Working to establish respect among the elite MCs in the rap game, Hip-Hop enthusiast Lucy Diamonds came along way from taking shots at Jay-Z, to now working on receiving the stamp of approval from common ears.
Often in Hip-Hop struggle is used as fuel to aspiring artists teaching them to be hungry yet humble. Lucy Diamonds hailing from Houston Texas, traveling from Los Angeles to New York City attempting to find a place called home, nourished many Hip- Hop ears along her way.
Being broke, living in a car, traveling around begging for gas and trading possessions to get to meetings sounds like a good prerequisite for a success story. Include run in with composer and producer guru Quincy Jones, surely some industry tips have transpired to Lucy Diamonds.
Surely here to make a stand for true MCs Lucy Diamonds has already began her paper chase launching a ring tone deal with Koch Records and Swagger Wireless, additionally being seasoned by Hip-Hop elites like The Roots, unquestionably there is a spot for this lyrical enthusiast.
AllHipHop.com: What actually happened in the situation with you and Jay-Z and how did Memphis Bleek get into it?
Lucy Diamonds: Jay-Z and I have developed quite a history, but thats exactly what it is- history. As far as Memphis Bleek is concerned, there was never anything public, just little personal things I was saying to him, and I had no reason to be as disrespectful as I was. That was a while ago, but I have no problems with Memphis Bleek, or with anyone for that matter.
AllHipHop.com: What forced you to take shots at Jay-Zs mother?
Lucy Diamonds: At the time I felt like Jay-Z had played me. We were talking about a possible business venture and it seemed like it was getting pretty serious. Then he found out I was working with Amil, and all of a sudden I hear that he signed Lady Sovereign. So I was like Jigga what? Jigga, who did you sign? I felt like lashing out. I had no business saying the things I did. I have never met his mother and I had no right to disrespect her. I want people to understand that these things happened a while back, and all of them happened before I was saved, so to anyone I may have disrespected, I offer my sincerest apologies and ask that you can forgive my behavior. According to the scriptures, when we put on the new self we have to put to death the old self and its habits. Its literally a new life.
AllHipHop.com: What is you relationship with Amil and do you feel she got dropped from Roc-A-Fella because of her skills or was there other issues?
Lucy Diamonds: Im not going to speculate on why Amil was dropped from Roc-A-Fella because the truth is, I dont know. Theres two sides to every story and for me to guess at whos right or wrong, Id just be spreading rumors like everyone else. As for my situation with Amil, Im simply no longer doing business with her, nor am I affiliated with her.
AllHipHop.com: Over and over again you seem to go on record for being saved, what kind of rapper does that make you? Dont you think that would make you appeal to more of a gospel crowd?
Lucy Diamonds: I am a Christian and I am a Hip-Hop artist. I recognize that I have a talent I can use to teach people about God. But if I only appeal to a Gospel crowd, who does that benefit? How can I teach to people who already know about Him? People who are well do not need a doctor I feel like because I began in secular music, I can reach out in the secular world and use my experience and my testimony to encourage people who may be going through the sort of things I went through. I was not raised in a strict Christian household. I did not grow up in the church. And yet, now that Im saved, I recognize that it is because I was lost that I can appeal to those who are still lost, and help them come to know God. And because Im not a bible-thumper, and Im not beating people over the head with scriptures, the people who just want to hear some good Hip-Hop can still appreciate the music and the positive message.
AllHipHop.com: Do you feel being so deep into The Bible is going to make your lyrical content weak?
Lucy Diamonds: Being into The Bible has only strengthened my lyrical content. Every rap artist is redundant with their vocabulary, and its like, people should open books or open The Bible and learn something before you try to teach. Actually, for the people reading this who are in Harlem, go down to 125th Street and pick up a copy of The Apocrypha. At the time of the Reformation, Martin Luther regarded this book as very, very useful. Theres so much history and so much knowledge at the fingertips of Harlem, but instead, people are focused on getting their hands on some Dipset chains and memorabilia. And Im not dissing Dipset in any way, Im just trying to show that in that part of Harlem, those street vendors with the incense and oils and t-shirts also have a lot of books that can really teach you something you wont find anywhere else.
AllHipHop.com: With image being a large part of success now a days do you feel you will have to adjust your appearance in order to fit it in the rap industry?
Lucy Diamonds: I know how this business would like to market me, but from day one I wanted the focus to be the music, not the look. Women shouldnt have to exploit their appearances for a profit and those who do, do so because their music cant carry them.
AllHipHop.com: There are only a handful of female artists what separates you from the all of the other female artists like Remy Martin, Missy, and Foxy Brown?
Lucy Diamonds: I dont compromise the way other females do. I will not let a double-standard direct the guidelines of my career. Its true that sex sells, but only to those who want to buy it. Theres a massive number of people who arent about that; people who appreciate music for music, not the cover art.
AllHipHop.com: You have been around the industry for a while, what do you feel is going to finally put you more in the public eye?
Lucy Diamonds: The album is finally coming out to all stores internationally July 31st, so Im really excited about that! And Im literally living this whole summer on a tour bus. From July 14th to the end of September, Im touring with IndieFest 07. This is a major tour that will be coming to a town near you! I can almost guarantee you that this tour will change your life! And Ive really worked up a special show for these performances. I frequently update my myspace page with all the news, so you can get all the upcoming tour dates and preview some of the songs on the album at www.myspace.com/officiallucydiamonds.
AllHipHop.com: What artists have you been working with lately/ on your new album?
Lucy Diamonds: I was planning to go to Louisville, but plans change. So, right now Im back in my hometown, Houston, and Im about to go into the studio with Willie D of the Geto Boys to record the last song for the album called Conflict Diamonds. Some people have been asking how can I do a song with a Geto Boy? I want people to understand that I chose Willie D as the feature for it because he is conflict. Willie D grew up in the projects of the 5th Ward to become a legendary rapper, and even though his group, The Geto Boys, is the definition of gangsta rap, Willie D is a very positive man with much respect.
AllHipHop.com: Your upcoming album Poor Dream Redemption is that independent or are you on a major label?
Lucy Diamonds: Its being released by a Koch-distributed label. A lot of my friends and colleagues in the industry havent had the financial support that Ive received making this album on their major label releases. I was presented with a major label offer and it couldnt match what Im getting. Most major label artists get next to nothing per album, but with my situation Ill be getting a substantial amount off each album. A lot of people have heard 50 Cent say that Koch is the graveyard for rappers, but hey, you tell me of any major label who pays an artist the same amount. And Koch is one of the top distributors of recorded music in the world, so I am very fortunate that I was able to land a situation with Koch as the distributor. Im also signed to Swagger Wireless, a ringtone/digital content company who is a Roc-A-Fella affiliate, and handles the majority of the Roc-A-Fella artists.
AllHipHop.com: Without the support of a major label like Def Jam or Interscope do you feel it will be more of a challenge for you to survive in the industry?
Lucy Diamonds: Major labels put out tons of artists who just sit on the shelves every year. Its not the label the artist is with, its how hard the artist works. The people who are at the top of any profession are the hardest workers. But speaking of Interscope, when I was 17 years old, I was an intern for a company that handled an Interscope rock band and it just wasnt a very good business situation. Not to say anything bad about Interscope, because they do have a roster of a ton of successful acts, but it goes both ways. A label could end up with an artist who wont work, or the artist isnt a priority to the label and in either case, the project fails.
AllHipHop.com: Do you feel being a White MC that you have to come harder than everyone else in order to be noticed?
Lucy Diamonds: I never want to lean on the White rapper crutch because that angle is dead, and besides, Im half-White and half-Filipino. However, I do think the White Rapper Show made it harder for white MCs to get respect because it was a novelty, and just like with all other reality shows, its just not reality.
AllHipHop.com: Some of your tracks have a kind of a spoken word vibe to it over a beat, would you categorize yourself as kind of a neo-soul MC?
Lucy Diamonds: I dont categorize myself at all. I make different songs because Im in different moods or inspired by a different environment. Sometimes I just like to rock a wild style over a nice vibe, like on Blood Diamonds. Those are the type of tracks I really get to play with lyrics on, so while I dont define myself by it, it is something I like to do. Neo-soul, huh? Sounds Philly. I like it. Plus, anything with soul to describe the music is great!