Diamonds really are a girl’s best friend. Before Nicki Minaj backed out of the Last Girl on Earth Tour with Rihanna last month, the Queens rapper had selected Philadelphia turntablist DJ Diamond Kuts to spin records for her on the 25-city jaunt. Kuts, born Tina Dunham, broke into radio in July 2005, working the graveyard shift (2 to 3 a.m.) on Philly’s Power 99. In November 2008, the twenty-something DJ went from being on tour with Brooklyn rapper Lil Mama a year earlier to co-hosting BET’s hip-hop video show The Deal. Now, as she juggles gigs on television and radio (Power 99’s morning show with Jonesy, 6 to 10 a.m., Monday to Friday), Kuts takes a moment to listen, then weighs in on some under-the-radar tracks plucked from XXL’s submitted-new-artist music bin.

Kilogram “Rock It”
(myspace.com/kilogramts)

[Audio:http://www.xxlmag.com/files/2010/05/02-rock-it-cln-mix.mp3]

Kuts: "The sample was good, and everything on the hook, but a better beat could’ve took the song somewhere else. The way the hook is laid out is definitely club worthy, but the beat is something that’s gonna hold that record back."

F. Stokes “Pretty Shit”

(myspace.com/fstokesmusic)

[Audio:http://www.xxlmag.com/files/2010/05/07prettyshit.mp3]

Kuts: "That record was cool. It’s kind of deep. You would leave that for [an] album cut. It’s not one of those Billboard top 10 singles. If he just wanted to throw it out there to let people know he’s about to start dropping something, that would be cool. But it’s not a big hit, in my opinion."

Dashah “Recruit Training”
(myspace.com/dashah)

[Audio:http://www.xxlmag.com/files/2010/05/dashah-fresh-vetz-recruit-training-prod-by-dj-pause.mp3]

Kuts: "He got a real conscious flow. The beat is sick. I think that he’s definitely one of them artists that a lot of people would gravitate toward and really rock with. I feel like some people really would say we need more MCs like this. That’s the type of vibe I got when I listened to his record."

Young Invent “Holla at Me”
(myspace.com/younginvent)

[Audio:http://www.xxlmag.com/files/2010/05/invent-hollaatme-masterfinal-mp3.mp3]

Kuts: "That record probably wasn’t the best record for him. Overall, the hook, the beat and the song could have been better—but I’m sure he got other records. If he’s thinking about putting that out as a single, I probably wouldn’t do that."

Mr. Finley “Sin City”
(myspace.com/mrfinleymusic)

[Audio:http://www.xxlmag.com/files/2010/05/sincit1.mp3]

Kuts: "I’m kind of half and half with this record. It’s okay. The beat is good, his lyrics are cool, and the hook was just okay. So his city is going to have to take this record and just run with it. That’s the only way [it’s] going to be big across the world." —Rondell Conway

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