The transition from hip-hop maestro to rap artist is a tough one, and not everyone can master it. But when it comes to getting down on the mic, some beatsmiths just have the gift of gab. With Kanye West making the successful leap from soulful in-house producer to one of the game’s most respected (and controversial) voices on the mic, XXL felt it only right to count down the best 10 producers turned rappers of all time in the October 2010 issue, which is on stands now.

Coming in at No. 6 is Diamond D, who was ahead of his time in the early 1990's when he became one of the first hip-hop producers to start a solo rap career. Be sure to pick up the October issue to get the full write up on the Diggin' in the Crates alum and read how he earned his spot. But for now, here’s Diamond D's 5 most trailblazing lines.

Tha Alkaholiks’ “Next Level”
“I put words together like Peter Jennings/And skate on muthafuckas like Peggy Fleming.”

The Fugees’ “The Score”
“I creep like a thief, no doubt the man’s swift/More magnificent than Lee Van Cleef.”

Diamond D’s “Fuck What You Heard”
“So don’t front, ’cause you know I’m the champ/Better off trying to buy a pack of Newports with a food stamp.”

Diamond D’s “No Wonduh (The Projects)”
“Niggas is on it, dreamin’ of a kilo, but for now, it’s just cee-lo/Four hundred and fifty-six ways to get from be-low.”

Diamond D’s “When It Pours, It Rains”
“Niggas be like, ‘D be on some throwback shit’/I scoop your little birdie on some Bobby Womack shit.”