Album: Grown Man Talk
Rating: 7 / 10
Reviewer: P Tha Uptownkid
Diamond couldn’t have coined it any better back in 1997 on the title with lead single, ‘The Hiatus’, from his second LP, which turned out to be almost prophetic as he took an almost 7 year hiatus before coming through with his latest full-fledged release, “Grown Man Talk”. Known as the head and founder of the D.I.T.C. (Diggin’ In the Crates) crew and revolving a few current recording projects (The Family & The Omen), Diamond finally blesses the still relatively new millennium with the flavor that makes him legendary.
Assisting on the vocal is a crew of emcees down with Diamond’s new ventures; Big C (Kamani), AK2000, Tons, Brick Dawson, singer Blake Carrington and long-lasting affiliate Sadat X. Of course Diamond represents on the production on each track with the exception of one (‘U Gots To Go’), which is laced by up-and-coming producer, 88 Keys. Coming from under the tutelage of Jazzy Jay from back in the true “old school” era of the culture, Diamond D’s longevity in the world of Hip-Hop has stained on the brain of many heads, and have influenced most, if not all, producers of Generation X, Y and Z.
Overall, from a lyrical standpoint, Diamond’s flow is bland and mediocre at best, and haven’t seemed to have progressed past the ‘Stunts, Blunts & Hip-Hop’ era, but luckily with the aid of his ‘Omen’ and ‘Family’ emcees, it doesn’t completely tarnish the overall lyrical delivery, concepts and perspective :but then again, Diamond doesn’t’ really have to prove anything on the mic. Fortunately, he doesn’t fall into the trend of overused and over-melodramatic skits on ‘Grown Man Talk’, leaving the album with straight beats and no fillers, however, the hooks/choruses could definitely have been better selected. Standout tracks featuring classic production by the “Best Kept Secret” include lead track ‘Time Will Heal U’, ‘Why Yawl Hatin’ f. /Brick Dawson, ‘Watch Me’, the epically-vibed ‘Put It Down’ f. /Sadat X, ‘U Gots 2 Go’ f. /AK2000, the jazzy guiter-filled ‘Don’t Mean Shit To Me’ f. /Brick Dawson, ‘So Lovely’ and the laid back, dreamy-esqe sounding, ‘2 Late’ f. /Sadat X.
For a (literally) independent release, Diamond hits a triple on this, “at bat”, and sets the stage for coming back in full e-f-f-e-c-t for 2004 and for the other projects that he’s currently revolving or projects that people can use dope, classic hip-hop, head-nodding production. This is probably not an album for the club hoppers but more so for the Boom Bap hip-hop heads and/or for those who can appreciate rap music outside of the commercial element.