When Diamond District dropped In the Ruff on Mello Music Group in 2009, the gritty drums and grimy raps combined as elementally as hydrogen and oxygen. The D.C. Voltron of Oddisee, yU, and Uptown X.O. dusted off and revitalized a sound once consigned to the catacombs.
Hailed as an instance classic, its impact reverberated throughout the underground and mainstream. The Washington D.C. City Paper called it the city’s best album in many years. A half-decade later, the holy trinity has returned with “March on Washington.” The lead single “First Step” (via Soundcloud here) benefits from Oddisee’s production which has matured substantially since ’09.