Artist: Diamond District
Album: In The Ruff
Release Date: November 9, 2018
02. Streets Won’t Let Me Chill
03. Who I Be
04. Back 2 Basics
05. I Mean Business
06. Get In Line
07. In The Ruff (prod. Dunc)
08. The Shining
09. The District
10. Make It Clear
11. Off The Late Night (prod. Slimkat78)
12. Let Me Explain
13. First Time (feat. Steve Smith)
14. Something For Y’All (prod. Kev Brown)
In 2009 Mello Music Group had released just four records (101, Mental Liberation, New Money, and Black & Read All Over). Diamond District “In The Ruff” was the fifth record and the first to garner national attention. It was the moment we felt like a bonafide record label.
Oddisee had crafted a brilliant group album that was timely in multiple ways: a DMV album riding the appeal of HBO’s The Wire that had just concluded its fifth and final season; giving the album away free first in a time when people still looked at you funny for even having a free song; and touching on the nostalgia for golden era Pete Rock, Marley Marl style sounds and Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul styled groups. The record was an indie hit. “Streets Won’t Let Me Chill”, “Who I Be”, and “I Mean Business” all struck chords as singles, but the album itself was a complete front to back masterpiece helmed by Oddisee who produced, arranged, mixed, mastered, and rapped on the whole thing. yU offered philosopher king’s poetry to the album, while Uptown XO brought the street sensibility to the project. iTunes named it to their best rap of 2009 list. NPR included the vinyl on their best of 2009 along with calling the trio a DC Supergroup. In a time of Blog Supremacy, OkayPlayer, 2DopeBoyz, NahRight, and Potholes In My Blog pegged the record as a best of. For myself, a Little Brother mega-fan, Phonte’s praise rang loudest.
The entire music world felt open after “In The Ruff” laid a concrete foundation for Oddisee and Mello Music. The new audiophile edition of course made sense to do with Fat Beats who put out the original vinyl edition with us. The cover art from J. William Washington, aka Brutha Brub is as iconic today as it was then, highlighting the DMV (Maryland, DC, Virginia) map that shaped the album’s sensibility and sound. After almost a decade of being out of print, we are excited to present the new 180g audiophile edition as part of the Mello Signature Series.
Produced, Arranged, & Mixed by Oddisee
Distributed by Fatbeats & IODA
Executive Produced by Michael Tolle
Mello Music Group Copyright 2018
Artist: Diamond District