Connie Diiamondis here to leave her stamp on the rap game. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, the birthplace to Hip-Hop and home to some of the greatest spitters to date, the rising star arrives with her own swag, style, and braggadocious bars — and she demands attention in any room she walks in.
Connie first garnered a buzz back in 2016 when her freestyle to Drake’s “Summer Sixteen” went completely viral. Five years later, her rendition of DaBaby’s “Ball If I Want To” went even crazier. Organically catching the attention of Def Jam CEO Tunji Balogun, who went on to sign her to the label, Connie Diiamond continues to grind, putting in the work to become one of the greats.
In describing herself, Connie states she’s “this dope, cool, aggressive, ghetto individual from the Bronx, New York, providing the girls with a vibe by any means.”
Most recently, Connie released her new single called “Ghetto & Ratchet.” This follows the release of her highly-anticipated project titled UNDERDOG SZN. Clocking in at 9 tracks, the project is spearheaded by her lead single “Move,” which even Ludacris cosigned as straight heat. She also has a standout collaboration with Dame D.O.L.L.A. on “Raid,” and enlisted KenTheMan for the “Move” remix.
AllHipHop spoke with Connie Diiamond during BET weekend in Los Angeles, who was sporting her signature blue hair. Read below as we discuss her roots in the Bronx, going viral, how she got signed, the new project, collaborating with Dame D.O.L.L.A. and KenTheMan, studio essentials, and more!
AllHipHop: Talk about being from the Bronx, what does the city mean to you?
Connie Diiamond: The Bronx is where I was born, I spent some time in Queens as well growing up. Most of my family’s in the Bronx, so it’s a very special place to me. As you know, Hip-Hop was created in The Bronx as well, so I feel very tied up and intertwined into it.
AllHipHop: When did you fall in love with music?
Connie Diiamond: I fell in love with music around 14 years old. The song that really grabbed me was “Cherchez La Ghost” by Ghostface Killah. That’s my favorite song all-time.
AllHipHop: When did you realize you could do music for a living?
Connie Diiamond: 2016, I did a Drake “Summer Sixteen” freestyle. That was the first time I ever went viral. I was viral on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr. This is before we had Instagram Stories. It made me feel like okay, I probably could do it. People were gravitating towards me. Oh yeah, I’ma take it full throttle. I always played around, but that freestyle went viral. Okay yeah, let’s do it.
AllHipHop: You posted it everywhere?
Connie Diiamond: I posted it on Twitter, and it went everywhere else. I went viral on Twitter at least three times, because of Twitter. “Ball If I Want To” freestyle, that’s the one that got me signed to Def Jam.
The CEO of Def Jam saw that one, shout out to Tunji. He signed me directly.
AllHipHop: How did he reach out?
Connie Diiamond: He started following me on Instagram, then I think he DMed me. I got his email, and we went to a lunch meeting with his wife. He said he flat out wants to sign me.
AllHipHop: How did that feel?
Connie Diiamond: It felt really good, because it was very personal. Even though our relationship now is very personal, I could call him right now on the phone. I know a lot of people don’t have that relationship with their CEOs of the label. I saw him last night, I’ma see him again next week. I saw him last week, so it’s that cool. It’s dope, he’s a good person.
AllHipHop: Was it always your goal to get signed?
Connie Diiamond: Yeah, because I feel like I’ve done as much as I can do on my own. I need the extra help now.
Connie Diiamond: My sound is hardcore, aggressive rap. Fun music. [laughs]
AllHipHop: What was the inspiration behind your name?
Connie Diiamond: It’s funny because my name used to be Black Diiamond, but then my friend made a mistake and called me Connie Diiamond. I liked how it sounded, so I kept it. Connie is my name, but I just liked Black Diiamond. He was doing my ad libs for me. It was a pointwhere I used to hate doing ad libs, so he’d do them for me. He made a mistake and said “Connie Diiamond,” instead of Black Diiamond. I just kept it.
AllHipHop: You just dropped UNDERDOG SZN, how are you feeling?
Connie Diiamond: I feel good about it. I’m ready to drop visuals. I have nine songs. Out of the nine, two have visuals. I’m ready, I want to drop a visual to every song. That’s where I’m at. My usual process is dropping a visual. But with the label, they have their own formulas for s###. So I got to follow their lead until I can really do it on my own.
AllHipHop: Love seeing you connect with KenTheMan on “Move,” that’s my girl.
Connie Diiamond: I just got off the phone with her. She’s going to be in New York tomorrow, she has a show. She’s going to be in New York the following week as well.
AllHipHop: How did y’all tap in?
Connie Diiamond: I met her in Texas at SXSW manyyears ago, before either of us were signed. But we stayed in contact. She heard “Move,” she said she wanted to jump on it and we got it done. Love her, she’s a sweetheart.
AllHipHop: Bring us back to when you made “Move.”
Connie Diiamond: “Move” is funny because I got that beat, I was finishing up a session. The producer said “hey before you go out, I want you to hear a beat.” He played it, and I already had the first four bars in my head. Because it was so good.
AllHipHop: Do you freestyle everything?
Connie Diiamond: I don’t freestyle, but I was mumbling some flows in my head.
AllHipHop: How was it meeting Ludacris?
Connie Diiamond: It was so good. I was just telling someone else in an interview earlier that he looks 25. No, he seriously looks like he hasn’t aged a day. He was so nice, such a sweetheart. It was so cool, I couldn’t believe it. I wish I could stay with him all day, so nice.
AllHipHop: And he said your s### was fire right?
Connie Diiamond: Yeah, he said he loved it.
AllHipHop: How’d you link with Dame D.O.L.L.A. on “Raid”? That’s a big deal.
Connie Diiamond: I know, I don’t feel like it is but people do.
AllHipHop: He’s one of the best NBA players!
Connie Diiamond: He is a really good artist too. We have a mutual friend. I was chillin’ with him one day, we were in Boston. We was drunk, freestyling and s###. I let him hear some of my stuff, he let me hear some of his stuff. We’re like, “let’s work.” I said I had a record for him, he gave it back to me the next day. Literally the next day, I couldn’t believe it.
AllHipHop: What was your reaction when you heard it?
Connie Diiamond: I was so excited. Wow, I know he’s good at basketball, but he’s really nice as a musician as well. I was excited for that, then I got placement with NBA 2K. I got a song placement on 2K from that, so that was good.
AllHipHop: How was it shooting the music video?
Connie Diiamond: It was so fun man. It was my first official, real music video with the label. I shot it in Portland, it was an all day thing. He came, he let us borrow his car. It was fun. It was a lot of fun.
AllHipHop: What is it you want fast to get from your story?
Connie Diiamond: I want people to know that it pays to stand on how you feel. Constantly be yourself. Never stop working. You’ve set yourself 10 steps back and you stop. The road gets rough, very f###### rough. But the goal is to keep going. Never stop.
AllHipHop: 3 things you need in the studio at all times?
Connie Diiamond: I don’t need tequila, but when I’m in LA, I need tequila when I’m recording. When I’m in New York, I don’t need liquor to record. I don’t know what it is. When I’m here, I need liquor. So tequila when I’m in LA, good energy. Good energy people. I typically don’t like to have a lot of people in my sessions. And some candy. I love candy.
AllHipHop: I love candy! What kind?
Connie Diiamond: I like Sour Powers, gummy worms. Sour Patches, I eat sour candy. Gummy sour candy.
AllHipHop: What would you be doing if you were doing music?
Connie Diiamond: If I wasn’t doing music, I’d be working in the salon still. I worked at two hair salons, one in Dykeman and Manhattan, New York. I was making wigs, doing hair, combing hair, and selling hair. That’s what I did before I was signed, that’s when I stopped.
AllHipHop: Do you do your own hair, or you have people do it?
Connie Diiamond: Honestly, I did a bad job today. It doesn’t look anything like I wanted it to look. I was going for a wet look, but it got dry.
AllHipHop: What’s been the best part of this whole journey?
Connie Diiamond: I think the best part was staying patient, staying down. Because a lot of times, I quit. A lot of times, I said I’m not going to do this anymore. I got discouraged. I’m starting to realize that’s part of the process. Just because you don’t see other celebrities’ downfalls or their rough moments, that doesn’t mean they’re not happening. I have to find a medium where I can understand that I have to detach away from the group. You’re looking at all the pretty s###, but it’s not always that. When you see that, you see things. You want more for yourself. Take your time and trust the process.
AllHipHop: Who are your top 5 artists and rotation?
Connie Diiamond: Right now, worldwide? Summer Walker. Fabolous. Jadakiss. Missy Elliott. Hmm, I’ma put Trippie Redd on there. I had an era where I was obsessed. Merch, I went crazy. I never bought merch in my life. Stickers, posters. I had a Trippie Redd era where I was going crazy.
AllHipHop: One thing fans may not know about you?
Connie Diiamond: That I’m really sensitive. And I’m scared of dogs.
AllHipHop: What can we expect next?
Connie Diiamond: I’m going to drop the deluxe soon, then some visuals. Visuals visuals visuals. That’s it. I want to drop videos, that’s it.
AllHipHop: You got any crazy treatments for the videos?
Connie Diiamond: I’m still working on some, but I’m gonna take my time with the rest.
AllHipHop: Anything else you want to let us know?
Connie Diiamond: UNDERDOG SZN out everywhere. Keep streaming and run it up!