As you, my loyal readers, noticed in the last half of 2015 I really became somewhat disillusioned with hip-hop (and still am to a degree) and I will expand on this theme on an article I intend to write called "Hip Hop and the celebration of mediocricity" which I feel is a huge problem with the musical aspect of this culture right now. But as you notice by many updates today I feel that several artists are coming back out with that real shit that I've been longing to hear and provides a much needed counterbalance to the extreme wackness of the mainstream artists like Young Thug, Slim Jesus, Stitches, all that drill music bullshit and so on as well as the so called "underground movement" which I feel rehash old tried and tested formulas that have been done so much better in the past, without saying nothing new.
But upcoming projects from favorite artists like D.I.T.C., K-Def, Ghostface/Killah Priest, KRS-One, Scarface, Erykah Badu and younger talents like Kamasi Washington, Kendrick Lamar, Flying Lotus, Thundercat, and even Kanye West is restoring some of my faith for 2016. Especially Diggin' in the Crates has long been a favorte and as I've written previously the original intent for a website of mine was one exclusively designed around that group. Though I've been somewhat dissapointed in the rehashing of old material over and over again as well as hastily put together projects like "The Movement" and "Unreleased Production '94", stellar projects like Finesse's "The SP1200 Project(s)", OCs "Trophies" and "Ray's Café", AG's EP with DJ Koss, Show & A's "Mughsot" trilogy and Diamond's "The Diam Piece" (and his excellent and ridiciously overlooked BIGREC collaboration "DoomsDay") is ample proof that this collective is still at the top of their game. However a new group album has been at the top of the list of many hip-hop fans wish list for over a decade by now and the excellent "The Remix Project" has turned out to be a appetizer for an upcoming full-length by the entire crew.
The album which is to be titled "D.I.T.C. Studios" is set to be released via Slice-Of-Spice (the same label who handled the remix album and all recent Lord Finesse releases) definitely seems to be an official follow up to 1999's excellent, yet somewhat underrated "Worldwide" LP on Tommy Boy. All active emcees is participating again (AG, Fat Joe, Diamond D, OC) with at least one apperance by Milano promised. Judging by the four singles released thus far the main difference seems to be that the crew has turned to more outside producers this time around which might be a wise move since interviews throughout the years have revealed that the main problem the members had with the direction of the debut was that the four D.I. producers wanted to stray in somewhat different directions. Following the soulful "Make 'Em So Proud" and my personal favorite "My City", the last week has seen two more singles from the album being unleashed on the highly anticipating public. "Diggin' Number" features AG, OC and Fat Joe and is produced by J. Clyde while Diamond D handles beats and production on "Brolic" which sports verses from AG, OC and Diamond himself. This ish is shaping up lovely so be sure to check out the joints below and be sure to support the real once this album drops - I know I will, and I barely bought a single hip-hop album in 2015.