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Old 04-16-2010, 01:07 PM   #1
niobium
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Ditc

Diggin' in the Crates



...As just described their aim... quite simply you can figure it out... if not:

http://www.stylusmagazine.com/articles/weekly_article/hip-hops-unknown-legends-the-diggin-in-the-crates-crew.htm

A cautionary tale:
Did anyone really have beef with these guys and manage to convince you? DJ Premier would have been lead practitioner had he been an bonafide member, as DITC students borrowed their formula most from him. Too bad Biz and Cold Chillin' only caught a bad break (ha); the sample based destinations DITC crafted on a classic MC-DJ set-up were real and groovy. These guys were devoted to explore new sounds under a boom bap template, while aiming to avoid the pitfalls of hip-hop of the day by keeping the beats freshly up to date and the MC's hungry. Lyrically they didn't lean toward overtly positive vibes, or the grimy city life like their stalwarts. More than not they stuck to familiar, b-boy topics, though definitely not as acclaimed as the beats. There was some heavy talent to be found on the mic but was uneven compared to the loaded talent behind the boards. A tight knit crew; had its reach in most areas of East Coast innovation during the first half of 90s.
The most definitive music of their oeuvre was also released during this time. It was regarded for its standout production, mainly on their flagship/debut releases. Overlooking Big L's early death in '99, most of the DITC faded soon after '96, mainly due to mainstream trends shifting toward mafioso to club nightlife, at least in that area. Their most productive run through the first half of the 90's often doesn't get recognized enough; the artists were too personally modest to have any dent in their heyday. And even though the music didn't age as well amongst the larger, canonical albums, the territory DITC established in hip-hop remains a favorite spot to revisit to the heads of past and present.

Key players:
Lord Finesse - his talent is sounding effortless, never pausing or biting, while coming up with clever metaphors. The wise figure, almost a kind of organizer for the people in and surrounding DITC. Kind of a chump, kind of really good.
Showbiz & A.G. - primarily a producer/MC team, Showbiz & Diamond D had the most prevalently found production work for the group, and both secured some hot spots all over the rest of the 90s. Meanwhile, A.G. struggled to get his head above the crowd but was competent by all means. Had a good verse on Funky Technician
Diamond D - the do-it-all producer and rapper, most similar to Primo in terms of looping measures and that big simple head bob, but having mad swagger too. Simplistic, dumb rhymes but it fits his humor and bounce
O.C. - The most dangerous lyricist, ran laps around his peers with a steady fervor. His tracks stay together and interesting.
Fat Joe - Just some fat ****ing hustler with a by the numbers thug flow. I suppose some cred is due from the back-in-the-day homies... but he is completely expendable as a performer. The only not involved in their own underground classic as well, managed to make it on a great album or two before he embarked on a long, meaningless career into MTVdom.
Buckwild - I know the least about him/probably the most uneager for the spotlight, but his high quality production led to a couple solo productions, including three spots on Organized Konfusion's Stress: The Extinction Agenda
Big L - By far the youngest, most violent and most likely member to appear on a magazine cover. released a punchline ridden classic at 20 (two days shy of 21), got noticed by Jay-Z and dead at 24. Praised and missed. Nimble and naughty.

Notable associates:
Freddie Foxxx
DJ Premier
Cuban Link
Organized Konfusion
Big Pun
Brand Nubian
KRS-One
Tha Alkoholiks

Essential listening:
(1990)
Lord Finesse & DJ Mike Smooth - Funky Technician: Not until Illmatic did hip-hop get bigger names in production on one spot. Finesse pulls all the strings together on his side for a breezy, confident performance. Together, the two complimented each other in a very immediate way. These days the first classic survives well, serving as a fine blueprint for a hip-hop act in itself. 4-4.5/5

(1992)
Showbiz & A.G. - Runaway Slave: Probably the least vital of the heralded full-lengths, but still above par for its time. A.G. commands the mic like a featherweight, while Showbiz does a fair job. Didn't end up shining a little brighter in retrospect, but no faults large enough (sounds dusty at times) to detract a solid listen through its PG-13 ghetto fare. The last four or so tracks of alts and remixes are dumb. 3/5

Diamond D - Stunts, Blunts & Hip-Hop: Makes a nigga remember their youth. Most of the crew and a handful of the best in-demand producers brought their own beats for a good time party album. Featuring plenty rowdy skits, adventure, and braggadocio yet the album suffers from a long and bloated running time, especially during the latter half. But those singles! 3.5/5

(1994)
O.C. - Word...Life: More than adequate DITC production was created to help usher in the newest and hottest MC in the crew until Big L. An easy contemporary to name is in Nas: both are verbally technical while still fluent, with a tight flow, but lacked whatever that oomph is. The beats were provided by Buckwild, which fit O.C. like a glove. "Time's Up", stole a bit of airtime, but you and everyone on your block know it's a true anthem of the 1990s, genre notwithstanding. No real guest MC's to speak of but you don't care. Sometimes you dig this more than other times. 3.5/5

(1995)
Big L - Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous: Easily the most hardcore release DITC offered, lyrically and musically. The biggest draw here is his absurd, often laugh worthy punchlines. Unlike most DITC releases (save Word...Life), the beats don't have to work harder than the MC out of necessity. Lifestylez drips deep urban sweat and was unable to get a push because of its content but probably the most loved release 15 years later. 3.5/5

Affiliated releases of interest:
AZ - Doe or Die (1996)
Lord Finesse - Return of the Funky Man (1992)
O.C. - Jewelz (1997)
Big L - The Big Picture (2000)

Singles/music videos of interest:
Diamond D
Sally Got a One Track Mind - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5vIvkfziUU
Best Kept Secret - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SgJOFXl_5c
What U Heard - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tiYXcXvg99U

O.C.
Time's Up - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzyaaMUCpWs
Born 2 Live - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4jg7oY9RvQ

Lord Finesse & DJ Mike Smooth

Strictly for the Ladies - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3McG_Ls_aU

Showbiz & A.G.
Fat Pockets - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_jpVH3nlZo
Soul Clap - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6P38MLq53JM

Big L
Put It On - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBrzEVJwYFg
MVP - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfXqwviDHIM
No Endz, No Skinz - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQ0u2jjXs_o


..PS this hip-hop sub forum could use some damage control, to say the least. how about one of the lovely moderators feature/sticky this article? as it took some time to write up though i can add/edit more if needed

Last edited by niobium; 04-16-2010 at 01:12 PM.
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Old 04-16-2010, 01:10 PM   #2
Jaundice
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niobium View Post
Big L - By far the youngest, most violent and most likely member to appear on a magazine cover. released a punchline ridden classic at 20 (two days shy of 21), got noticed by Jay-Z and dead at 24. Praised and missed. Nimble and naughty.


He didn't get noticed by Jay-Z. Jay-Z's first appearance on a widely distributed record was on a Big L song, if anything L "noticed" him.

That aside, Lifestylez of tha Poor and Dangerous is easily one of my favorite rap discs and I need some more Diggin in the Crates.
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Old 04-16-2010, 01:17 PM   #3
niobium
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i know that

my point is to mention lifestylez was 95
then in 96 jay released reasonable doubt
which put him quicker than big l on the path to become big ****in money
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Old 04-16-2010, 02:17 PM   #4
Rams
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Everyone should own this
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Old 04-16-2010, 03:19 PM   #5
O.J. Simpson
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Love these guys dude, specially Lord Finesse and Big L
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Old 04-17-2010, 03:43 PM   #6
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R.I.P. Big L
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Old 03-08-2013, 12:30 PM   #7
kingsoby1
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stickied!
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Old 03-09-2013, 05:55 PM   #8
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DITC goes hard, A.G. and O.C. went stupid hard on that LUV NY joint that i posted about that no one listened to

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QkGmO3V2cs
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Digging: Sir Michael Rocks - Banco

Old 04-02-2013, 10:36 PM   #9
niobium
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Oh hey nice

I just threw on Stunts, Blunts & Hip Hop the other day too. these days i would probably listen to Funky Technician. i ought to revisit Runaway Slave
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:51 AM   #10
WooHa
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Finesse put out a pretty dope album last year
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:08 PM   #11
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"PS this hip-hop sub forum could use some damage control, to say the least. "

I guess you missed my battleroom BRO
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:10 PM   #12
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Cool list/thread thing. This era is the best this genre will ever be... no chance, today it is all kids repeating stories they heard the older generation talking about... IE no one is a crack kingpin anymore but half of new rappers rap about it
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