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Back in late January, two living Hip Hop legends; Brand Nubian’s Sadat X and D.I.T.C.’s Diamond D collided musically, with the unleashing of “The Devil Is Near,” a hard hitting – not to mention extremely timely – entry taken from the dynamic duo’s upcoming Dymond Mine Records’ studio opus, The Sum of A Man. Although this wasn’t the first time Dotty X and the rap game’s Huge Hefner collaborated, it definitely sets the tone quite nicely for what is destined to become a future classic LP… #StayWoke
Let’s hop right into this latest single “The Devil Is Near” — Tell me about this particular composition? How did it even come to fruition?
As a direct result of the Black Lives Matter movement; the song deals with police brutality, as well as the enlightenment of our people.
“The Devil Is Near” comes courtesy of your highly anticipated / still forthcoming debut, as a duo anyway, full length studio collection, The Sum of A Man — Conceptually, what does that title represent both to and for you all?
The album is based on Sadat’s experiences as a man and becoming a man. It’s an album every man will be able to relate to…overcoming adversities and haters, experiences with women; both good and bad. Running around with your crew celebrating success, and reflections of decisions a man makes whether inspirational or destructive.
In having said that, what all specific details; i.e. favorite tracks, producer credits, cameo appearances, etc., can you all reveal and/or divulge about upcoming premiere set at this point in time?
I don’t have a favorite track…the album is to be listened as one piece. I produced the album, and the features are Raheem DeVaughn, Kurupt, Tha Liks, Tony Sunshine, Jawz of Life and Timmy Hunter.
Sonically, how does The Sum of A Man measure up to what people already know and love you all for through your many works as either a soloist or Sadat with his Brand Nubian brethren? How then does the new material either differ and/or compare to previous efforts?
In the past, me and Sadat X have worked on various singles together but this is the first time we’ve worked on an album conceptually together from beginning to end. So to that end, there is no measure. Fans familiar with our catalog will already know what to expect….heat and straight bars!
The Sum of A Man is a Dymond Mine Records project — Who all, besides yourselves of course, currently makes up the label’s roster? And, what are your future goals and/or plans for the imprint?
The Blake Moses Project, and an artist from Harlem named Snooze. Sadat is not signed to me; this is just a one off project we both always wanted to do.
Switching gears here, how has not only the industry itself, but even more-so you all, either changed and/or evolved since your whole inception into music?
With this project, we were more focused conceptually with creating the album. This a first for us both as a unit…I didn’t want Sadat making an entire album bragging about how dope he is. I wouldn’t classify that as someone evolving, but rather doing something different or changing. The industry has changed to a singles driven machine, so with this project we hope to spark more albums being recorded as one whole concept album.
Longevity, what do you all attribute yours to?
I’m still a fan of Hip Hop, and that keeps me motivated at what I do.
What do you all want people to get from your music?
From this LP, a sense of enlightenment and everyday struggles and celebrations we go through as men.
On a more serious note, are you all happy with the current state of Hip Hop? And, even more specifically, where exactly do you all “fit in” when it comes to today’s current/trending sound-scape?
I see the current state of Hip Hop, at least what’s on the radio, making a slow shift towards lyricism. In that regard Sadat, doesn’t have to fit in. I like a lot of the new Hip Hop, but much of it sounds redundant.
Do you all have any other outside/additional aspirations, maybe even completely away from music?
Sadat has a college degree, and I’m looking to enroll back in college sometime soon to get my degree.
What has been your greatest career achievement(s), at least thus far?
Being nominated for a Grammy and winning one.
Lastly, what’s next for you all?
Sadat will be working on a project with Kool Keith, and in addition to The Blake Moses Project and Snooze, I am currently putting together The Diam Piece Volume 2 with some surprise guests.
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