On his Booth debut, Oddisee made the announcement that, thanks to him, “Hip Hop’s Cool Again,” and the combination of scorching hot rhymes and old-school production he brought to the table made the point nigh-impossible to argue. To his credit, though, the emcee/producer’s superhuman ability to elevate the game doesn’t blind him to the fact that there’s strength in numbers—now, he’s joined forces with fellow D.C. natives XO and YU to bring back the classic sounds of mid-‘90s boom-bap as The Diamond District. If new single Who I Be is any indication, the trio have struck a rich vein of retro appeal. Once again doing double duty on the mic and behind the boards, Odd serves up a darkly ambient instrumental driven by woozy arpeggios, and all three bring rhymes as sharp and solid as the stone from which they take their name. If this gem’s piqued your interest, you’ll find plenty more Diamonds In The Ruff on the trio’s forthcoming LP, set to drop April 14th.
Written by richard on 03/23/09
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