Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Stunts Blunts & Hip Hop
Genres: Pop, Rap & Hip-Hop, R&B
Diamond D's 1992 debut album may not have been hip-hop's first producer-driven album (far from it), but it was one of the first after the new-school era that suggested superior music could overcome lackluster lyrics. Not t... more »
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Diamond D's 1992 debut album may not have been hip-hop's first producer-driven album (far from it), but it was one of the first after the new-school era that suggested superior music could overcome lackluster lyrics. Not that Diamond wasn't nice on mic, but his rhymes were a triumph of function over form. It didn't matter though--you couldn't front on his beats, a loop-driven aesthetic that sparked DJs everywhere to dig into the crates to find his original samples. Whether it was the frenetic guitar melody on "Freestyle (Yo That's That S**t!)," the boomin' bass line on "K.I.S.S.," or the raucous riff that powered his first single, "Best Kept Secret," Diamond clearly knew how to milk funk, jazz, and soul loops for their full potential. Along with peers like Pete Rock, Showbiz, and Large Professor, Diamond showed that strength on the board was worth at least as much as skills on the mic. --Oliver Wang
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A Day in The Life
whatevery | go brooklyn | 01/11/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Yep, it's another "classic era" New York n***a album, but you can't front on this one. It's funny, because in a way, back then things for all of us were way more violent, but at the same time they were more innocent. So, in a way, this record can now be viewed as a memory piece set to exceptionally dope tracks.Diamond's lyrics, as we all know, weren't exactly verbal pearls of wisdom but they were a passably enjoyable accompaniment to his slambangin' beats. Basically, it didn't matter what the hell HE said, 'cause he had hardcore players like the in-they-prime Brand Nubian who dropped "A Day in the Life," which was SUCH a product of its time that to this day, you can still practically smell the weed smoke and Kush incense wafting out your CD player whenever you crank this tune up.Other highlights include "I'm Outta Here", which still gives me shudder-inducing flashbacks to crazy s**t that went down among various people I knew back in the early 90s, the (now-hard-to-believe-it-ever-was-a) club anthem/proto-antichickenhead manifesto "Sally Got a One Track Mind", and the totally authentic relationship song, "Red Light Green Light" ('don't mean to dis, but I don't frenchkiss').Seek this one out and hold it close.Peace out to Elf Fletcher, who did the inside CD artwork!!!"
A remnant of the good old days
sugglife | Washington, DC | 01/16/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This album came out when hip-hop artists were hungry and had to perform well, or they would get snipped from their label right quick. This was before people could make wack, ice and Moet-laden raps and coast through gold or platinum courtesy of a lot of ignorant listeners. This album covers everyday life topics that everyone can relate to like the dilemma between long-term relationships and one-night stands as elaborated on in "Red Light, Green Light," the eventual deterioration of gold-diggin' girls who were spoiled from day one in "Sally Got a One Track Mind," or the tension of sticky situations in "I'm Outta Here". The rest of the album contains other topics barely touched by today's emcees and just straight skills on the mic. This was the best era that hip-hop had ever seen and Diamond D was not only in tune with it, but ahead of it as well. It is shocking to hear him foreshadow the inevitable decline of hip-hop on "Stunts,Blunts,&Hip-Hop", when he says "back then it wasn't done for the cash, I hope the legacy continues to last." Well, the legacy has not lasted to its fullest extent in all ciphers, so I have to be content living in the past with this album by my side, and if you are a true hip-hop head I recommend you do the same. Peace, The Sugglife MC"
It's the vibe you desire...(4.5/5)
ctrx | 'bout to show you how the EAST COAST rocks... | 09/23/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Diamond D's 1992 debut is a really underrated album from the golden era of east coast hip hop. Diamond would soon gain huge underground status as a member of the Diggin' in the Crates crew, the New York collective that gained acclaim for their clever battle rhymes and artistic beats using obscure samples from old recordings. But even when D.I.T.C. got press, Diamond always seemed to be overshadowed by the more recognizable names of Big L, Fat Joe, Showbiz & AG, Lord Finesse, OC, and Buckwild. "Stunts, Blunts & Hip Hop" is a classic that too many people are still sleeping on. In 1992, alternative New York hip hop was evolving with focused LPs on the heels of Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth's Mecca and the Soul Brother and A Tribe Called Quest's The Low End Theory. Diamond went against the grain, and "Stunts, Blunts & Hip Hop" is built around single songs. There's no pervading message or idea, the songs are all individually minded compositions. Diamond's a producer first and a rapper second, but here he establishes himself as an expert at both. His beats are wonderfully appealing, emitting a very breezy and light quality that gives off fun and cheerful vibes. The beats are built around simple loops and choppy instrumental samples, and his sound is unique and creative. He can come off as soulful and jazzy, but you wouldn't describe him primarily as either. Diamond is really entertaining on the mic too, and his raps reflect a lot of what was so great about hip hop in 1992. Even though this was a strictly underground album, the genre was in such a state that an LP like this could have major label distribution and even get radio spins. Diamond raps about the life of an urban average-Joe. He tells stories of awkward confrontations, female escapades, and living in New York. His flow and vernacular are pretty average, but he's got such a likable personality and character that you can't help but love his verses. "Stunts, Blunts & Hip Hop" doesn't have a bad track on it, and at 23 tracks and almost 70 minutes, that's really saying something. Even the musical interludes are all dope. Add some excellent collaborations and you've got the recipe for an awesome album, one which I highly recommend. If you like the sound of early-90s east coast rap, then you'll love this album, because everything that was so great about it is in abundance here.
After the intro, the album opens with the single "Best Kept Secret." A catchy beat and some light punchlines make this one a winner. The classic "Sally Got a One Track Mind" comes next, which has wonderful breezy production and a nice performance from Diamond, just pure dope hip hop. The thick, rich horns and classic New York attitude of "Step to Me" make the song a real highlight, and "*!*! What U Heard" is similarly nice. "I'm Outta Here" and "A Day in the Life" are the lyrical highlights of this album. The former is some excellent storytelling, telling of isolated troublesome events from the perspective of "John Doe." The latter, a collaboration with Brand Nubian narrating "a day in the life of three black men." Both tracks have nice loops and good vibes. The great "Red Light, Green Light" is upbeat, catchy, and laced with slick stories. "I Went for Mine" is also awesome, with a funky beat and the classic, breezy flute sample that Busta Rhymes would use for "New York S..." fourteen years later. "Check One, Two" and "What You Seek" are both solid products of 1992 hip hop, displaying the innocent, fun state of rap at that time. The beat on "Confused" is phenomenal, a rich and funky track with a soulful hook and clever rhymes, telling party tales, followed by the long D.I.T.C. posse cut "Pass Dat S..." The freestyle "Yo, That's That S..." and "K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid" don't stand out but are both great in their own rights. The upbeat title track and great sax-laced "Feel the Vibe" close the album.
"Stunts, Blunts & Hip Hop" doesn't hit you over the head with lyricism or out-of-this-world production, but the incredible consistency and great feel of the album makes it a borderline classic. Diamond would go on to other good things in his career, and his debut remains one of his finest works. Slick punchlines, fun stories, and dope beats are the criteria for any D.I.T.C. album, and it's never more true than on this one. For the fans of D.I.T.C., Gang Starr, Brand Nubian, A Tribe Called Quest, and Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth, I hope you'll treat yourself to "Stunts, Blunts & Hip Hop." This one doesn't have the same recognition as concurrent releases by the artists previously mentioned, but it's just about every bit as enjoyable, it's feel good music."