Ready Or Not? Diceman’s Been In The Game For Years. His Bars Show His Staying Power
Black Sheep burst onto the scene in the early 1990s and quickly found success and acclaim. This momentum led the group’s label, Mercury Records, to entrust Dres with his own imprint called One Love. The talented MC was then tasked with signing talent. The first act he inked was a Bronx trio known as The Legion. The crew consisted of lyricists Cee-Low (aka Diceman), Molecules, and Chucky Smash, and in 1993 they released their first 12” titled “Jingle Jangle.” Plenty of Rap peers—reportedly including Biggie Smalls—were admitted fans of the production and hardcore Hip-Hop style.
These boogie-down Bronx bombers served up their debut, Theme + Echo = Krill in 1994. While it was a solid introduction to the world, it was not met with the commercial response that the group likely hoped for. Like many artists feeling discarded by the label system, The Legion went the independent route. Later in the decade, they gave fans a 12” that had “Street Thing” on the A-side, and “Caught Up” on the B.
Since then, a bunch of the group’s unreleased material from that era finally saw the light of day through indie efforts. In 2017, Showbiz partnered with Molecules for A Bronx Tale. That was before The Legion returned with two brand new songs (“1980 Something” b/w “Heard We Quit”), on by Ill Adrenaline Records.
Recently, Diceman dropped solo material. “Denzel,” from the limited-edition vinyl release The Power Of Now, pops as a straightforward video in the neighborhood. Those that have been Legion fans since “Jingle Jangle” will know that while Sean Jennings’ official Rap moniker was Cee-Low, Diceman was his alias even back then. He shows his O.G. stripes with a flow in the pocket, checking receipts on feeble MCs as he pulls up at the curb.
Dice’ spits a quick verse over solid drums and a smattering of strings and piano courtesy of producer, J Depina. Dice is blunt about his stance on the comp, “See, I murder competition during intermission / And now I’m 10 steps ahead of them sucka moves, that’s intuition / I’m in the cut, givin’ the beat an incision / I poetically pound punks out with precision / That wack sh*t f*cked your ears up, impaired your vision,” he commands. Moments later the confident MC touts, “I’m constantly consistent with conviction / And you? You just a constant contradiction / Never no facts in your diction / You’re spittin’ fiction / Even the DJs say it don’t blend when they mixin’ / I see the videos, n*ggas looking like vixens.” The delivery is confident, with compound rhymes and a nice display of cadence.
The Power of Now is available now on limited edition vinyl from King Of The Beats Records and comes with a bonus 45. A t-shirt package is also available. Further, The Legion will drop their long-awaited sophomore Three The Bronx Way on February 1, 2019.
About Ready Or Not: “Ready Or Not” is Ambrosia For Heads’ platform for showcasing new videos and having you, the people, decide whether they are ready for primetime. Each week, AFH will showcase music from artists on the verge, looking for their seat at the table among Hip-Hop’s elite.
#BonusBeat: Catch Diceman and Molecules on a recent episode of The House List podcast: