The Making of Jewelz with O.C.

Friday, September 22nd, 2017

Words by Daniel Isenberg (@StanIpcus)

1997 was a crazy year for New York rap music. In many ways, the scene was thriving, with Jay-Z and Nas on the brink of superstardom, and the Wu-Tang Clan making international noise. But the biggest artist of them all—Biggie Smalls—was murdered in March, two weeks before his sophomore double album was set to drop. It was a loss unfathomable to the Big Apple hip-hop community, and it forced the rest of B.I.G.’s peers to step up and rep even more to fill the massive void.

With pride and perseverance, that’s what they did. Biggie’s Bad Boy brethren Puff Daddy and Mase turned tragedy into triumph with a series of platinum hits. Jay and Nas continued to excel, and would go on to lyrically duel for the King of New York slot. And in the midst of it all, New York continued to show its depth, with talented rappers emerging and evolving throughout the five boroughs.

One artist in particular who had shown promise in the past was D.I.T.C. representative O.C. The Brooklyn MC was coming off his stellar debut Word…Life in 1994, which spawned underground hits like “Born 2 Live” and “Time’s Up,” and a critically-acclaimed appearance on the DJ Premier-produced single “Return of the Crooklyn Dodgers” alongside Chubb Rock and Jeru The Damaja. And in the summer of ‘97, he was set to drop his sophomore album Jewelz, and show the rap world that in the wake of Biggie’s death, there was another godly MC from the streets of Brooklyn worth worshipping.

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Editorial: 10 Loosies You May Have Slept On In 2016 (So Far)

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016


Words by Daniel Isenberg (@StanIpcus)

Another day, another rap song is released. It’s overwhelming, isn’t it? It takes time and effort to weed through the wack shit and find the fire in the midst of so many daily drops. But it’s a process that the true heads love and take pride in. Discovering a sick new song is invigorating, right?

Being that the first half of this year has been absolutely flooded with new music, I spent some time digging through my music archives to pick out ten loosies that should not be slept on in the midst of the meyhem. These are the non-album cuts that made a real impact on me when I first heard them, and are still in my heavy rotation leading into the summer. Listen below.

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D.I.T.C ft. OC – 4 Da Block

Monday, March 7th, 2016


Another collaboration between O.C and producer Motif Alumni for DITC’s latest release.

Check it out below.

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D.I.T.C. (A.G., Fat Joe & Diamond D) – Make ‘Em So Proud (Hold Up)

Tuesday, January 5th, 2016


The legendary Diggin In The Crates crew is preparing to drop new music in 2016 via their D.I.T.C. Studios compilation LP. This week they tease the project with a new track featuring Andre The Giant, Fat Joe and Diamond D called “Make ‘Em So Proud (Hold Up).”

Previously: 5 Classic D.I.T.C. Music Videos From 1995

Mixtape Memories: A Dozen Classic Artist Mixtapes For Your Labor Day Weekend Listening Pleasure

Friday, September 4th, 2015


Words by Daniel Isenberg (@StanIpcus)

Sometimes I find some stuff on the Internet that’s so lit I can’t bring myself to share it with everyone. I might tell a few close homies about it, but otherwise, nah—it’s too good to tweet about. Well my dog DJ E-Feezy, who is the man behind one of the greatest mixtape Blogspots in history—RecogTheReal—started a Soundcloud page earlier this year, and holy shit he’s been loading it more and more every week with nothing but mixtape classics. Craziness! And they’re all available for free download, too. Plus I like how he’s formatted them to be one long stream, so you can just press play and let them ride without having mad individual tracks clog up your iTunes. So if you want individual gems, go peep our Twelve Jewelz series. But this here right here is for the true mixtape heads who want that full, uncut raw.

With so much material on E-Feezy’s page to enjoy—from compilation mixtapes to vintage NYC underground radio show recordings to instrumental butters—I thought it might be fun for our latest Mixtape Memories feature to sift through his stash and highlight a dozen classic artist mixtapes that you can enjoy this Labor Day Weekend. Some of these were compiled by DJs without the artist’s involvement, some were collaborative efforts, and some are “Best of” style. But one thing they all have in common is simple—fire. Read/stream/download below, and big shout to the homie DJ E-Feezy from RecogTheReal for his dedication to the culture!

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Video Vault: 5 Classic D.I.T.C. Music Videos From 1995

Friday, June 26th, 2015


Words by Daniel Isenberg (@StanIpcus)

The more time I spend revisiting ‘90s gems for our Twelve Jewelz series, the more I find myself diving as deep as I can into the Diggin’ In The Crates crew catalog. To me, D.I.T.C. is the essence of New York street hip-hop, complete with gritty, boom bap, neck-breaking beats and sample-based jazz/soul sounds, and that witty, no-bullshit Big Apple talk. They’re a special rap collective that deserves to be celebrated more than they normally are, for sure. So as we continue our look back at one of rap’s most monumental years, we invite you take a break from the new shit and enjoy our latest Video Vault featuring 5 Classic D.I.T.C. Music Videos From 1995. Hit the jump to read/watch.

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Freddie Foxxx on The Combat Jack Show

Friday, June 27th, 2014


The legendary Freddie Foxxx aka Bumpy Knuckles appeared on the The Combat Jack Show and shared a lot of unfiltered rap history. Freddie discussed meeting Chuck D during a time where his life was on the line for the culture, his relationship with Tupac, being down with the Paid In Full Posse (Eric B.), his battle-rapping past, what happened with Queen Latifah/Flavor Unit, getting blackballed by Steve Stoute, what business lessons he learned from being around Naughty by Nature/D.I.T.C., being around Nas during his beef with Jay-Z and of course, his most famous beatdown stories dispelled.

I’m probably forgetting a lot but the full 2 hours is worth the time.

Previously: Marley Marl on The Combat Jack Show | Lord Finesse on The Combat Jack Show

D.I.T.C. – The Remix Project (Mixtape)

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

The Diggin’ In The Crates crew shares a download link for The Remix Project, a 14-track compilation of D.I.T.C. cuts reworked by some of the most respected producers in the game, including DJ Premier, Alchemist, 9th Wonder and Marco Polo. Diggin’ memebers Lord Finesse, Buckwild, Showbiz and Diamond D also contribute remakes.

Full tracklist and download link below.

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D.I.T.C. (Diamond D, Showbiz, A.G. & Lord Finesse) – Diggin’ In The Crates (DJ Premier Remix)

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Here’s a gem off the upcoming remix album from legendary NYC collective D.I.T.C. DJ Premier reworks “Diggin’ In The Crates” the 1991 posse cut that appeared on Showbiz & A.G.’s Soul Clap EP and from which the crew subsequently took their name. There was a radio rip of this from Preem’s show floating around, but here’s the full version untagged.

Previously: D.I.T.C. (O.C. & AG) – We All (Alchemist Remix)

D.I.T.C. (O.C. & AG) – We All (Alchemist Remix)

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

On May 7th, storied NYC Rap crew D.I.T.C. will be dropping a special Remix project with contributions from the likes of DJ Premier, Apollo Brown, Bink and 9th Wonder. Here we have the first leak from the project, an Alchemist produced flip of O.C. and A.G.’s “We All”.

Continue below to check out the tracklist for The Remix Project.

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