Bars! The Diamond Life takes over this weekendWritten by lilD | | firstname.lastname@example.org
In seven years, Toledo rapper T.Diamond plans to hang up his microphone for good. He has a lot to do in the meantime.
The cliché story of a rapper from the inner city who dropped out of high school and sold drugs to make it doesn’t fit for T.Diamond, who showed kids in the inner city that hard work and education are two surefire paths to success. A business major at Owens Community College and father of two, T.Diamond says he “never really felt like [he] had a talent at anything else but music and business.” That being said, he has a lot of work to do, and a lot to prove to himself to make it in the business. And he’s not taking that responsibility lightly.
As learned from his record label executives Mercury and Adonis, and from his classes, T.Diamond’s goal is to start by conquering Toledo, then moving in a 25-mile radius. His name is already buzzing around the Glass City, the result of hard work and consistency, and also the weekly platform that has given T.Diamond the chance to perfect his craft, The Listening. Every Saturday, his label, U.G.E., hosts an open-mic at 1811 Adams St. for rappers, singers, poets, comedians and pretty much anyone else with talent who wants to break new material or just practice. Equipped with the right tools, T.Diamond says the only one standing in the way of his success is the man in the mirror.
In the next three months, T.Diamond wants to achieve regional fame. May seem far-fetched, but with a focus like his, it is very possible. “I’m sacrificing everything right now — this is the first time in literally months that I’ve sat down and watched TV — so that I can be out the game at 30. The only way I won’t make it is if I didn’t try hard enough.”
That hard work will be manifested into the Diamond Weekend, a two-day birthday celebration for the man who only took rap seriously four years ago. Citing P. Diddy as his biggest influence, T.Diamond is taking the same approach in branding himself.
Taking something as simple as the word “bars” and making it a catchphrase representing his lyrical ability is just one example of his marketing genius. Similarly, his Diamond Girls are everywhere he is, making him look good. And this weekend is the ultimate marketing scheme.
The Diamond Weekend kicks off June 18 at Club Eclipse (317 N Superior), with performances by fellow rapper Rocky and R&B heavyweight Tracy, and a special appearance by Hutch Daddy Dolla’s Please Believe Me Girls. Saturday morning, the party moves to Ottawa Park for a little relaxation, leading up to New [Music] Night at The Listening that evening. Confirmed performances from Big PI, Flow and Money are already on the bill, but any artist with new music is welcome, just show up by 10:30 p.m., as it gets full pretty quickly.
T.Diamond knows that most rappers today are not getting signed without proof that he/she can brand him/herself, and the Diamond Weekend serves that purpose. His birthday party last year was filled to capacity, and this year shouldn’t disappoint.
But why does he want to be signed? Most artists just want to be rich and famous; T.Diamond is no different, but his motives are. “I can’t help the poor if I’m one of them. I want to help my family, touch people, but also make them dance, laugh and cry. I don’t ever want to be boxed into one genre.” Would you believe he and Tupac share the same birthday (June 16)?
As for now, T.Diamond is working on taking over the small part of Toledo that has not heard of him, then applying the knowledge from school and his mentors to repeat that process all over the Midwest, then the rest of the country. Come see his words put into action Friday and Saturday. You won’t be disappointed. Bars!