As a founding producer/MC of pioneering hip hop collective Diggin in the Crates, Diamond D's productions stand as some of hip hop's most memorable beats. Alongside a string of solo albums, most notably 1992's Stunts, Blunts and Hip Hop, the Atlanta-via-The-Bronx producer/rapper has worked with Busta Rhymes, Mos Def, Fat Joe and the Fugees among countless others. In the latest episode of Crate Diggers, Diamond shares what led him to be the obsessive record collector he is today.
On Studying Beats as a Kid
I wasn’t really into the MC aspect as a kid. My thing was just the beats. The breakbeats were really what intrigued me. Sometimes, I might stand by the ropes for two or three hours just trying to get a glimpse of the album covers. I’m a little kid and that’s when I really got into wanting to collect beats.
Begging His Mom for Records
I was 10 or 11. There was a store in New York called Crazy Eddie. His prices are INSANE. I see the [Incredible Bongo Band] record on the wall, so I start going crazy. It might have been like $8.99 and the average album was $5.99. My mom wanted to know why she should pay $8.99 for some f-ckin’ bongo record. And she said, "Yeah, his prices are insane ‘cause I’m not buying this sh-t for you"…She finally broke down and bought the record. I play it and she’s looking at me like, "Yo, I paid almost 10 dollars for a f-ckin’ six-second drum beat? You out of your f-ckin’ mind?"
Sesame Street Love
After showing off a copy of 1978's Sesame Street Fever, Diamond extols the virtues of the dancefloor-centered muppets. "It’s a Sesame Street record, but this shit used to rock the party for real, for real. You wouldn’t expect for some drums to be on this sh-t. That’s the thing about digging: You never know what you’re gonna find."