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Diamond D A quick Q&A internetchat with the best producer on the mic One of hip-hop's greatest producers of all time, praised by people whom he sampled such as David Axelrod and one of the most notorious record diggers around the world, Diamond D belongs in the halls of producers fame, due to his impressive discography. A career that began with Ultimate Force, the group he formed with lyricist Master Rob. Finally this year, Traffic Entertainment unearthed their shelved album 'I'm Not Playing' which dates from the pre-DITC era and shows Diamond's undeniable master skills behind the boards.

Finally the Ultimate Force album is here. In what amount were you involved in re-releasing the record?

Other than remixing one song and gathering a couple of other songs, Jay handled the rest.

Were the Ultimate Force tracks ever intended to form one album?

Yes.

How did Ultimate Force come to an end in 1991?

I believe the UNI deal fell through with Strong City.

Master Rob took the exact same name as one of the members of the Fantastic 5: did that bring much confusion to the table and did the confusion ever end up in funny or harsh stories?

There was an altercation at the studio on Blondell Avenue over Master Rob's name, but it never got physical.

Besides the Ultimate Force joint, is there anything more that you produced but that didn?t come out?

Yes, there were songs I recorded for my first album that were never released.

Back in the mid to late 80's, could you speak from a Strong City crew or was it just a label with separate artists with only Jazzy as the glue?

Jazzy was the glue.

What role did Jazzy Jay play in your career?

Jay was the man that taught me the fundamentals of production; however, he had no real input on me as an artist.

The ?Cold Chillin at The Studio Live? CD had Lord Finesse?s first appearance on wax. Did you push him to get on the album?

Yes, Rob and I both were instrumental in Finesse's appearance.

How was working with Skeff Anselm?

Working with Skeff was cool, but he kinda always looked down on me.

What made you decide to change Supreme Diamond D into the abbreviated Diamond when you went solo?

?Supreme? was just added on for that song.

Do you remember the day or impulses that made you go from a DJ to a producer?

Yes, it was during the recording of Lord Finesse's first album.

Comparing Diamond D of 1989 to Diamond D of 2007, what has been some of the biggest evolutions in your producing methods?

The use of more live instruments and more drum programming.

I read somewhere that the demo of ?Best Kept Secret? was the kick-off for your rhyming career, correct?

Yes, ?Best Kept Secret? was the first song I rhymed on.

Where did the urge to rhyme come from?

Mostly from being around Lord Finesse and Grand Puba.

You produced for West Coast acts like Alkaholiks, Xzibit, Ras Kass and The Pharcyde, how different did you approach makin music for them than for East Coast acts?

I didn't have to change. They all wanted my sound.

How did you end up connectin with the West Coast? Because Lord Finesse was down with the Rhyme Syndicate and Ice-t?

No, I knew them on my own.

Everybody been wondering what's up with DITC for the moment. Are there plans on jumping in the studio together again?

Yes, there are plans to record again.

A few years back DITC announced to change names to WildLife, what was the idea behind that?

Wildlife was formed by Showbiz and Amed.

What's your plan with your own record label? Are you gonna be building out an artist roster?

Yes, I have three new acts I am currently working with.

What was the idea behind the ?Diamond Mine? (mixtape) and the ?Grown Man Talk? CD?

Basically, just some songs that I recorded and didn't want to sit on them and allow them to become old. So, the result of that were the ?Diamond Mine? and ?Grown Man Talk? CD?s.

You?re workin on a new album entitled ?Huge Hefner?. Can you compare it to earlier work or is it something totally new and unexpected for Diamond?

New, because I am not producing the entire album like J-Dilla wanted to do on MCA, I'm focusing more on rhyming and leaving beat duties to other producers I feel are hot.

?Diamond D the best producer on the mic?. What producers do you think are great MC?s as well?

Kanye West, Pete Rock, Havoc, Large Professor, Nottz, J-Dilla, Alchemist, Pharrell...producers I like on the mic.

With a music collection like yours, do you hardly listen to any new hip-hop music? Who?

New artists I like are Young Jeezy, Sean Price, Lupe Fiasco and Young Dro.

How do you see the future of vinyl shops?

Vinyl shops will only be around for purists.

Do you buy off Ebay ?

No.

Can you pay a lot of dollars for a record or are you always searchin for 1–dollar bin finds?

Both.

What was the first RAP album you got?

The first rap record I received was Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five titled 'We Rap More Mellow' that my aunt Christine purchased for me.

Aight. Thanks a lot for your time.

 

POSTED 06|01|2007
conducted by cpf

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