Broadcasting from a base in Long Island, Diabolic etched his mark on the underground’s rap scene with 2010’s Liar & A Thief long-player. Now the MC is gearing up for the release of his Fightin’ Words album (out next Tuesday), spearheaded by the DJ Premier-produced single “Diabolical Sound.” Building on the buzz of that dose of boom-bap goodness, Diabolic is leaking a second offering from the record. Titled “Game Time,” the track includes guest turns from the gruff Sean Price and the firebrand Vinnie Paz, while for his own part Diabolic conjures the charming image of “Action Bronson cooking crack in Compton.” You can stream the rowdy soiree after the jump, plus read on to hear Diabolic talk up his latest project.
What’s the concept behind “Game Time”?
The concept was basically laid out by the producer, 5th Seal. When I got the track he had already put down the scratch hook, so it was pretty much just Sean Price, Vinnie Paz and myself filling in the blanks.
How did you hook up with Sean Price and Vinnie Paz for the track then?
Vinnie and I go back a good seven or eight years — he featured on my first album as well. I was always a huge Ruck and Rock fan growing up, so my homie Swave Sevah linked with Sean Price and he loved the beat, so it all came natural. They’re both characters: Sean is hilarious, in my opinion, while also bringing raw, hard lyrics to the table, while Vinnie brings that grimy voice and thought-provoking rhyme schemes. I couldn’t think of a better lineup for the track.
How would you describe the vibe of 5th Seal’s production?
5th Seal is from the DJ Premier school of production — it’s reflected in the sample-heavy, choppy flip of it. He also has the skill to piece together a catchy scratch hook while also maintaining his own style in the midst of it all.
So which of the artists whose vocals are scratched up on the hook is your favorite?
Damn, that’s a tough one! I loved all of them: M.O.P., Guru, Das EFX…I’m not sure I could ever choose between them.
You also worked with DJ Premier for the album’s previous single, “Diabolical Sound.” What was that like?
It was kind of surreal at first, going up to his studio and rocking in the same booth as legends, but honestly, after a little warmup it was business as usual. We just chilled, played tracks, and watched some reruns of Martin. Working with Premier is some bucket [list] type of shit, and I’m grateful that my work paid off and gave me the opportunity to work with a genius.
Finally, what can people expect from the rest of the album when it drops?
The new album is very diverse. I worked with some new producers and covered a little different subject matter than in the past, while still keeping the super-lyrical battle raps on deck. Honestly, I think it’s some of my best work and they can expect a classic.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 10, 2014