By Nicole Cormier | Sept. 8, 2016 | 8 a.m.
When you have content that's as heavily verbose as HoTT’s, there is no need for hefty production to add weight to the words. Luckily, producer Grey Sinatra knows his rhyming counterpart all too well and recognizes exactly what kind of beats will best complement the intense lyricism.
Diamond & Beats 2, MC and producer’s eighth project together and the second installment in the Diamond & Beats series, kicks off without ceremony, but the slow start isn’t indicative of what’s to follow. Initially, the production seems simple, with any stillness filled with HoTT’s expansive vocabulary, but as the album progresses, the hi-hats, bells, chimes and instruments fill every nook and cranny, and HoTT picks up momentum and somehow never seems to make a misstep in his (almost exhausting) wordplay over the course of sixteen tracks.
Standout moments come in the unbalanced “Bound 2 (fall in love),” which seems to perfectly capture the instability of relationships, regardless of their health. “Wedding Photographers,” in a similar vein, offers some softness from the MC, which is accentuated by the flute heavy production.
“Alphabetical Order,” meanwhile, plays with the alphabet in a way that hasn’t been attempted before, kicking off with a tongue twisting alliteration and then surfing through the alphabet in a coherent and beautiful diatribe. “Mercy Me” adds a touch of energy and lightheartedness to the mostly serious album.
The repetitive nature and intermittent and unnecessary dialogue take away from the flow from track to track, but it doesn’t affect the overall listenability of a project from an incredibly loquacious MC and his humble producer.
Diamond & Beats 2 will be available on October 8, 2016 and can be streamed and downloaded on www.foresightrecords.com. Check out the video for the lead single, "I on M3."