Veteran rapper and producer, Diamond D, is already a legend in his own right. Originally, the New York City representative was a member of Ultimate Force, alongside Master Rob, and together they first appeared on Jazzy Jay’s Cold Chillin’ in the Studio. The duo soon dropped their collaborative effort, I’m Not Playing, but disbanded shortly thereafter. The Bronx bomber later joined forces with Lord Finesse, Showbiz & A.G., Fat Joe, the late Big L (RIP), O.C., and Buckwild, collectively known as the Diggin’ In The Crates (D.I.T.C.) crew, before unleashing his ground-breaking solo LP, Stunts, Blunts and Hip-Hop, in 1992. Diamond has since gone on to release three additional albums, and has worked the boards for a bevy of Hip-Hop heavyweights…
BallerStatus.com: What’s been up with Diamond D?
Diamond D: I have been doing live shows and working on this new album, which should hit the stores this fall.
BallerStatus.com: What happened with your last solo release, Grown Man Talk?
Diamond D: Grown Man Talk was distributed by me, out of my trunk “so to say.” Sandboxautomatic.com and Fat Beats distribution also carried it for a while. It was overlooked because you couldn’t walk into a Best Buy and cop it.
BallerStatus.com: So, you are finally working on a new LP?
Diamond D: Yes, the new LP is done. My sound is a lot bigger now. I call it brand new retro.
BallerStatus.com: Has the album been titled yet?
Diamond D: The title of the LP is The Chronicles of Huge Hefner, and what that represents is the fact that I’m still respected after 15 years in the game, mainly because I haven’t oversaturated the market with material.
BallerStatus.com: Who did you work with on the new record?
Diamond D: My new LP will feature production from Nottz, ILLMind, Jesse West, Accurate, Cook, Def Jef, Soul Professa, Dirty Church and myself.
BallerStatus.com: How does it measure up to your previous works?
Diamond D: On this album, I left a lot of the board-work up to different producers who were able to capture my sound in essence, sort of like the project J. Dilla had on MCA Records, around 2002, where he wanted to use other producers as opposed to doing the album himself.
BallerStatus.com: There have been rumors floating around that you signed with Duck Down for this project. Is there any truth to this?
Diamond D: I never signed with Duck Down, but appreciated the fact that they were interested.
BallerStatus.com: When did you first become interested in music?
Diamond D: I got interested in music at a young age. I have an uncle named Gary who was a DJ in the ’70s, and growing up around him got me into music. He gave me my first mixer.
BallerStatus.com: You are a Bronx native, correct? So, aside from Uncle Gary, who or what else influenced you to do what you do today?
Diamond D: Yes, I am from the Bronx. There was a guy who lived across from me in the projects named DJ Magic Mike. He showed me the fundamentals of DJing. Also in my projects were two brothers named Supreme and Hutch, and they mentored me as well.
BallerStatus.com: How did hip-hop become a career choice for you?
Diamond D: Watching the whole Juice Crew movement and Public Enemy, and being around producer Jazzy Jay, who did LL Cool J’s first single “I Need A Beat,” made me wanna pursue music professionally.
BallerStatus.com: How do you categorize your sound?
Diamond D: Soulful music with boom-bap drums. Sort of like Kraftwerk meets The Meters. I still chop samples up and try to keep the essence of that, but also use live instrumentation.
BallerStatus.com: Why did you choose to call yourself, Diamond D?
Diamond D: There was a guy named Dave in my neighborhood who was called MC Diamond D, and he was mad nice. Since I was a DJ, it wasn’t uncommon for MCs and DJs to have the same name because we did different things. He rhymed and I DJed, so I took it from him. At least 10 years had passed before I started rhyming. I saw him a few years back and it’s all love.
BallerStatus.com: Give me a quick run down of some of the artists that you have produced for?
Diamond D: Busta Rhymes, Fat Joe, Mos Def, Too Short, Natalie Cole, The Fugees, Xzibit…
BallerStatus.com: What has been the ultimate key to your success?
Diamond D: My knowledge of producing good music, and being open to new ideas.
BallerStatus.com: How has hip-hop changed since your whole inception into it?
Diamond D: Real lyricism has taken a back seat to songs that are made with third grade babbles with catchy hooks.
BallerStatus.com: How do you spend your time away from the music?
Diamond D: Spending time with my children, and bustin’ n****s down on XBox 360 “Fight Night Round 3.”
BallerStatus.com: To date, what has been your biggest hip-hop moment?
Diamond D: Creating my first album, Stunts, Blunts And Hip-Hop, and working on The Fugees’ album, The Score, that sold over 20 million.
BallerStatus.com: Do you remain in touch with your D.I.T.C. cohorts? Is there any chance of ever getting another D.I.T.C. project?
Diamond D: I just spoke to Lord Finesse today, and we’re still doing shows together. There was one last month in Japan. As far as another D.I.T.C. album, I’d like to see it happen.
BallerStatus.com: Do you have any last words?
Diamond D: Make sure y’all cop that …Huge Hefner album dropping this fall. It’s gonna be me on my witty sh** over boomin’ beats. Y’all know what it is!