NEW YORK —
Team Diggy served up his signature Jetsetters non-alcoholic drink to the teenage crowd who gathered to take the first listen to the rap rookie's major-label debut, which is due out March 20.
Last week, at the rehearsal for BET's upcoming "Rip the Runway" fashion and music show, MTV News caught up with Diggy to talk about his anticipated debut. "It's just going to show the world," he told us at the February 28 shoot. "People have gotten different pieces of me doing my thing from the freestyles to the mixtapes and different things, but this is a full project of original music and it's just me taking that to the next level of what people really aren't expecting. The title really speaks for itself."
Unexpected Arrival begins with a spoken-word intro and leads into the rock-tinged "Hello World." It's a chest-pounding proclamation befitting of the son of rap legend Run, but young Simmons is without a doubt his own artist.
Diggy proves he can spit with the best of them. On "88," he manages to hold his own against LOX luminary Jadakiss. He pulls similar lyrical stunts on songs like "Tom Edison" and "The Reign" while still catering to the teenage girls squealing at the front row of his shows. The LP's first single, "Do It Like You" featuring Jeremih, is already a proven winner, currently at #13 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Chart and still rising. On "4 Letter Word," Diggy explores L-O-V-E with a youthful, wide-eyed optimism, and on "Special Occasion," he celebrates like a young man should.
It isn't all perfect though. "Unforgivable Blackness" is an honest attempt at depth, but the socio-politically charged track seemed to stick out like a sore thumb on an album filled with feel-good music.
But on Tuesday night, the starstruck crowd gushed in approval at each track. Among his true fans, Diggy could do no wrong.