Great rap producers usually rhyme like coaches sons playing basketball. What they lack in natural ability, they always know what spots to be in. They anticipate the rebound or the defense closing in or the right patterns to take. Dilla was one of those rappers. His most effective moments came on Champion Sound because Madlib carried half the weight, but also because the production offered the muddy wax dripping on wax needed to make him sound right.
“Diamonds” is a cleaned up version of a track that’s been floating around for years. Nottz handles production in the way that Tru Master was approximating RZA circa 97. The next best thing. Or the next next best thing if you’d place Madlib in that category, which I don’t. I’ll always prefer the dirty dusted version to the digital, but I support Dilla’s estate seeing money in any way now that the legal chicanery has reportedly been resolved. It can be purchased here as a new 12″ EP. What I am trying to say is that I enjoy this song, even if posterity has revealed that Dilla was wrong about Charles Barkley’s important to the Rockets.
It also reminds me of this old Jay-Z song, which is one of the greatest rap songs ever written to soundtrack a Martin Lawrence vehicle. And there are many.