Bronx hip hop royalty, Diamond D, is one of the industry’s highly acclaimed artists and producers. He is a member of the illustrious D.I.T.C. (Diggin’ In The Crates Crew) legacy whose members consist of Lord Finesse, OC, Showbiz, AG, Buckwild, Fat Joe and the late great Big L (RIP). It’s a privilege and an honor to be granted an interview by such a remarkable pioneer and contributor to the hip hop culture.
Diamond D hit the scene with his album debut titled Stunts, Blunts and Hip Hop in 1992. He had hits like “Best Kept Secret”, “Sally Got a One Track Mind”, “What U Heard”, and more. In 1997 he released Hatred Passions and Infidelity, which he dropped singles for “Hiatus”, “J.D’s Revenge”, and one of my favorites, “This One”. Fast forward to 2008, he hit us with the Hugh Hefner Chronicles. In 2014, The Diam Piece project rocked the masses with features from Rapsody, Masta Ace, Ras Kass, Bumpy Knuckles, Skyzoo, Pete Rock, Elzhi, and Talib Kweli just to name a few. The project had lots of star power. And Diamond D is still killing it with hits like “Jose Feliciano”, “Superman” and let’s not forget his impeccable DJ skills. His 45 DJ sets are revered worldwide. Like fine wine, Diamond D just gets better with time. The production and lyrical skills are unprecedented! And his commitment to hip hop is unwavering.
So without further delay, enjoy this exclusive 1-on-1 interview.
Who are your musical influences? Why?
Producers: Gamble & Huff, James Brown, David Axelrod, Curtis Mayfield & Barry White.
Why: All of these producers were prolific in soul, funk and orchestration, which kind of describes my sound.
Who/What inspired you to become a hip hop artist?
Lord Finesse & Grand Puba inspired me to be an MC.
How did you come to be a part of D.I.T.C.?
Myself and Showbiz co-founded DITC, which consisted of friends who were based in and around Forest Projects and Patterson Projects.
Tell us about your first experience on tour. Who were you with, any funny moments, etc.
My first experience on tour was the 1992 Mercury College Tour, which consisted of myself, Nefertiti, Yagfu Front and Dougie D.
Funniest moments were watching Dougie D harass Yagfu Front during the tour.
Which do you prefer most — being an artist or a producer?
Being a Producer.
You’ve produced an enormous amount of tracks. Which beat of yours still shocks you like, “I can’t believe I made that”?
The “Bus-a-Bus Remix” for Busta Rhymes.
What are your thoughts on the evolution of hip hop in comparison to when you first started?
There was no social media when I first started, so you had to make your name known in the streets for one.
Who are some new hip hop artists that you listen to?
J Cole, Westside Gunn & Conway, David Bars and Snooze.
What advice do you have for aspiring artists/producers?
Don’t trust no one, lawyer up, and try to maintain your publishing.
Why do you think the dynamic between men supporting each other differs from females showing each other love in hip hop?
Alpha males are competitive by nature, more so than women, who are more nurturing.
It seems like before Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon, etc. came into play, people appreciated music more. Do you believe these music subscription companies are devaluing music? What’s the solution?
Yes, somewhat. You can choose not to have your music on any of those platforms, other than your own.
What’s your creative process like when making music and orchestrating projects?
It varies. Typically I listen to records from classics to rare grooves until I hear something that sparks the foundation for a track.
What do you attribute to the longevity of the D.I.T.C. legacy?
We gave and continue to still give that raw uncut hip hop.
Besides the main members of D.I.T.C., is there any interest in adding on or possibly building a new generation of D.I.T.C.?
Showbiz is working with David Bars, who is incredible on the mic. And I’m working with an artist named Snooze, who is also a fire MC.
Tell us about “The Diam Piece 2”? Can we expect a “Diam Piece 3”?
“The Diam Piece 2” is almost completed and will be equally as dope if not better than the first one. If the fans are looking for it then there will be a 3.
Do you have any other upcoming projects or shows?
“The Blake Moses Project”, “The Diam Piece 2” and “The Snooze LP”.
We would like to give thanks to Diamond D for his contributions to hip hop! It was a pleasure and an honor to interview him. We look forward to more gems from this musical genius and the whole D.I.T.C! Meanwhile, stream/buy Diamond D‘s The Diam Piece album below or by clicking the following link: https://empire.lnk.to/DiamPiece