“Small Things to a Giant”
(Deathbomb Arc Records)

Before playing Marquise Lafayette in the Broadway musical Hamilton (which other people have continuously attempted to convince me is both good and groundbreaking) or being 1/3 of clipping, Daveed Diggs was a solo act. Deathbomb Arc Records has reissued his 2012 release on tape for the first time.

This is not what fans of Diggs other work might expect. “Small Things to a Giant” has a much more standard Bay Area vibe to it. Although I guess considering the Bay sound is usually in front of most other rap calling it standard is a bit of an oxymoron. There isn’t any noisy distortion or loud screeching electronic effects. Even though he does prophetically mention preparing to win a Tony on “Fresh from the Hood”, he’s not playing a character.

Fans of Diggs more acclaimed work should look to this as a document in his evolution. Hamilton fans will probably still enjoy it because it’s full of various historical references. Clipping fans who know him for his highly technical, fast delivery might be interested in seeing how Diggs was able to spit over slower beats. West Coast hip hop fans familiar with the Bay Area sound won’t need any further context to appreciate the somewhat denser than usual bars on varying topics over the familiar beats that define it.      

Deathbomb appears to be all sold out but you can stream it below.

Roy Blumenfeld