Although I’ve seen ‘Stunts, Blunts & Hip Hop’ relatively regularly in blogworld, I’ve yet to see Diamond D’s (I still can’t bring myself to drop the ‘D’) second effort appear. Cue ‘Hatred, Passion And Infidelity’. I can’t tell you how badly I wanted to love this album and at times I almost manage to convince myself that I do, but the harsh reality is that this has to be considered a victim of the hip hop slide and I consider it to be a disappointment.
This is not to say that the album doesn’t have its moments. I really like the spacious feel of ‘Flowin” which could almost be an outro beat given its laid back and light, head nodding vibe. Similarly, I love the use of the Sister Nancy sample on ‘MC Iz My Ambition’ coupled with a smooth Axelrod loop. ‘5 Fingas Of Death’ is also bangin’, although ironically this wasn’t produced by Diamond but by the omnipresent Kid Capri instead. In fact, I do like a lot of the tunes on this album, but there is a lack of energy and enthusiasm here that means that the overall impact of the album falls way short of expectation.
This album also features two of the worst Diamond D beats I think I have ever heard. ‘Can’t Keep My Grands To Myself’ is a travesty, featuring a super cheesy sung chorus hook that sounds like it could have been lifted off a throwaway tune from the disco era. I simply can’t believe how this song came about. Was it an attempt to break into a more commercial market? Had Diamond D smoked one too many blunts? Or had he totally lost his mind? ‘Cream N Sunshine’ is similarly grating and as much as I can I distance these songs from all of his other work and try to ignore that they ever happened.
I recently checked Diamond D’s MySpace page just to see what sort of beats he was producing now. Unfortunately, it looks like the man has officially fallen off. It kills me that this is the case. Songs like ‘Sally Got a One Track Mind’ and ‘Step To Me’ rank as some of my favourite hip hop cuts of all time and ‘Stunts, Blunts & Hip Hop’ is a certified classic. Somebody please drop a comment and enlighten me as to what I’m missing on this album: I want to love it but can’t bring myself to do so.