Dusted Reviews

Diamond Ice - Funk 4 Da Trunk

today features
reviews charts
labels writers
info donate

Search by Artist

Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Dusted

email address

Recent Reviews

Dusted Reviews

Artist: Diamond Ice

Album: Funk 4 Da Trunk

Label: Metatronix

Review date: May. 8, 2003

Miami's On The Scene, Just In Case You Didn't Know It

When we think of Miami hip hop, we might think first of the phallic braggarts from the 2 Live Crew/Poison Clan school. Indeed, most Miami hip hop gets straight to the point in one way or another, favoring frantically horny staccato beats and balls-deep synth bass over flippant wordplay and studio-gangsta theatrics. But not all of it is strictly party-hearty ephemera. Diamond Ice’s pit-stained ghetto funk may sound rudimentary at first, but, particularly through headphones, it soon becomes clear that he finesses his gritty tracks with the sort of sensitivity some of his neighbors show their low riders.

Make no mistake. Every track on Funk 4 Da Trunk shakes like a fat, fat ass.

“Diamond Bezels” is one highlight. With its eerie gurgles backed by crisp Timbaland stutter, this ’un would be a dandy cop show theme.

“Blinding Lights” has a bit more on the burner, but never gets arty. Each noise plays its own pattern, but the rhythms pass up opportunities for competition. Diamond Ice doesn’t seem concerned that you realize how many layers he can drop in a track. He seems to put those extra layers there to test his own coordination. Like the rest of Funk 4 Da Trunk, it’s so tight that even your drug-addled brain couldn’t pick it apart.

The most straight-ahead beat on the kickshaw belongs to “S.O.L.,” the only track that makes Diamond’s allegiance to hip hop’s past impossible to ignore. The damn thing sounds more like “Jam On Revenge” than most of what’s emerged since, but the same smoggy haze rises from its easily navigated grid. Like the rest of Funk 4 Da Trunk, it’s as much the sound of baking in month after month of solid wet heat as it is the sound of exposed flesh and seaside escapism.

“Diamond Run” may not be martini glitch, but it does sound like it could’ve been inspired by a particularly dexterous roommate’s attack on a sheet of bubble wrap. Fortunately, “12 Deep” brings back the thud under the pop, and tops it with what sounds like a leak in the ceiling falling on two or three keys of a pee-wee keyboard set to “trumpet.” As usual, none of the beats ever disconnects from the whole.

As noted earlier, a certain sun-poisoned gloom haunts this record. Like the equally complex (but still quintessentially Miami) beats of Ice’s labelmate Supersoul, it’s about the low riders and the frenzied sexuality, but it’s also about the deep loneliness of cruising and endless strip with only palmettos for shade.

But, keep in mind that it does shake like the fattest of asses.

By Emerson Dameron

Read More

View all articles by Emerson Dameron

Find out more about Metatronix

©2002-2011 Dusted Magazine. All Rights Reserved.