On July 20, 2018, UMe reissued the out-of-print, 2LP vinyl set of Diamond D And The Psychotic Neurotics’ landmark album Stunts, Blunts and Hip-Hop. In addition, Urban Legends will also release a very limited amount of colour vinyl pressings available here.
Twenty-six years ago emcee/producer Diamond D from New York’s mighty DITC (Diggin’ In The Crates) collective debuted with a stunning classic that entailed elements of what brought him and his crew notoriety—grimy Boom-Bap anchored by effusive yet obscure samples. Diamond emerged in the late ’80s as a member of Ultimate Force, a short-lived troupe whose debut album was shelved and didn’t see the light of day until over a decade afterwards. Diamond’s encyclopedic knowledge of records, after years of contributions and studious vision, came to the forefront in 1992 with his first official solo venture, Stunts, Blunts and Hip-Hop.
Despite his acumen and talent as a beatmaker, Diamond D had other production notables pepper his album with mastery and know-how. While Diamond helmed the majority of the beats, longtime visionaries like The 45 King, Jazzy Jay, Large Professor, and DITC teammate Showbiz all make stellar appearances on the project. Despite its gritty, sonorous East Coast aesthetic, the album still hit No. 47 on Billboard’s R&B and Hip-Hop chart. You also hear sped-up samples and vocals, a sound that would also be forever influential in the decades to come by the likes of 9th Wonder or Kanye West, respectively.
The track ‘Best-Kept Secret’ featured lyrical fury from Fat Joe and peaked at No. 2 on the Hot Rap Singles chart. The follow-up single, ‘Sally Got A One-Track Mind’ also did well, charting at No. 12 nationally. The release featured celebrated cameos from Tribe Called Quest frontman, Q-Tip, as well as Brand Nubian MC Sadat X. Crewmembers Lord Finesse and the late Big L also make their presence abundantly felt on choice cuts.
Diamond’s production was so ahead of its time, Stunts, Blunts and Hip-Hop sounds as fresh now as it did upon its release decades ago. And while Diamond’s production prowess and the loop-centric sound was already known amongst fans of DITC, Stunts, Blunts and Hip-Hip producer-driven album could hold its own.
In the years that came about, Diamond remained proactive and contributed to many albums and one-offs that would define his style. Stunts, Blunts and Hip-Hop is a jazzy foray bound with storytelling narratives, battle raps, and light-hearted lyrics. At 70-minutes, Diamond D’s organized structure keeps the release above water and remains to this day an underground, and often under-mentioned, Rap masterwork.
2. Best Kept Secret
3. Sally Got A One Track Mind
4. Step To Me
1. Shut The “*!*!” Up
2. “*!*!” What U Heard
3. I’m Outta Here
4. A Day In The Life
1. Comments From Big “L” And Showbiz
2. Check One, Two
3. What You Seek
4. Lunchroom Chatter
1. Pass Dat S**T
2. Freestyle (Yo, That’s What Sh..)
3. K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid)
4. Stunts, Blunts, & Hip-Hop
5. Best Kept Secret (Radio Edit)
About Universal Music Group’s ‘Urban Legends’
Urban Legends is a multi-platform website that honours the past 30 years of Universal Music Group’s (UMG) urban catalogue. The label imprint and platform, which came to fruition in late 2017, celebrates the artists and music at the heart and soul of hip-hop, with commentary by noted music writers and the artists themselves. Nobody forgets the album that changed their life—that one song that defined the moment. Urban Legends remembers and reimagines what it means to be a fan, helping music lovers fall in love with their favourites all over again. We celebrate our icons, our culture, our style, our legacy, our music—and why it matters.