Sunday, 18 October 2009
Diamond, Cru and David Axelrod on a Hiatus
In the early nineties Diamond D released one of the best albums of the decade, Stunts, Blunts and Hip Hop. The album featured Diamond behind the boards with co production from Large Pro, Showbiz, Buckwild, Lakim Shabazz, Jazzy Jay, The 45 King and Q-Tip. Diamond was also on the mic alongside some of his D.I.T.C. friends including Big L, Fat Joe, Lord Finesse as well members of Brand Nubian. The album was incredible and featured amazing use of samples and loops from varying sources and genres. But then there was nothing heard from Diamond as an artist for a number of years although he kept his name in the game by doing production work for a number of artists including OC and House of Pain.
Then in 1997 Diamond D dropped his sophomore album, Hatred Passion and infidelity on Mercury. It was a strong album with good production although not as groundbreaking as his first it did feature additional production from Buckwild. The album featured a number of guests including; Pete Rock, Phife Dawg, AG, Big L, Fat Joe, Lord Finesse, Busta Rhymes and Sadat X. It never performed as well as his first and also never garnered as much praise. The first single off the album was called The Hiatus and was a decent enough track. Shortly after it dropped a remix popped up featuring the underrated Cru, who were kinda hot at the time mainly because of their Just anotha' case single featuring Slick Rick, although their whole album is dope.
Now we get to the main subject of this post the 12" that is the Haitus remix. Its a mellow track with lyrics from Diamond and Yogi & Chaddio from Cru. It has a decent enough chorus with a lil bit of scratching but nothing serious. The remix is produced by Diamond and the beat itself is totally different form the original which uses an Ahmad Jamal sample, "Swahililand" and was a darker sounding joint. The remix however uses the main strings from the classic David Axelrod song "The School Boy" taken from his 1969 album "Songs of Experience" which was released on Capital. I'm a big Axelrod fan, to me David Axelrod is a musical genius whose blending of psychedelic, jazz, funk, religious and soulful styles put him ahead of the crowd for years. He has been sampled by many artists across many genres but his own work with Lou Rawls, the Electric Prunes, Cannonball Aderley and as an artist in his own right places him alongside the likes of Bob James, Curtis Mayfield and Isaac Hayes in my opinion. So if you ever see "Songs of Experience" in some second hand record shop i'd advise you to pick that joint up as it contains a number of well known breaks and if its not one of the recent re issues it can fetch a decent price.
The 12" features the remix, radio version and the instrumental as well as another joint called MC2 featuring John Dough. This track is also produced by Diamond and isn't a bad track although it pales in comparison to the A-Side. John Dough seems a pretty generic rapper and Diamond drops his usual style of lyrics. The beat is cool enough with some nice piano stabs and its a pretty short joint with only one verse from each MC. Check the link below for the 12" rip and the sample.