At about 3 a.m., the noise from the studio can still be heard. Bugus Thompson, a Morehouse student and member of emerging Atlanta rap crew DIEMON appears exhausted, but he keeps working. The DIEMON members who are in school have early morning classes, but they don’t care. This is how they spend every school night.
“They’re still in there going hard,” Bugus said, after finally taking a break. Bugus and other members of his several-member crew seem to always be going hard.
In the past year, DIEMON (pronounced “Diamond” and includes members Bugus (pronounced Boo-gus), Russ, Dartlin, Paulo, DJ Adam Golden, Macivan Musa, John Anthony and others) have increased their group’s exposure exponentially.
In October, the crew, whose name stands for Do It Everyday Money Or Nothing, got into an online exchange with 2DopeBoyz founder, Shake. Russ, the crew’s in-house producer who also raps and does some public relations work for the crew, sent several songs to Shake hoping to get placement on the popular hip-hop blog. In return, the crew received not one reply. However, the DIEMON crew continued to send music, sending dozens of e-mails a day to Shake’s inbox. Fed up, Shake tweeted a photo of his inbox. The group aggressively struck back. Russ took to Twitter and asked why Shake would take a photo of his inbox and not even open the mail. It was a daring example of confidence and pride. It is well-known in hip-hop circles that Odd Future is banned from 2DopeBoyz’ site due to their retaliation (in the form of diss lines and humiliating images) of Shake not responding to e-mails they sent him. When Shake finally listened to the music, the crew was put in current rotation on the popular hip-hop site.
“Sometimes you have to change your approach with people,” Bugus said, who is known to use ‘$’ and ‘!’ in his tweets. Bugus said his sarcastic tweets caught the attention of veteran hip-hop journalist Rob Markman.
“He tweeted something about video games and I said I would crush him. I didn’t ask him to listen to our music. Eventually it just happened,” Bugus said.
Markman was so impressed by the crew’s music that he helped them appear on RapFix Live, just a month after DIEMON appeared on 2Dopeboyz. On the show, Trina gave career advice to the crew.
“You’re dope. I like your arrogance and your swag. You had your Jay-Z going on,” Trina told Bugus after watching his “El Jefe” music video.
The DIEMON crews, like many crews, are self-reliant. All the beats and photos are done in-house. There is a web designer and publicist. They also own a clothing company. Roles and responsibilities might overlap, but it is clear DIEMON move as one.
Aside from the music, the visuals might be the most compelling feature of the crew. The music video for “Real Hip-Hop” shows the crew in a black and white visual, with automatic weapons plotting a crime.
As for music, DIEMON members consistently drop music via their website (www.diemon.com). The crew, all Atlanta natives, started in high school. Bugus, who worked in a restaurant through high school, made enough money to buy recording equipment.
“My father said he’ll match whatever I saved,” Bugus recalled. Bugus and crew, armed with a couple thousand dollars, bought what they could. It wasn’t the best, but the equipment did its job. From there, things seemed to get easy.
Friends at other colleges were requesting to hear the crew’s music. They were asked to do shows at these colleges. Recently, DIEMON performed for 500 students at the University of Georgia (they opened for the Ying Yang Twins). And before that, executives dealing with music scores for television shows contacted the crew in hopes to use music in futures shows.
Everything DIEMON is doing now is just one step towards the dream.
“I’m going to be a legend and I’m going to do it through good art, good integrity, and the respect of my peers,” Bugus said, before returning to the studio.
Check out all DIEMON’s music at: www.diemon.com