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Tag Archives: Diamond District

Diamond District: March On Washington [Album Review]

March on, Washington. March on. Five long years. Let me tell you where I’m coming from. When I first heard In The Ruff, the debut of the Washington, D.C. group Diamond District, it was the fall of 2009 and I was in my senior year of college in Florida. I came across the record on a Hip Hop blog with the reviewer praising the gritty feel, the rugged lyrics and interplay of the three emcees, concluding that the album was an expertly modernized take on NYC’s golden age boom bap… except these guys weren’t from New York. Oddisee, yU and Uptown XO all hail from the DMV, or the District, Maryland, and Virginia, and In The Ruff was their cannon shot to the world to show that D.C., a much overlooked scene in the Hip Hop world, could bang as hard as anywhere else. The album was definitely a diamond for me, and remained in my headphones for a good while. And I was hungry for more. Five years later? I live and work in Washington, D.C., and have been witness to the steady rise that the DMV is having in Hip Hop. Artists like Logic, Fat Trel, Shy Glizzy, Wale (of course) and others are garnering interest outside the DMV. Oddisee, yU and XO have all dropped several solo works, pretty much all of them dope, and left many, me included, awaiting their reunion. And now they’re finally back with March On Washington. Five years. About time. March On ... Read More »

Diamond District (yU x Uptown XO x Oddisee): March On Washington [Stream]

The holy trinity has returned with March On Washington. Today solo artists yU, Oddisee & Uptown XO are back in group formation as Diamond District for the release of their sophomore album March On Washington. The new album is out everywhere, stream it below. March On Washington by Diamond District DOWNLOAD Read More »

Diamond District: First Step [Music Video]

Diamond District started their campaign for their new album “March On Washington” early last month, today I have the song/video for their joint “First Step” and let me tell you fam it goes hard. Oddisee sticks to the boom bap roots that were dug up on their debut and the trio of yU, XO and Oddisee are waxing poetic over this beat. Peep it above and make sure you pre-order “March On Washington” because something tells me this is going to be just as good if not better than their debut. Read More »

Diamond District (yU, Oddisee, Uptown XO): Lost Cause

Earlier this week, the nation’s largest weekly newspaper, The Village Voice, premiered Diamond District’s second single “Lost Cause” from the group’s upcoming album March On Washington.  The track is produced by rising star Oddisee and features the trio (yU, Oddisee, Uptown XO) rhyming some of their most impassioned bars to date. The three emcees bring wildly different styles to the track and offer listeners something very fresh.  Like brothers who’ve gone down different paths, yU, Oddisee, and Uptown XO all started in DC and have grown into their own unique solo careers.  Diamond District brings them together again as a testament to both their perfect chemistry, and their uniquness as individual elements in the musical world. Read More »

Diamond District: First Step [prod. by Oddisee]

Diamond District are back with their upcoming October 14th album March on Washington. Consisting of Oddisee, yU and Uptown XO, Diamond District first released their critically acclaimed 2009 album In The Ruff. After countless solo projects, the group is back a half-decade later to provide ‘wisdom over rhythm’ over neck-snapping drums. Entirely produced and arranged by Oddisee, all three members are in top form on mic duties, continuing from where they left off while never looking back. In celebration of the upcoming album and album pre-order, enjoy the first track for the song “First Step” which features all 3 members handling mic duties over an Oddisee produced beat. Full album tracklisting is below. Read More »

Oddisee: People Hear What They See

Oddisee’s latest release, People Hear What They See, is a throwback to the Golden Age of Hip Hop. It combines the peace of good music with the excitement and energy of a revolution. Over the waves of mellow instrumentation comes a man with a plan to revitalize the music industry. And you’ll have to pardon the spoiler but he succeeds admirably. He combines an intelligent and educated mindset with a steady hand and ingenuity behind the boards to craft an album that deserves plenty of listens. “Ready To Rock” is an obvious choice to open the album. Right from the start, Oddisee gets to flex his production skills and exhibit different flows while containing his subject matter to his come up in the rap game. The term “rap game” is misleading in this instance because Oddisee is very clinical on the mic and it’s obvious by the second listen that each word counts as the man pens his verses. This trend continues in earnest on “The Real,” where Oddisee extols the virtue of honesty in Hip Hop. Truly, his words carry weight at a time when Lil’ Wayne is packing his blunts with seven grams of Cali’s finest. Another high note is hit on “The Need Superficial” and Oddisee follows this with one of the standout tracks on the album, “Way In Way Out.” The purposeful horns lead the drums and soulful vocal hit into battle as Oddisee dips into his reserve of meaningful rhymes and speaks about the trap ... Read More »

Maverick & Diamond District: Redistricting (In The Ruff Remixes)

Although some obstacles have come along the way, Maverick finally delivers his remix album of Diamond District’s In The Ruff in a sampler form. As he explains, “The project is currently a sampler…due to some unforeseen circumstances, I am unable to release the full project and all of the remixes.” Still, the Oddisee cosigned Redistricting delivers some high quality remixes for Diamond District fans to enjoy. Tracklist & link after the jump. Read More »

yU Speaks On The Earn, The DMV’s Hip Hop Scene & What’s Next For Diamond District

Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking with DMV rapper yU, who just released The Earn, a fantastic follow up to his acclaimed 2010 solo debut, Before Taxes. We got to chop it up about life, writing rhymes, his work with Diamond District, his push to earn his spot in Hip Hop and much more. Check it out! Jeff Leon: Introduce yourself to those that aren’t familiar with you. yU: My name is yU… I’m a third of the group Diamond District and half of another group called The 1978ers. I’m an artist signed to the independent label by the name of Mello Music Group. Jeff Leon: Great. So your latest project The Earn, is a record [that] I really enjoyed. What were your goals for the record? yU: For the most part, I wanted to put something out there to represent the place that I was in. For the past like three, four years, it’s been a rough road and I’m glad to say that I made it through all of the things I was going through and [the record] is a reflection of that. Musically I wanted to show a growth past Before Taxes and I wanted to step up a little bit. I wanted the quality to improve over time…I didn’t want to do a drastic, like, go-all-in [record] with a million-dollar studio and that would be the first thing you hear. I wanted to grow up to an elevated sound and I felt like it did ... Read More »

yU: The Earn

It amazes me how much quality Hip Hop is coming out of the nation’s capital right now; a scene, which is criminally slept on, that is developing some really talented artists. One such group is Diamond District, the collaboration of Oddisee, Uptown XO and yU, with all three releasing solid projects this year. Oddisee with Rock Creek Park, XO with Monumental II, and now yU, with The Earn, the follow up to his acclaimed 2010 solo debut, Before Taxes. With The Earn, the Maryland native continues putting in serious work, ruminating about life and living over sounds provided by beat-makers Slimkat78, Kev Brown, Kokayi, yU himself and others. On The Earn, yU presents himself as a working class man who is striving to keep his head above water, concerned with paying his dues, trying to be the best person he can be, and continuing to make that difficult climb to the top. A deep thinker, yU prefers introspection and candor, and when he speaks, there is soul to his observations, giving the record some weight and gravitas. You hear this right from the intro track, “Flipping Channels / theEarntro,” which flips samples about time and money (which is a particularly divisive theme on the record), before jumping into an authoritative boom-bap beat, which yU flexes a verse over mentioning that he was, “Always a quiet dude, reign over my rivals as concealed as a weapon.” When he states, “yU is out to EARN,” you know he’s not talking about dollars, ... Read More »

Uptown XO: Errrybody [prod by Ab The Pro]

Uptown XO is back with a new anthem for his hometown of Washington, D.C. called “Errrybody” produced by Ab The Pro. The song is the first single off the Diamond District member’s next solo project The Color Grey, which is due out in early 2012. Read More »

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