Ok, so De La Soul was a no brainer.
I feel like I have to throw those ones in from time to time because they are albums you need to own.
But my real reason for writing this blog was to introduce the casual listener to things they don’t know about, which brings us to today’s selection, the seminal 1992 work from Diamond and The Psychotic Neurotics: “Stunts, Blunts and Hip Hop”
Many people who know a little about hip hop can name at least one Diamond D song…his production credits are a mile long and include work on A Tribe Called Quest’s “The Low End Theory,” The Fugeee’s “The Score” and Mos Def’s “Black on Both Sides” just to name a few. But few know about how awesome this album is.
Joseph “Diamond D” Kirkland was born and raised in the Bronx, where he got ito the hip hop scene at an early age DJing for Jazzy Jay and the Zulu Nation before forming Ultimate Force and releasing tracks on the Cold Chillin Label.
In 1992, however the group disbanded and Diamond began assembling a new crew D.I.T.C.(Diggin in the Crates) when he recorded and released the underground showcase album “Stunts, Blunts and Hip Hop.” Not only are Diamond’s beats totally on point, but he displays a previously unknown gift for the rhyme as well. But what also sets the album apart are the guest stars. This was one of the first places the world would hear Big L (RIP) and Fat Joe before they became big name stars.
(SIDE NOTE: At the time, Fat Joe was a neighborhood dealer when he made it known he wanted to trade in his dealing shoes for a microphone. Diamond was not not impressed until Joe won the rap battle at The Apollo four weeks in a row! Word!)
Other notable contributors were Showbiz, AG and The Beatnuts as well as production by Mark the 2600 King, Large Professor and Q Tip. It contains such notable hits as ‘Sally Got a One Track Mind’ and ‘Best Kept Secret’ as well as lesser known hits like ‘I went for Mine’ and my personal favorite ‘Yo, That’s That Shit.’ This is the kind of album that makes you smack the side of your head and ask “How did I miss this?!?”
Yet, for all the talent and quality it remained an underground hit only. It was only released on cassette and CD at the time, with only a hand full of promo vinyl being pressed. Said vinyl was going for big bucks until a few years ago when it was finally reissued.
But if you like your hip hop raw and uncut, and you somehow got this far without knowing, go get some of this.
And tell em DJ Tim sent ya.