so stacked. 17-18 tracks deep, a couple ill interludes and like 3 singles before the actual album(tape) ended up in my hands. Instantly, my favourite joint on the album was clear to me. This shit was just so smooth. I remember getting shivers when the flute first comes in. This is one of those breaks that I can listen to the whole song and enjoy almost as much as the track that sampled it too. Just pure magic. I wasn’t that stoked when Dj Scratch flipped this again for Busta, but I guess the heads will always know that it’s the Diamond joint first and I never mind hearing both of them followed by the break in a dj set.
5. You Can’t Front (B-Side) from the Fuck What You Heard 12′
n*&%@s was sleepin’/but now have awakened/ask the boriquas/ask the jamaicans
B-Side, B-Side, B-Side. Those were the words you wanted to hear when a new 12′ came out. Having a dope new track with Finesse and Sadat X on it was definitely a huge deal when this shit dropped. The first time I heard this it was on +4 at least so I def had to speed it up when I finally got my copy, but still this track is pure fire. I can’t pick a best verse, but I’m leaning towards Finesse. “I write rhymes more than bitches get they hair done”?? Come on! Ill shit. The beat is crazy too, such heavy drums.
6. Slappin’ Suckas Silly Remix(Yaggfu Front) from the Busted Loop 12′
I got the stamina of a Vietnam Vet..
Not sure why Diamond kicks a sex rhyme for the ladies on this joint, but regardless this was an ill remix. A couple chopped up drum loops and chunky bass. Sound familiar? The classic DITC formula and Diamond wrote the book. Where the fuck are Yaggfu Front? Like for real, these kids were ill.
7. Welcome To The Next Level(Tha Alkaholiks) from the Coast II Coast LP
so recognize when you feel it/DITC-you can’t steal it.
Besides coining one my favourite phrases in life ever, the safest way to have sex is right between the titties, this joint was probably my shit from this album. Diamond brings the ill repeating horns in the chorus and the soft echo-y snare to lace up Cali’s finest and they don’t disappoint with the rhymes. My favourite shit about Diamond D at this point was that he dropped a verse on everybody’s tracks that he produced to further his point that he was the best producer on the mic.
8. No Wonduh (The Projects) from the Hatred,Passions and Infidelity LP
Dice games and robberies/til I hit the lottery
The intro of this song is tight! From the opening speaker and the intense sirens, it totally sets the scene for a descriptive track where Diamond opens his project windows to us. I love how the siren sneaks back in to the track here and there and then gets hectic in the chorus all over again. Not to mention, he samples Posdonus’s classic line. This track is such a well-executed concept. Kudos, Diamond D.
9. Flowin’ from the Hatred, Passions and Infidelity LP
Yours truly, don’t forget my name
Who’s John Dough? Just saying the guy who tears a ton of tracks on this album along with K-Terribull won’t cut it? These 2 cats came out of nowhere and have sick cadence and tight rhymes, Diamond def made a powermove putting them on. Did I mention that I like feelgood album cuts yet? This is another perfect example, and it even fits in the short song category clocking in under 3 minutes long. I love short songs, and I’m not even sure why. The shouts in the hooks are fresh, too. Sometimes dudes gotta get shouted out and why not throw them on the hook?
10. Never from the Hatred, Passions and Infidelity LP
When cats was anti-drugs/there was weed seeds in my rugs
Hey gang, I’ve got some grass! I have been a huge weedsmoker at many times in my life and this was one of my anthems for real. What is it about Diamond and Sadat that automatically makes any track they’re on together fire? He takes the song in my opinion..definitely tells a totally true story and manages to slip in some humour too. The mini-skit scenes in the choruses are some dope shit too. I can relate to both. This is another Diamond break that I appreciate as much as the track too. Jerry Butler, what? Oh, so now I can’t smoke on a blunt, right? Ha.
11. This One from the Hatred,Passions and Infidelity LP
even had a brother on a pair of ice skates/turned me on to snacking on rice cakes.
A love song done proper for real. Diamond shows his sensitive side, but still over some heavy drums and a vibey loop. Throw Busta on the chorus complete with a little profanity, and it just ends up being an anthem for any of the thugs with a thoro wifey out there.
12. Double Dare (produced by Mark the 45 King) from the Drop Da Bomb 12′
lay in the cut/see the game about to change
I don’t know much about this track except that it bumps like craig mack’s grill and both Diamond and K-Terribull rip it up. A banger I recently discovered that sounds retarded on a big system.
13. You’re In The Wrong Place (B-Side) from the With The Dope Sound 12′
It ain’t a game duke/you can’t call mine!
A release on Diamond’s indie imprint, Dusty Fingers that came out shortly after Hatred, Passions and Infidelity. It features Jon Dough, K-Terribull, some other guy, and none other than Ras Kass. I can just see all the NY dudes trying to write something that would outshine Ras who absolutely shits on this track coming in the last spot. He ever airs out Ray Benzino. Reality Bites like bad blowjobs? Word up..oh and Diamond’s beat is crazy, but he doesn’t even rhyme on it which was a bit of a surprise considering his track record.
Once again, please enjoy this zip file of all the songs listed here. Especially that You’re In The Wrong Place shit, that was a last-minute vinyl rip right before I made this post. On my way to the show, see you T.O. heads there.