84)Diamond District – I Mean Business

Song: I Mean Business

Album: In The Ruff

Year: 2009

This was the song responsible for this project’s existence. This past September I was bumping it and I said to myself (genuinely with all hyperbole removed) “This is easily one of the 100 best rap songs I’ve ever loved” and from there I began compiling the long list. The Diamond District’s In The Ruff LP was sort of the breakout moment for yU and X.O. while lead producer Oddisee had been building his rep up for years prior to its release. What can I say about this song? The homage to Gang Starr’s “Mass Appeal” wins, the hook WINS, X.O.’s ice cold delivery (the opening verse) always reminds me of a sort of DC version of Scarface (Brad Jordan not Tony Montana), the progression of the organs building and building as the verses and hook are recited WINS, the drums are like a fusion of gogo and Hip-Hop, and yU’s verse about waking up and getting through an eight hour day of work as a man focused on his dreams is something everyone can relate to.

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