Saturday, November 27, 2004

Mashin' it up

[on the title of his album, “One AM”] It comes from a couple of different things," he explains. "Before I really delved into this record, I lived in a house with a couple of my friends who were very much a part of making music and laying down beats, so we had a basement studio where we did pre-production and we'd go down and often create. It sort of bugged me how often we'd go down and beat around until 1am - so [the title] was sort of like paying homage to where I've come from in terms of creating. That was many years ago."

Diverse aka Kenny Jenkins is the new entrepreneur of instrumental hip-hop, but not on this album. The production is incredible (of course), but this Chicago artist is very much talented MC in his own right. So much so that his debut album: “One AM,” should have stood for one of the most impressive releases of last year. In fact, it makes you wonder why artists like Kanye West are constantly being awarded accolade after accolade for successfully bring hip hop “back” to the masses - Whatever that actually means? Maybe there isn’t a lot here to get too carried away with, but after some serious spins on my part, this album has yet to disappoint; and with it's big sound beats and crowd rousing scratch anthems, Diverse is so good that after a while you pay no mind to what he is saying and just sit back to admire the results.

Another interesting fact is while artists like MF Doom, (equally unappreciated) suffer from the amount of guest appearances, Diverse is able to make artists such as Madlib, RJD2, Prefuse 73, Jean Grae and Vast Aire contribute to his own various talents. In fact it could be argued that he has created a classic Hip Hop album, driven by guitar based instrumentals and laid-back Funky grooves it even rivals DM and Jemini’s masterpiece: “Ghetto Pop Life.” His vocal style is accesssible and never comes across or over the top or arrogant despite the obvious confidence in his own abilities.

Injury cut short any basketball career he might have had planned and I’m sure we’d all agree that the world of hip-hop is a lot better off because of it. Uprock appears fairly early on in the album, but remains the best example of the talent Diverse displays throughout this album. I only hope that this modest offering is not enough to satisfy any curiosity you might have.

Diverse - Uprock

Click here for information on how to purchase the album


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