Producer: Diamond D
Album: Black on Both Sides
Diamond D: “When I met Mos Def, he was in a group UTD with his brother and his sister. I did a joint for them called ‘Manifest Destiny.’ That was hooked up through DJ Premier’s manager at the time. This was in ‘94. That was one of Mos’ first introductions. Then a few years later, we hooked back up.
“The beat was on a CD I submitted to him. I think it had like five beats on it, and that was the one he chose. We went in, and he laid it down. I had a nice time with Mos. We recorded that at Sony Studios in midtown Manhattan. I remember when I came back two or three weeks later, he had added a bass line on top of it, sprinkled some keyboards on it, and fattened it up more. I want to give him his credit on that aspect. He made it sound much bigger.
“I remember being there for the ‘Umi Says’ session. He was playing the drums and singing at the same time. Mos is ill. He killed it lyrically on that ‘Hip Hop’ track. And that was a big album, no doubt. I saw some money behind that. I’m still getting some mechanical checks.”