Diggy’s fight for legitimacy in the rap game is a tough one: he’s still a teen; he first gained national recognition for his role on a reality show; and, though he’s the son of a hip-hop legend, he has to prove that nepotism isn’t the only reason he’s in the musical limelight. But the 2011 XXL Freshman has worked hard over the last year and change to break away from the shadows of Run’s House and not simply use his father’s legacy to cement himself in the industry. After a couple well-received mixtapes and successful singles, Diggy makes his presence known with his Atlantic Records debut, Unexpected Arrival.
From a production standpoint, album offers up a strong class of beatsmiths, consisting of Da Internz, D’Mile and Happy Perez. Their touch makes the album something sonically easy to listen to from top to bottom. The team created a project that possessed smooth transitions between laid back and up-tempo tracks.
Conceptually, the debut holds up, with tracks such as “Glow In The Dark,” about prevailing through trails of making it in the industry. Diggy also cooks up a surprise with track “Unforgivable Blackness,” which touches on race and politics in a way the 16-year-old hasn’t in the past. While some may feel content like that may be a little mature for his target demographic, Diggy bucks simply doing the expected, and executes these tracks with ease and gives young listeners food for thought.
Throughout the release, the upstart displays a versatile delivery and bars with flashes of the lyrical depth of an artist more seasoned than he. On “Need To Know,” Diggy shows his clever wordplay with bars like, “Put yourself in my Lou’s/All they see is green, they don’t ever see my blues.” The young’n does a solid job balancing solo tracks, allowing listeners to get a feel for him as an artist, with solid collabs from Jadakiss, Tank and Jeremih.
Unlike many young artists, Diggy stays away from alot of catchy, jingle-esque hooks and songs about trends on this project. Clearly the young MC wants to be taken seriously by casual and hardcore fans alike. With his Unexpected Arrival, Diggy will convince some skeptics that he’s here for a reason. —Christian Mordi @mordi_thecomeup