From the mailroom to “Move,” to “One A.M.” and beyond, Diverse innovates. A self-described poet, his rhymes are true. Shunning the pseudo-hard stance taken by some emcees in favor of everyday human experience, Diverse consistently ups the ante. Over the course of numerous releases and collaborations, his rhymes have shown that flash and substance don’t necessarily have to be adversaries.
“Move” was released on Chocolate Industries in 2001, receiving a strong response from critics and listeners alike. A collaboration with Mos Def on the first installment of “Urban Renewal Program” followed soon thereafter; “Wylin’ Out” would go on to dominate college radio airwaves for the better part of the summer. The “Certified/Build” 12” was enough to keep heads happy for a minute, but soon the pressure would be on.
Diverse’s debut full-length “One A.M.” dropped in the latter part of 2003 to critical acclaim, featuring collaborations with Jean Grae, Prefuse 73 and Madlib among others. The tour appearances and showcases that followed packed venues, seeing fans channel the same charismatic energy that keeps our guy in the studio late at night.
One A.M. Tracklisting
01. "Certified" (produced by RJD2)
02. "Uprock" (produced by RJD2)
03. "Big Game" (produced by RJD2)
04. "Ain't Right" (produced by Madlib)
05. "Jus Biz" (produced by Prefuse 73)
06. "Blindman" (produced by K. Kruz)
07. "Explosive" (produced by RJD2)
08. "Under The Hammer" (produced by RJD2)
09. "Flyin' (747)" (produced by Overflo)
10. Prefuse 73's "Amberglis" (Produced by RJD2)
11. "Leaving" (produced by Prefuse 73)
12. "In Accordance" (produced by RJD2)
Diverse got his start in the Chicago hip-hop scene while being employed at a post office. He has worked or associated with Chicago hip-hop mainstays such as J.U.I.C.E., Copperpot and Iomos Marad. His debut EP, Move, featuring the track "Time", appeared in 2001. He has professional relationships with RJD2 and Prefuse 73. He contributed to Prefuse 73's album One Word Extinguisher, rhyming on the track "Plastic". Prefuse 73 also produced the original beat for "Wylin' Out", a track which paired Diverse with the beloved New York rapper Mos Def.
After "Wylin' Out" was well-received, Definitive Jux's RJD2 was tapped to remix the song. The remix was selected for inclusion on the 2002 Urban Renewal Program compilation. Both Prefuse 73 and RJD2 contributed tracks to Diverse's 2003 debut full-length, One A.M. Prefuse 73's contributions were the ambient-flavoured beats for "Jus Biz" , "Leaving", and the interlude "Amberglis". RJD2's work on the album is some of the most directly rock and funk-influenced work of his career.
Other producers who contributed to the project were K. Kruz, Overflo, and Madlib. Guest appearances were made by Cannibal Ox's Vast Aire, the fierce Jean Grae, and Quannum Projects' Lyrics Born. In the same year, Diverse was featured on the track "Gray Scale" by Montreal-area DJ Ghislain Poirier. In 2005, Diverse teamed with a Detroit-based crew called Lawless Element, appearing on a track called "...Something." Produced by Magnif.
Summer 2006 saw Diverse participate in the Storm Tour, travelling across North America with tourmates Ugly Duckling, Aceyalone, Mayday! and Wrekonize. In June of 2006, Diverse was featured on the Chocolate Swim E.P., a combined effort of Chocolate Industries, Cartoon Network's Adult Swim, and Mountain Dew. Of the six-track EP, Diverse collaborated with Mos Def for another version of "Wylin' Out," this time a remix by Kut Masta Kurt, and included a remix of his song "Ain't Right" by DJ Mitsu. This EP was available for free download on the Chocolate Swim EP (right click on the blue writing)