Does Angie Stone’s “Black Diamond” album stand the test of time?


When it comes to describing longevity, Angie Stone is a good example.

Making her debut in the music industry as the founder of ’80s rap group The Sequence – noted as the first female rap group to hit the charts – Stone is no rookie, with over 30 years of experience to his credit. After The Sequence time passed, she began showing her vocal talents on projects by Mantronix and Lenny Kravitz before deciding to pursue a solo career as an R&B artist.

Finding a recording house with Clive Davis’ Arista Records, Stone released his soulful debut album, “Black Diamond”, on September 28, 1999. Dedicated to his daughter, Diamond Ti’ara, the album featured a production people like Gerry DeVeaux, Ali Shaheed Muhammad and DJ U-Neek, among others. The project was to be a mild success, certified gold by the RIAA, and serve as a cornerstone in Angie’s musical renaissance.

On the 15th anniversary of the album’s release, The Boombox is trying to see if this “Black Diamond” really stands the test of time.

  • 1

    ‘No more rain (in this cloud)’ ‘

    After a short introductory track, “Black Diamond” opens with the serene “No More Rain”. Co-produced by Angie Stone and B. William’s and written by legendary songwriter Gordon Chambers, Stone wastes no time showcasing his refined vocal abilities on a preview clip of Gladys Knight & The Pips. be the first to say goodbye. ‘ She laments the process of overcoming lost love.The first single released from “Black Diamond,” the song was a hit on contemporary R&B airwaves, marking Stone her first solo hit and a signature song in her catalog.

  • 2

    “Green grass vapors”

    Angie Stone follows “No More Rain” with the hazy “Green Grass Vapors”. Lyrics like “Green grass vapors running through my head, I’m feel high than a thunderdome” are blunt and underscore Stone’s love for pantyhose, even on a night of love. Produced by Aaron Burns-Lyles and written by Stephanie Bolton, the track is perfect as a selection for the red-eyed cult to be interested in.

  • 3

    ‘Everyday’

    Stone is collaborating with another funky soul singer (and his son’s dad) D’Angelo on Smoky “Everyday,” and the finished product is as good as you’d expect from two of those talents. D’Angelo implements his sound marks and superb instrumentation, while Angie is more stable than ever on vocals and impresses with her catchy writing. Crooning “Tell me how you wanna get something all you win is nothing / Every day, every day, every day, baby / You twisted my heart / Tell me, why is what I bother now that I have everything / Every day, anyway, you’re gonna pay, baby / For denouncing my love “she drops an emotional dead weight saying good riddance to a former lover and walks out a great song in the process.

  • 4

    “Could you be you”

    ‘Coulda Been You’ sees Angie ramping up the pressure on her future ex. With Sekou Aiken on guest vocals, scathing lines like “You thought the grass was greener on the other side / You didn’t know your ass was color blind / Now you feel like I hurt you Done / But you’ve had me, baby, from the start, ”Angie’s point made clear. But when all is said and done, she decides to give her mate a second chance and work things out. It’s not the twist that many listeners were expecting, but at least the suspense makes great music.

  • 5

    ‘Visions’

    The tempo accelerates with the jam “Visions” produced by DJ U-Neek. With an ’80s vibe and tons of Stone swag, this track is simply a treat and was so enjoyable we even had to play it twice during its review.

  • 6

    ‘History of life’

    Produced by Gerry Deveaux and written by Craig Ross, “Life Story” is the second single from “Black Diamond”. The track is usable as a whole, but pales in comparison to the other two singles on the album (‘No More Rain’ and ‘Everyday’).

  • 7

    “Just a pimp”

    Another Burns-Lyles / Stephanie Bolton exclusive, ‘Just A Pimp’ slows down the tempo, with Angie singing about a money-hungry man preying on innocent women. While far from being a flat clunker, the song strays more away from disappointing than memorable and serves as a slight misstep.

  • 8

    ‘Disturbing man’

    Paying homage to Marvin Gaye, Angie Stone takes on the icon’s classic number, “Trouble Man”. The original could never be duplicated, but Stone does the song justice with his powerful vocals and fiery demeanor.

  • 9

    ‘Bone 2 Pic (Wit U)’

    Ali Shaheed Muhammad, member of A Tribe Called Quest, appears behind the signs for “Bone to Pic (Wit U)”. On this issue, Angie talks about a love that has found success and left her out in the cold. Singing “Now baby I tried my best to see / Stack the odds one to three / Give you the benefit / Meanwhile I’m losing all access to you / And baby you played me like a flute / Soft caressing me with the boo / You feed me with love and lies for food / I’m waiting for a moment of truth, ”the pain in Stone’s tone is evident. Nonetheless, Angie delivers once again with this track.

  • ten

    “Man loves his money”

    The singer compares her lust for a man to her lust for the almighty dollar in “Man Loves His Money”. Produced by Aaron Burns-Lyles and written by Stephanie Bolton, this groovy track is a win and continues the hot streak of “Black Diamond”.

  • 11

    ‘Junkie love’

    The singer does all of the heavy lifting on ‘Love Junkie’, writing and producing the track herself, and the end product is by no means shabby. If comparing love to addiction is far from original, Angie tackles the concept well, with the catchy chorus “Love junkie, so damn funky, stone cold monkey I can’t get off my back” almost impossible to release. of the head after listening. Job well done, Miss Stone.

  • 12

    ” Black Diamonds & Blue Pearls

    “We put on a jade of color / For the darkest skin / Prepare us never to win / But we choke on each other, slamming doors / Pushing and shoving each other.” These lyrics include much of the touching interlude “Black Diamonds & Blue Pearls”. Produced and written by Stone herself, while some interlude cuts can bog down an album, that can’t be said for this one, as it is a welcome addition.

  • 13

    “Help from the sky”

    Angie Stone ends the procedure on a sentimental note via “Heaven Knows” produced by Gerry Deveaux. Written by Terry Britten, the song finds the singer praying for an open heart as she has “decided that she is ready for love”, completing the musical journey that is “Black Diamond”.

  • Conclusion

    Playing the background for much of a decade, “Black Diamond” introduced Angie Stone to audiences as a soulful singer with powerful pipes and an innate undertone for musicality. Songs like the hit single “No More Rain (In This Cloud),” “Everyda” and “Visions” have refined over time like wine and the project unfolds seamlessly with a few missteps or bland efforts. strictly speaking. It might not be billed as a flagship album or undisputed classic, but make no mistake, Angie’s debut definitely proves that diamonds are forever.

About Elizabeth J. Swartz

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