There is no two ways around it, this album is great. I have been listening to Diamond District the most recently out of any other album/mixtape and I don’t have to skip any tracks. After posting the first two singles by the DMV trio, “I Mean Business” and “Who I Be”, and letting the lyrics of Oddisee, X.O. and Y.U. sink in I was fiending for more and knew this album had the potential to be great. I was trying to describe the album to a friend as “mid-nineties New York rap but modern day in the DMV” but I think Oddisee says it much better himself in the intro when he says “we formed this group to bring that raw East Coast boom bap hip-hop to the DMV” (and after looking at their site it also says something similar). Click the break for more on the album, tracklist and download link.
Oddisee should know the sound better than anyone since he shoulders the bulk of the production credits and creates a pretty seamless flow and overall sound to the album. The beats all sound natural with no significant synthesizing, AutoTuning or any robotic sounding device to be heard on the album. If you know me then you know I’m a sucker for the piano loops, and there are quite a few piano/organ/electric riffs to go around to make the beats smoother than Eddie Kendrick’s falsetto (look it up if you don’t know). It also breaks the stereotype of being a street album while still being able to be labeled conscious hip-hop. All hip-hop fans should listen to this album inside and outside the DMV, it really has something to offer everyone. This is the clean album available for a limited time for free but the dirty version will be available on iTunes soon enough and this is a group we should all support.