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Diggin’ in the Crates Crew

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Origin New York City, New York
Genres Hip Hop
Years active 1993 – Present
Labels Zyx Records
Tommy Boy Records
Associated acts Big Pun
Cuban Link
DJ Premier
Brand Nubian
Freddie Foxxx
Organized Konfusion
Tha Alkaholiks
DJ Ogee
Ghetto Dwellas
Boss Money
Lord Finesse
Showbiz and A.G.
Diamond D
Fat Joe
Former members
Big L(Deceased)R.I.P.

The Diggin’ in the Crates Crew, also known as D.I.T.C., is a New York-based hip-hop collective, deriving its name from the art of seeking out records to sample for production. Its members have achieved substantial and consistent recognition in both underground rap circles, often collaborating with undiscovered talent and underground artists (Madlib produces the first track on A.G.‘s new album) alongside the most commercial of rappers (Puff Daddy, Nelly and Lil Wayne have been featured on Fat Joe’s albums and Buckwild has produced for Biggie Smalls, Jay-Z and 50 Cent). All of its members are from the Bronx, with the exception of Big L (from Harlem) and O.C. (from Brooklyn).

[edit] History

One of the most beloved hip-hop crews in rap music, D.I.T.C. (an acronym for “Diggin’ in the Crates”) consists of veteran rappers, DJs, and producers dedicated to the true essence of rap music: original lyrics and strong beat-savvy productions sampling dusty vinyl. With their dedication to hip-hop purity, members Showbiz & A.G. (Andre the Giant), Diamond D, Lord Finesse, Fat Joe, O.C., Buckwild, and the late Big L have at least one classic album under their belts. Although they never reached the success of their multi-platinum peers, individually they became successful by maintaining their integrity and earning major respect within the rap community.

Lord Finesse (born Robert Hall) is a legendary MC-turned-producer who has produced tracks for Notorious B.I.G. (“Suicidal Thoughts” off of 1994’s Ready to Die) and Dr. Dre (“The Message” off of 1999’s 2001). As a young MC, he would travel to any borough in New York to battle their best rapper and win. He shopped his demo to various record labels and eventually dropped the first of several records, his 1990 classic Funky Technician. The record had a few tracks produced by his good friend Diamond (formerly Diamond D), a former member of the rap group Ultimate Force. One of the oldest members in the D.I.T.C. crew, Diamond got his first whiff of hip-hop, DJing for Jazzy Jay of the Zulu Nation in 1979. In the mid-’80s, he was turntable scratching at late-night park parties, often competing with area top DJs (Showbiz was once his nemesis.) In 1992, this DJ, then a producer, showcased New York City’s underground talent and his rap skills on his debut Stunts, Blunts and Hip Hop.

Bronx native Fat Joe became the first Latino rapper in New York to secure a significant solo deal with a major label with his 1993 debut, “Represent”. In 1998, his Don Cartagena release went gold (500,000 copies sold). Showbiz & A.G. were the first to adopt the do-it-yourself attitude by releasing their 1992 debut EP, Can I Get a Soul Clap, practically out of the trunk of their cars. Showbiz, a name he stolen from an old Richard Pryor record, pioneered taking an instrumental and looping voices over it. His partner A.G. was known as the Bronx’s “punchline” rapper. Through the mid-’90s, he was a prolific producer, producing tracks for primarily underground rap acts. In 1999, A.G. restarted his rap career with his solo CD Dirty Version.

Meanwhile, another Bronx native named Buckwild, who once started out as Lord Finesse’s apprentice in his production company, started producing tracks around 1994. He later delivered melodic beats for rap heavyweights like Fat Joe, Notorious B.I.G., Big L, Royal Flush, Mic Geronimo, and Big Pun. He also produced Black Rob‘s 2000 hit “Whoa!” reaching #43 on the Billboard Hot 100 and also gave him more exposure. But it was his first at-bat, producing tracks for O.C.’s Word Life in 1994, that established him as a vital producer in the underground rap scene. O.C., one of hip-hop’s most energetic lyricists, was an up-and-coming MC before Word Life. After the album’s release, he made numerous guest appearances on other D.I.T.C. members’ records while maintaining a low profile.

The final member of D.I.T.C. was Big L, a rapper who is now widely regarded as one of the greatest emcees of all time, particularly because of his uncanny ability to produce rap punchlines. Calling himself the “flamboyant MC”, he dropped his debut record, Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous on Columbia in 1995. He was gearing up for a comeback, with a second CD due for release on Rawkus, when he was murdered on February 15, 1999. The crew came together later that year for a memorial concert at Trammps in New York (anthologized by a series of CD releases), and recorded a self-titled group record in 2000.

OC and AG released a collaborative album in 2009 entitled OASIS – Together Brothers and Diamond D will be releasing a new LP entitled “The Huge Hefner Chronicles” late 2008

On December 4th, affiliated rapper Party Arty (aka P-80) died. At press time, it was revealed that the cause of his passing was due to health complications, not due to impeccable health, as people had previously thought. However, the details were not disclosed. Party Arty died at around 1:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon, Dec. 4th. [1]

In 2008, Bumpy Knuckles released his 2 disc album, Crazy Like A Foxxx, with disc 2 being DITC produced versions of the tracks. DITC production contrasts with the Jailhouse version of production.


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07:00 AM ET

In cooking, the process of clarification entails straining out extraneous muck from liquids so that they might be pure, clear and ideal for consumption. With this series on food terminology we’re attempting to do the same.

The word “gluten” is being bandied about quite a bit lately on our site and in the news.

We mentioned gluten heavily in our explainer on high fructose corn syrup; commenters kvetched about restaurants’ insensitivity to issues surrounding it in a recent lunchtime poll; Gwyneth Paltrow publicly nixed it from her diet; and there are slews of cookbooks and product lines that come out every day to cater to those living a “gluten-free” lifestyle.

Such attention doesn’t go without merit. A recent study indicates that one out of 133 people in the United States is affected by Celiac disease or gluten intolerance – and that number continues to grow steadily.

Chatter about gluten is clearly on the rise – so what exactly is it?

Gluten refers to the group of natural proteins found in all forms of wheat and wheat flour – whether it be bulgur, durum, semolina, spelt, rye, barley or the hybrid crop, triticale.

Meet blogger and cookbook author Gluten Free Girl

These natural proteins, gliadin and glutenin, are non-water-soluble and they’re the ones that essentially achieve leavening. The molecules trap carbon dioxide gas in the dough, so all those tiny holes, sponge or “bubbles” you see in that loaf – yup, that’s the gluten. It’s used in bread baking because the elasticity of its protein structure gives cohesiveness and structure to dough.

Unfortunately, it also brings gastric misery to people with gluten intolerance – also called Celiac disease, Coeliac, Coeliac Sprue Disease and gluten enteropathy – which is a far cry from a run-of-the-mill wheat allergy.

A wheat allergy is like any standard allergy. Depending on its severity, reactions can be similar to what a sufferer might have to animal dander or shellfish – hives or nausea.

Celiac disease on the contrary, is an autoimmune disorder with intense gastrointestinal symptoms – like cramping and bloating – among others. When people with Celiac disease eat foods with gluten, it damages the villi of the small intestine wall – thus, preventing basic nutrients of food from being absorbed.

Simply avoiding bread doesn’t do much good. Gluten pops up in surprising places, including soy sauce, sausage, lunchmeat, some instant coffee, soups, sauces and even Communion wafers. Sufferers often need to go to extreme measure to avoid encountering it – hence the uptick in gluten-free products, cookbooks and restaurants.

If Celiac disease is left untreated – that is to say, if gluten is still consumed – it can go so far as to cause anemia, gall bladder failure or osteoporosis.

While much has become known about this disease in recent years, much remains a mystery – including the cause.