Jermiside and Danny Diggs have a new album titled Middle Classic. Middle Class and Black in America, are topics not readily dealt with in hip hop since the days of one Young MC on the Delicious Vinyl label back in the early 1990s. Well maybe they have been dealt with more readily but i have not been privy to it. Straight off the bat I liked Jermiside and Danny Diggs’ play on the album title Middle Class-ic. Well the main topic is Jermiside’s middle classness in an art full of underdogs thriving to be what he already is. But is the album a classic I hear you ask? Well let’s go through it.
Jermiside & Danny Diggs
The album sounds soulful and old in sound and in topic, which is a bit of an anomaly considering the materialistic and ringtone landscape that is hip hop today. So either the album was recorded a while back and only released now because of record label issues or we are privy to tremendous artistic discipline in the message and production. The album reminds me of that friend that we all have, you know the one we all wish we could have met a few years earlier. The whole vibe and feel is from the era of when most young black males considered it an achievement to live past the age of 25. Correct me if I am wrong but that was back in 96 or 97, Biggie and 2Pac time. Surely this wasn’t recorded way back then. Another give away are the Ronald Reagan and Basic Instinct references. But enough of that, what to make of the songs that make up this offering?
The intro, ‘The Inception’ reminds me of the Nas intro on Stillmatic. Have a listen to both one after the other and see what I mean. The song itself is a gentle introduction to the album as it addresses the issues tackled throughout.
[wpaudio url=”https://www.thewordisbond.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/01-The-Inception-Intro.mp3″ text=”Jermiside & Danny Diggs – The Inception (Intro)” dl=”0″]
It sounds as though Jermiside has gone through an internal and external struggle of acceptance, be it into hip hop from his perceived privileged background or in life in general because of his colour and his class. Granted this is an interesting point of view delivered through Jermiside’s skilful and yet understated vocals and Danny Diggs’ soulful and sometimes jazzy beats. But the question remains and it takes me back to the title Middle Classic. As nice and understated as this album is, I feel it is nowhere near a classic as in the upper relms of the Illmatics or any credible Tribe Called Quest albums. I’m drawn perhaps to the middle in that there are standout tracks, for example ‘Afraid’, ‘Where We Go’ or ‘We Here’ without seemingly going to the next level. ‘Still With Me’ is another highlight.
[wpaudio url=”https://www.thewordisbond.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/07-Where-We-Go-feat-Maverick-Sabre.mp3″ text=”Jermiside & Danny Diggs – Where We Go ft Maverick Sabre” dl=”0″]
All is nice, inoffensive and unprovoking which is all good but no new ground is broken here. To be fair Middle Classic is a good listen any day of the week, whether you’re washing the car or just taking it easy on a Sunday afternoon. Swear words are at a premium which is always a plus as far as I’m concerned. The album is out now so go get yourself a copy.