Tuesday, October 14, 2014

March On Washington by Diamond District

     In 2009 the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Arizona Cardinals to win their sixth Super Bowl in franchise history. In 2009 the world lost one of it's great musical talents, Michael Jackson. In 2009 Barrack Obama was inaugurated as America's 44th president. Additionally, in 2009 the hip-hop group Diamond District, comprised of Oddisee, yU, and Uptown XO, released their debut album titled, In The Ruff

     2009 was a big year for the world and clearly a lot has changed since then. However, here we are five years later, and those same artists mentioned previously, just released their second album as a group, and this time around, they're calling it, March On Washington.

     March On Washington has generated a large amount of buzz within the realm of indie hip-hop, mainly because their 2009 release changed everything for the face indie hip-hop, and it looks like their ready to change it again.

     Diving right into things, let's first talk about the beats and production on the album. All production credits go to Oddisee, which is large part of why the music sounds so good. It was thought that yU may produce a few tracks on the album since he is a very talented producer as well, however, thinking more about it, his style and sound wouldn't really match the intensity that this group brings from track to track. Now Oddisee is known for being an extremely versatile producer, and this versatility is quite evident throughout the duration of the project. His sound is diverse and ranges throughout many different sectors of hip-hop, as many of the tracks beats sound as if they contain live instrumentation.

     While every single beat on the album is different, they are all very cohesive, and create an extremely smooth listening experience. That being said, I still feel that the beats used on their 2009 release, In The Ruff have a slight edge on those featured in March On Washington. Maybe it's because the beats on ITR were so unique and unheard of at that time or maybe it's simply because I've heard those beats many more times than the latter. Either way, the beats are still really solid on both projects, and those used on MOW are much more diverse and eccentric in comparison to those on ITR.

     When it comes to lyricism, Diamond District is at the forefront in the industry. Oddisee has a clever wordplay that listeners will be replaying time and time again because the man is just that good. While at the same time, yU holds one of the most unique voices in the industry, as well as being able to paint a very vivid scene within the lines of his raps. The imagery used by yU is second to none, and the man has never spit a bad line in his entire career. Then there's Uptown XO, who has this particular confidence and swagger in his rhymes, that's it's almost impossible to not be captivated by his flow and delivery.

     It's no secret that these three can rap, but what's most amazing is that all three are at their absolute best, and the lyrics on this album are elevated exponentially in relation to their 2009 effort. The lyrics, the flows, the stories, the imagery, the pictures painted by all three artists are just so good, it makes me wonder, "why even bother with other artists?" That being said, I would like to give a lot of credit to Uptown XO for his work and lyrical growth shown on this project. I feel that XO is often seen as the "Chris Bosh" of this big three, and that is by no means his role. Throughout March On Washington, XO absolutely kills every verse he's on. There's just something about his flow and  the way he holds himself within his rhymes that really resonates with me personally. That's not to take anything away from yU and Oddisee, because those guys are incredible, simply put. To make a long story short, three of the DMV's best emcees make an album, and March On Washington is the result.

     In all, every track on this album is exceptional. It has it's standout tracks just like In The Ruff did, though, March On Washington's best tracks fall short to In The Ruff's best. As a whole, however, March On Washington is a much more full and complete project, while In The Ruff did have a few exceptional tracks, it just can't match up to March On Washington's fullness as an entire body of work. 

      I feel like this album will only get better the more times it's played and marinated upon by listeners, so the more times it's put on repeat, the better it'll get. Is this the best album of the year? Possibly, but I guess come December 31st I'll have a more precise answer. Check out March On Washington, and please share what you though on the album and on the review by commenting below!

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