Diamond D Tells All: The Stories Behind His Classic Records

The Fugees f/ Diamond D "The Score" (1996)

Producer: Diamond D

Album: The Score

Label: Ruffhouse/Columbia

Diamond D: “Basically Wyclef reached out to me, and I gave him some beats, and that was one of the ones on there. I went out to New Jersey, and that was recorded in his grandmother’s basement. Him, Pras, and Lauryn were all downstairs. I laid the beat down, hung out for a little while, and then the next time I heard it when I came back, it was recorded. And that’s when, at the end of the song, I got on there and spit my couple of bars. They asked me to spit eight bars. I felt like Pras, how he always has eight bars on their songs. Other than that, it was all love.

 
I love that Cymande album. I made those dudes half-a-millionaires from sampling that record. It was [one of my biggest songs financially] up until the paperwork got sorted out, and Cymande got their cut, rightfully so. When it was recorded, Wyclef didn’t clear the sample. So they came after us.
 

“They were humble, and just came off of their first album which was considered a flop. But they had that big single ‘Mona Lisa,’ so that kind of saved them, and they were able to finagle that into a second situation. On a bright note, it just goes to show that if your first joint doesn’t really do what it’s expected to do, if you stay focused, and keep your eyes on the prize, shit can happen for anybody.

“I love that Cymande album. I made those dudes half-a-millionaires from sampling that record. It was [one of my biggest songs financially] up until the paperwork got sorted out, and Cymande got their cut, rightfully so. When it was recorded, Wyclef didn’t clear the sample. So they came after us, and it was a big mess, but everything is sorted out now. I don’t even really like talking about it. Working with them was a cool experience, and I’ll just leave it at that.

“I definitely meant it [when I said, ‘I’m the best producer on the mic’]. There’s a few out there. I like Dilla, Black Milk, Pete Rock, Havoc, Alchemist, or of course Lord Finesse. I could go on and on. But, I mean, what MC doesn’t feel they’re number one anyway? I never heard anyone get on the mic and say, ‘I’m number two, I’m number two!’”

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