There are a handful of names that inevitably come to mind when you think about the Kansas City hip-hop scene: Approach, Reach and Mac Lethal, to name a few. But one name you probably wouldn't think of (but should) has just released his third album on Datura Records, and it's seething with heavy beats and hot rhymes.
Royce Diamond's new album, Signal Flow, dropped yesterday, and the multitalented engineer turned producer turned recording artist will be celebrating the release with a hip-hop throw-down tomorrow night at the Jackpot Music Hall.
Royce Diamond's resume is pretty impressive. He's done engineering work for Raphael Saddiq and Herbie Hancock, and he's performed on stages with Talib Kweli and the Cool Kids. And though his last album, Aficionado, was released for free download, Signal Flow is being released as a full-blown, mature album for purchase -- and it's well worth the handful of bones. His knack for lyrical poetry that is introspective and narrative and his abilities as a superb producer make Signal Flow's sound uniquely smooth and polished for homegrown hip-hop. And it's no wonder: Diamond studied at the Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences, and he had the infallible hand of Datura's owner, Sean Hunt (aka MC Approach), at the ready to help.
Snag yourself a digital copy of Signal Flow on Diamond's website here. Catch the CD-release show tomorrow night at the Jackpot Music Hall in Lawrence, also featuring Atilla, Jabberjosh, The Soul-Servers, and DJ G Train with Approach. The show starts at 9 p.m.