Diamond District / In The Ruff
Album: In The Ruff   Collection:Hip-hop
Artist:Diamond District   Added:Feb 2010
Label:Mellow Music Group  

A-File Activity
Add Date: 2010-02-28 Pull Date: 2010-05-02 Charts: Hip-Hop
Week Ending: Apr 11 Apr 4 Mar 14 Mar 7
Airplays: 1 1 1 3

Recent Airplay
1. Jun 21, 2010: RipRidah Radio
In The Ruff
4. Mar 07, 2010: FLASHBANGRADIO
Back To Basics
2. Apr 06, 2010: 408's Finest
Streets Won't Let Me Chill
Back To Basics
3. Mar 30, 2010: 408's Finest
Streets Won't Let Me Chill
6. Mar 03, 2010: Sunshine ... in the Afternoon
Make It Clear

Album Review
Reviewed 2010-02-28
The debut full-length from Diamond District, a new hip hop trio out of Washington D.C. The group is comprised of Oddisee, X.O. and YU. Oddisee produces the beats and all three members contribute verses in quick, sharp flows with focus on phonetics—the often-neglected power of lyrical rhythm. No one rapper tries to outdo the others, there is a strong emphasis on teamwork. The production is excellent—an extremely varied mix of samples and stripped down drums creating a very gritty East Coast feel. Nothing too cliché, but at the same time there is nothing too left-field and experimental. An excellent release—versatile enough to fit into any setlist.

FCC CLEAN TRY: 4,6,9,13,2,

1. One minute intro track explaining the album over looped piano riffs and drum machine.
*2. Big band samples, looped sample of “streets won’t let me chill.” Quick articulate rhymes, personal narratives, very gritty very street.
3. Heavy drum beats, a looped keyboard line that sounds just like the organs in DJ Shadow’s “Organ Donor.” Metaphors about pawn shops, street living, making a name for yourself, Rasta. As the title suggests it’s pretty self-righteous
*4. Great production: chopped samples of string instruments and piano woven together to create an interesting if repetitive kaleidoscope of sound—sounds great when fleshed out by steady 808 drums. Quick flow, great articulation.
5. Subtle organ lines mixed with staccato jazz drum samples. The blistering, almost-out-of-breath rap discusses globalization and its implications of religions like Islam.
*6. Excellent, aggressive beat: sharp drums, looped bells, blaring hones. Quick, agile lyrics “raise your hands in the air” chorus. Numerous D.C. references.
7. Lyrics about “living the high life” and struggling to get to the top. Strings, female vocals in the background.
8. Describes how Diamond Discrict is the metaphorical “beacon of truth” in the dark gritty streets of D.C.
*9. A tribute to their D.C. home: describing the cold bitter reality of life in the streets, a failing economy, and social/racial injustices. Interesting varied beats made from a stutter step drumbeat paired with organ lines, strange sound effects, and guitar stabs.
10. Funky-fresh samples paired with dancey organ lines. High-energy breakbeat.
11. Steady, chill flow on this steamy love song. Smooth, sugary female vocals in the background.
12. Presents some pretty classic themes (girls, material wealth, “buying your dreams”) but this time with some really clever, novel rhymes. Very witty. Minimal piano loops, bits of jazz lines and the occasional chopped soul vocal in the background.
*13. A laidback personal narrative--coming-of-age stories and childhood memories. Old soul sample loops complete with the vinyl static are a perfect backdrop.

Track Listing
1. Intro   8. The Shining
2. Streets Won't Let Me Chill   9. The District
3. Who I Be   10. Make It Clear
4. Back To Basics   11. Off The Late Night
5. I Mean Business   12. Let Me Explain
6. Get In Line   13. First Time
7. In The Ruff   14. Something For Ya'll
  15. Hologram