Diamond D Released A New Album Filled With Great MCs. Listen Here.
Yesterday (May 10), Diamond D released his first album in nearly five years, The Diam Piece 2. On the producer/MC/DJ’s Dymond Mine Records imprint, the release features Talib Kweli, Xzibit, Erick Sermon, Snoop Dogg, Styles P, Raekwon, A-F-R-O, Elzhi, Twista, David Banner, and Fat Joe, among a host of others.
Less than a week ago, Diamond spoke with AFH TV in New York City. In that 35-minute video interview, the Grammy Award-winner already promises a third volume before 2019 is over. Diamond highlights several key tracks on The Diam Piece 2. The artist responsible for mentoring and producing Fat Joe as well as working with Big L early on discusses some new talent in his circle. As a 30-year-veteran who crowned himself “the best producer on the mic,” Diamond opens up about his rhyme style, revisits some seminal remixes for OutKast (“Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik”) and Rae’ (“Rainy Dayz”), and discusses if that nickname ruffled any peers’ feathers back in the mid-1990s.
At 20:30, Diamond states, “I just felt it, so I said it on [‘The Score’]. That’s how I felt at that time.” Notably, D has maintained close friendships with Lord Finesse, Q-Tip, Pete Rock, and Erick Sermon, who appears alongside another MC/producer, Havoc, for “3 Kings.” The guest admits that it never appeared to be an issue. “If there was [any feelings], it didn’t get to me,” notes the acclaimed creator for Fat Joe, Alkaholiks, Ras Kass, and The Fugees, among others.
At 6:00, Diamond highlights an interesting song on the album, “Hold Up.” It features Guinness Book Of Records fast-rap holder Twista as well as A-F-R-O, one of the most exciting rapid-fire spitters of the last five years. “[A-F-R-O] held his on that track,” Diamond notes, before breaking down appealing to some Hip-Hop Heads’ with a concept record. “For a while, I just had Twista’s verse. So I’m like, ‘Yo, who can I put on here that can at least keep up with Twista?’ I was about to put it on hold for The Diam Piece 3.” Diamond’s engineer suggested A-F-R-O, who has taken his displays to The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, in addition to a 2016 collaborative project with Marco Polo. “I wasn’t thinking about A-F-R-O, because I already had a solo joint from A-F-R-O that I’m gonna release [on my next album]. Then I said, ‘f*ck it,’ and I just shot it to him. Man, yo, A-F-R-O said as soon as he heard it, he jumped on it. He sent me the vocals maybe two days later. He jumped right on it.” Twista finds his core in the cross-country collaborator. As the D.I.T.C. co-founder reveals, he set the song’s standard. “In the case with Twista, I just shot him the beat. I said, ‘I don’t really have no concept for the beat at this point. But wherever you take it, whoever I put on there will have to follow your lead.’ That’s all I told him. When I got it back, I was blown away.” Diamond goes on to reveal that in cases such as Elzhi and Blake Moses’ “I Can’t Lose,” he determined the song’s concept. In total, The Diam Piece 2 is a dynamic offering from a deeply-respected producer who often displays his MC chops across the LP.
Elsewhere in the conversation, Diamond opens recalling the discovery of his love of records and break-beats. Next, the D.I.T.C. O.G. discusses some specific tracks from his LP. At 9:00, Diamond speaks about his rhyme style and why his flow never leaves the pocket of the beat, regardless of who produced it. At 13:00, the triple-threat recalls a track he made for three Hip-Hop legends 25 years ago that the public has yet to hear. In the closing moments of the 35-minute interview, the South Bronx representative reflects on his career, proudest verses, and reveals the significance of giving his Grammy Award to his mother.