Diabolic's Liar & A Thief takes the 2010 HHUG Album Of The Year award.
2010 Nominees were:
1. Melatonin Magik - Canibus
2. Liar & A Thief - Diabolic
3. Season Of The Assassin - Vinnie Paz
4. A.D.I.D.A.S. - Ras Kass
5. Kill Devil Hills - DJ Muggs vs. Ill Bill
Choosing a single entity as the album of the year is an uneasy task. In 2010, many underground and independent hip hop artists showcased their uncompromising efforts and talents in contrast with current mainstream hip hop the industry dictates. RedPhone Records initiated with the now disbanded Conspiracy Of Mind's The Grand Deception, which introduced Just-1 and Swedish music producer sensation Nevahmind. Denmark's music producer - Sicknature - teamed up with Germany based producing team - Snowgoons - to bring us Banished From Home Mixtape, foreshadowing the solid chemistry between both that brought us the energy-infused powerhouse album, Kraftwerk towards the end of the year. Others released two joints within the same year (Canibus - Melatonin Magik, and C Of Tranquility; Mark Deez - The Oracle, and Bootstrap Theory), while others linked with sole producers to set forth their projects: Ras Kass - A.D.I.D.A.S. (produced by DJ Rhettmatic); KRS-One - Meta-Historical (produced by True Master); Ill Bill - Kill Devil Hills (produced by DJ Muggs); Phillip Morris - The Truth Campaign (produced by Tha Truth Tella). Nas and Damien Marley dropped Distant Relatives, and Jedi Mind Trick's producer - Stoupe - & Liz Fullerton released A Bright Cold Day as Dutch, showcasing two artists can make great single solid albums. Highly anticipated debuts came from Matt Maddox's - Asylum Artistry - of RedPhone Records, and Vinnie Paz's solo debut - Season Of The Assassin. Even free digital releases pleased many fans, such as female rapper Psalm One's Woman @ Work, Dead Prez's Revolutionary But Gangsta Grillz, and Tech N9ne's holiday treat, Bad Season. But Diabolic's Liar & A Thief debut album receives the major recognition.
Diabolic is an American rapper from Long Island, New York who arose to underground fame in the early 2000’s through a series of high-profile victories in the rap battle scene across the United States and featuring a classic aggressive verse on a hidden track on Immortal Technique's Revolutionary Vol 1. Despite not having released a single nor an album prior to 2010, Diabolic’s fame and underground cult status has never left him. Diabolic speaks to the disillusioned rap fan who is embittered by the state of the mainstream and unsatisfied with the alternatives offered by the underground. The reason his voice impacts unyieldingly is because Diabolic is one of the disillusioned, but his identity will change events that of his own realm. His style of being notable for his aggressive satirical social lyrics and graphic wordplay rhymes has cast his presence and respect among the underground hip hop community.
Despite upsets from labels, Liar & A Thief was left in uncertainty for a few years, until Viper Records signed the artist and gave him full creative control to release the album as he intended it to be. And on April 6, 2010, the long anticipated album was released.
Liar & A Thief incorporates aggressive visual depiction of life through multi-syllabic rhymes and imagery, touching on a wide range of subjects. Vancouver's up-and-coming sensational music producer - Engineer - produced the entire album (with exception of "Riot") integrating powerful boom bap and cinematic instrumentals.
Engineer's beats compliment Diabolic style of lyricism and form tracks that genuinely satisfies the listener. Diabolic's vivid metaphors and rhymes are both sly and comical. It is evident his rhymes speak from integrity and truly from the heart (most notably on tracks "Reasons" and "12 Shots"), expressing his discontent of current woes by the industry and life in general.
The album allows to the listener to better understand where Diabolic is coming from while exhibiting his lyrical skill. Diabolic amplifies his anger into violent depictions that would shock the average hip hop enthusiast, and provides socio-political commentary that would indulge the average conscious head. It is evident that Diabolic breaks away successfully from Immortal Technique's shadow, and embarks as a true solo rapper with anticipating potential.
The conservative selection of features do not take away substance from Diabolic. In fact, the features warrant the continuity atmosphere of the album. Canibus, Vinnie Paz, Ill Bill, Nate Augustus, Deadly Hunta, and Immortal Technique add their unique role on their respective tracks.
Liar & A Thief is an exceptional debut from a hungry rapper. It is a very solid album that deserves respect and admiration from listeners and generates great potential for Diabolic.