April 08, 2019

Prince Rakeem (RZA) "Ooh I Love You Rakeem" (1991)

Prince Rakeem's first record in 1991, "Ooh I Love You Rakeem," was marketed in the typical way that Tommy Boy Music handled new artists' projects. Commit only to a single. Put some money into a relatively inexpensive video. See how it does. If it pops, pick up the album option. If it doesn't, consider dropping the artist. Monica Lynch liked Prince Rakeem. After his first single tanked, she wanted to hear something that made her believe a second release would be worth the investment. But after Rakeem dropped off the charts, he dropped out of sight. She heard that he was somewhere in Ohio. She didn't know why. The truth was that, after the long buildup and quick evaporation of his record, Robert Diggs was desperate. Broke and angry, he began dealing drugs and plotting petty capers. But Diggs was a small-time player in a game with established contenders. Faced with too much competition in New York, Diggs and a friend, Dennis Coles (Ghostface Killah), decided that they would set up shop instead in Steubenville, Ohio. For a time, Diggs made money. But then he got into a shoot-out after being ambushed by a local crew. One of the bullets from his gun ripped into the leg of a kid named Willie Walters. Diggs ended up in jail, charged with felonious assault and attempted murder. At the trial in the spring of 1991... only Digg's frank testimony saved him from 8 years as the jury acquitted Diggs (Prince Rakeem/RZA) - The Big Payback, Dan Charnas.

The promo was a disaster, it's no wonder RZA went full gold-fang'd Gravedigga on 'em...