It has been five years since Diamond District released their seminal debut album In The Ruff. Much has changed for the artists that make up the group (Uptown XO, Oddisee, and yU), and the fans who’ve been clamoring for a follow-up to their near flawless debut. Five years is almost a lifetime in a musical climate where artists are swallowed whole, digested, and then flushed away quicker than you can say “popped a molly, I’m sweatin’!” Thankfully, one that thing seems to remain is the DMV trio’s commitment to a hard-hitting, boom bap, ethos that is reverent, not retro.
“First Step” is the first single to the group’s upcoming sophomore effort March On Washington, and it finds that track’s producer, and clean-up batting emcee, Oddisee entering what could be his Late Registration period. Also evident on his recent instrumental releases, the talented soundweaver adds layers of strings and synths on top of his trademark ear-piercing snares and infectious samples, adding depth and warmth.
Uptown XO, yU, and Oddisee each remain sharp behind the microphone and give the track a triumphant feel. Their self-referential lyrics paint the trio as conquering warriors returning to a throng of impassioned countrymen in the nation’s capital to. March On Washington is set to drop on October 14. Fans in the DMV and worldwide wait with bated breath.