RTB Rewind: Diamond D Drops the Classic 'Stunts, Blunts & Hip Hop'
If a classic is deemed as such only after it has been around long enough to measure its relevance and influence decades after its creation, then Diamond D's Stunts, Blunts and Hip Hop is indeed a classic.
Rap music in 1992 was sonically and regionally a smorgasbord with Eric B. & Rakim, DJ Quik, K Solo, X Clan, Grand Puba and Spice 1 all releasing some of their best material that year. Bronx producer, DJ, and MC, Diamond D was making major noise with his production on Showbiz and AZ's Soul Clap EP and Brand Nubian's 1991 remix "Punks Jump Up To Get Beat Down."
The Diggin In The Crates co-founder secured his own deal with Mercury Records as a recording artist and producer in '92.
"I was producing a demo for an artist that PWL America (a Mercury Records affiliate) wanted to sign," he exclusively told Rock The Bells. "I spit on the demo and they signed me instead!"
Stunts, Blunts & Hip Hop which is credited to Diamond & The Psychotic Neurotics is a master class on sample-based production. Songs such as "Best Kept Secret," "Sally Got A One Track Mind," "Fuck What You Heard" and "I'm Outta Here" are not only highly revered songs — they avoid the Kool & The Gang, Ohio Players, and Sly & The Family Stone samples that were heavily used in production at the time.
Diamond says that every song on the album was sourced from an original recording as opposed to the popular breakbeat compilations in use at the time.
"I was Djing for 10 years prior as a pre-teen before getting signed," he said. "I was an avid record collector and I still am."
This album also highlighted Diamond's lyrical skill, a combination of clever wordplay and witty punchlines. Lines like "Brothers can't believe how the skills have gotten/spicy as a steak with potatoes au gratin" from "Fuck What You Heard" and "I'll never mope/cuz I know my shit is dope like Colombian fish scale/Ask my man Ishmael" showcased his wit and elevated lyrical skill.
"I'm one of the few producers who writes his own shit," he stresses, a testament to how seriously he takes both disciplines.
Stunts, Blunts & Hip Hop transcends the era that it was released and remains one of the genre's strongest full-length albums.