Diggy Simmons is not the second coming of Run-DMC, but still there has to be some pressure being the rapping son of one of hip-hop’s most revered MCs, right? Not really, says Diggy, who released his debut album Unexpected Arrival on Tuesday.
“A couple of weeks before the release, he heard the complete album and he was really impressed,” Diggy told MTV News of Reverend Run’s reaction on Tuesday. “He was like, ’You know, this is an album that I can turn on and I can leave on and I’d be happy listening to it.’ ”
That’s quite a compliment coming from Run, who at first modeled himself after 1980s rap icon Kurtis Blow, but then went on to have one of hip-hop’s most iconic careers as a part of the larger-than-life group Run-DMC. In fact, the group’s career was so heralded they became the second rap group ever inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009.
“That was definitely dope to hear,” Diggy, who turned 17 on Wednesday (March 21), said. “That was something that I was definitely focused on making a cohesive album that sounded incredible together and you can just rock it and feel every sorta type of way.”
The elder Simmons is no stranger to cohesive albums. The group’s 1984 self-titled debut effectively changed the way rappers recorded music with tracks like “Sucker M.C.’s” and “It’s Like That.” On Diggy’s Unexpected Arrival, however, there are no nods to his dad’s catalog, instead the teenage spitter simply does what comes natural to him.
On the single “Do It Like You” Diggy pursues a crush, and on “4 Letter Word” things get a tad more serious when he dives deeper into love. The album isn’t all hugs and kisses though; on “88” Digg teams with Jadakiss for a rap free-for-all, and on “Unforgivable Blackness,” he raps of Martin and Malcolm’s legacy while calling for unity among his brothers. Unexpected Arrival is a complete work and distinctly Diggy’s. In fact, the emerging MC reveals that his pop was pretty hands-off.
“He heard the tracks piece by piece. I’d have them sent to him sometimes when I was on the road for long amounts of time just so he can hear stuff,” he said. “That excites him, he’s not a person who pushes up.”
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