Diamond: The Black Barbie

By: Todd Davis

Brittany Nicole Carpenter, professionally known as Diamond, first rose to fame as one sixth of the raucous rap crew Crime Mob. In 2004, the ‘Crunk’ collective dropped their hit lead single “Knuck If You Buck,” from their self-titled debut outing. Its follow-up offering, “Stilettos (Pumps),” paired the group’s sole femcees; Diamond & Princess, and helped to garner sales of over 270,000 units.

However, Crime Mob’s sophomore release, Hated on Mostly wasn’t as warmly received as that of their first effort, despite featuring the Lil Scrappy assisted, radio smash “Rock Yo Hips.”

In November 2007, Diamond permanently parted ways with Crime Mob in order to pursue her burgeoning solo career.

Rap Industry Dot Com recently spoke with the 21 year old Atlantan to get the skinny on all things Diamond.

Let’s back-track a little, how did you first come together with M.I.G., Cyco Black, Princess, Killa C, and Lil Jay, and later form Crime Mob?

We all went to school together.

Together, Crime Mob put out two group albums, with the most recent being ’07’s Hated On Mostly. Were you happy with that record’s overall commercial performance?

Yes, to a certain extent. I feel like Hated On Mostly could’ve been bigger if the different situations didn’t arise.

With that being said, what ultimately caused you to depart from the group for good?

We basically grew apart, which, honestly, is typical for many groups that came up in the game together at the ages young as we did.

Now, you are finally emerging as a soloist. How has this whole transition been for you?

It’s been hard, but exciting at the same time. I just know right now it’s my time to shine, ’cause that’s what Diamond’s do! *She giggles*

You’re calling your forthcoming solo debut, The Black Barbie — How come?

The Black Barbie was gonna be the title of my mix-tape, but I changed it. It was never the title of my album. I’m still working on that process.

Oh, okay. Well, on the set’s lead offering, “Superbad,” you teamed up with Cee-Lo — How did this collabo even come to fruition? And, what was it like working with Mr. Green?

It came through as a blessing. I feel like I picked the best person in the game to help introduce me as a female solo artist.

So, who else do you have on the album?

Lloyd, Keri Hilson, Cherish, and some surprises!

Production-wise, who all did you work with?

Don Vito (who did Kim Zolciak’s) “Tardy for the Party,” Juicy J (from) 3-6 Mafia, J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, Kane Beats (who did) Young Money “BedRock,” just to name a few.

Now when it comes to your lyrics, what motivates/inspires you?

It’s the mood I’m in. I use my day/mood as lead-way to entertain my fans.

Let’s retrace your musical roots, when were you first exposed to Hip-Hop?

Ahhhhhhhh, man, I was really exposed to it (in) my early childhood because my older sister was in a rap group, and seeing how moved and motivated she was inspired me.

Coming up, who all were your musical influences?

Da Brat, Missy, Queen Latifah, Trina, MC LYTE, Lil Kim and Foxy Brown.

How do you describe your solo sound? And, how does it compare to what you’re already known & loved for with Crime Mob?

My sound is more diverse than the Crime Mob sound, even though I still worked in the sound as much as I can for the fans that still ride for that sound.

Why did you opt to name yourself Diamond?

I wanted my name to be something authentic, and something that describes me. And, (since) they say diamonds are forever, then here I am — I am forever!

What are your ultimate plans for sticking around in this business of music?

Because it’s my passion, and I want to inspire all upcoming young females that are hungry for the rap game like me.

Aside from music, what are some of the other things that you cherish in life?

My family. 

People either know you now, or will become familiar with you for and through your music. What do you want those same individuals to know about Diamond that they won’t get from your music alone?

That I am very down to earth, I enjoy major family time, and simple things in life. Also, even something as simple as hanging out with my childhood friends, going to the movies, and skating EVERY Sunday.

Do you have any other future goals and/or aspirations?

I want to start modeling and build my own clothing line, as well as a beauty salon.

What’s next for you Miss Diamond?

Honestly, I just wanna project my future that what’s next is much success in every venture I pursue.

When’s the album coming out? And, what’s been causing the delay in its release?

Spring 2010. The delay was because I was not satisfied on my past label, so I put a pause in my project and decided that I wanted to put my album out on my own label — Be the Boss that I am!

Is there a tour in the works?

Yes, very soon. Stay tuned…

What will those solo performances entail?

Who knows, maybe some Crime Mob surprises. With me, you never know and I never tell!

Will you continue the B***h Muzik mix-tape series? Or, are there any others going to come out soon?

I’m actually working on Volume 3 now with DJ Scream.

Is there anything else that you’d like to point out at this time?

That I am here to stay. I want all females in the game to come together like the fellas, and just take over ’cause it’s now our time.

Finally, do you speak to your former group-mates? If so, when was the last time? And, do you and Princess still have “beef” with one another? Many people don’t even know what that was all over…

It’s all love on my end. I will be 22 years old this year, and lingering on past negative events is no longer in my future.

Sadly, Thursday June 25th 2009, the world lost the greatest entertainer who ever lived — What was your first reaction upon hearing the tragic news? How does Michael Jackson’s untimely passing affect, not only you, but, music in general? And, in the wake of his demise, what does this mean for the future of recorded music?

I took Mike loss very hard. He made his mark into the world, and took it over. I hate to say it, but maybe it was just his time. He was exhausted, and the media wore him down till he couldn’t take it anymore. It’s still a sad loss, and he will truly be missed from the day it passed till the end of time.

Very well said. Finally, do you have any closing thoughts?

Stay prayed up, achieve your dreams, set standards and exceed them