It was two years ago I was checking my email, and someone had sent me a link to the Diggy Simmons’ “Made You Look” (Nas freestyle)” video that shows a young, hungry, and eager Diggy Simmons walking around the city rapping his ass off. I was honestly surprised that he could spit raw raps, though I wasn’t surprised that he was talented; watching “Run’s House” will show you that all the kids in the house are in creative modes. I immediately took to his movement; he’s a young man doing something positive. HE’S CHASING HIS DREAM. He dropped his “Airborne” mixtape, a solid project, defined a true presence, and as a result– a signature deal with Atlantic Records.
The reason I’m telling you the back story of Diggy’s ‘evolution’, is because it’s absolutely vital you know it in order to truly understand the brevity of what this album means to young Diggy (and his fans). The theme of this album could be labeled as the “underestimated underdog”– a kid who was told by many that he wasn’t deserving of, and was given everything due ONLY to nepotism. Though Diggy does admit to good breaks because of who his father is, his work ethic (you hear it in his rhymes) shows everyone who listens that he is earning it! On “Unforgivable Blackness” he pleads with people who’ll never be pleased, saying “Why should I apologize? For my fathers wallet size?” It’s a beautiful ode about being a young black man in America. Something Diggy doesn’t let you forget he is.
On stand out track “Two Up” he passionately spits:
“I know I can, but you feel I can’t/
You think my hype is all gas, but you fill my tank/
How you fuel me with what your cruelty”
The more you listen to the songs the more this theme of being underestimated, or short changed for his status repeats itself. You can tell it’s something that has definitely bothered young Diggy. He wants you to respect him as a young man, and as an artist.
“I aint earn my stripes?..That’s preposterous!/
First I couldn’t grab them. Now look at how I have them./
It started with a thought, and ya’ll THOUGHT it couldn’t happen.”
Everyone who listens to the album will find at least one song that will get their foot tapping. I think the album is risky in the sense of taking the angle of talking primarily about overcoming adversity. It for sure is not a topic touched on by many rappers, and if it is, it’s normally sandwiched in between club bangers, and odes to drunk women, on most rap albums. That’s what separates Diggy from your average rapper though, not only is it his deep material and (not just for a teenage artist, but for any at artist any age), it’s his ability to inspire the youth, and make you want to strive to do better.
Once you hear the album, you’ll understand that sonically, he’s set the bar pretty high for himself, but he’s only going to get better, the material is going to improve, and hopefully the fans can respect that and grow with him accordingly.
I know I’ll be there to listen.
Click here to purchase the album. You won’t be disappointed.