Following a one-month delay, Detroit veteran Peezy finally released his long-awaited new album ‘ONLY BUILT 4 DIAMOND LINKS.’
Peezy is one of the longest-standing and most respected veterans out of the mean streets of Detroit.
Known for his irreverent gritty bars, deep Midwest-laden baritone and Detroit-heavy production, Peezy is certainly one of the polarizing regional sound’s most prominent ambassadors to help shine a light on the infectious Michigan-born style and some of its biggest stars including Babyface Ray and Flint’s Rio da Yung OG.
With his new album, the Ghetto Boyz boss continues to live up to his big dog status as he puts on for his city. Originally set to release in July, Peezy let fans know he needed a few more weeks to tweak the 21-song project with just four features from Mozzy, G Herbo and fellow Detroit-native Tay B and Dre Butterz. Well the results are in, and ONLY BUILT 4 DIAMOND LINKS was definitely worth the wait.
With music dating all the way back to 2014 and beyond, Peezy is undeniably one of the key figures to have shaped the now hugely popular Michigan rap style. Now that he’s “put the bag down to be a full-time rapper,” he continues to set the gold standard for what Motor City street rap sounds like – characterized by dense bars, unmistakably Detroit production and gritty street talk that touches on all the city’s favorite forms of hustling: from scamming to pimping to generally stunting on the competition.
Above all else, the city is known for its raw, unrefined approach. He scratches the itch for that grimy, no-holds-barred street talk over punching asymmetrical Detroit drums with tracks off ONLY BUILT 4 DIAMOND LINKS like “2 Million Up,” “Hustler vs Scammer” or “Don’t Call Me Twin” – packing in dense bars about the fast life of a Detroit hustler that always sound more like he’s getting something off his chest than reciting written bars.
But what really makes the project stand out is its unexpectedly polished feel, versatility and Peezy’s willingness to go places we haven’t yet seen. One example of the project’s broad range is the various ways he addresses females and relationships. One minute he is detailing his unapologetically bold approach to picking up women on “I Told Her” with G Herbo, and the next minute he shows one of his softest-ever sides as he gently sings about marriage and all the ways he wants to spoil his future wife on with “Wedding Ring.”
Then again on the unusually lighthearted “Shopping Spree,” a female vocal on the hook sings “I need a daddy… to come make it rain down on me” to a fully ready-to-oblige Peezy. In contrast to “Married to the Game,” where he articulates the very real love triangle between himself, his girl and the game, a familiar struggle of hustlers everywhere with dense, relatable bars.
“Walk straight up in the crib / First thing shawty asked “Where I been” / I ain’t been answering my phone, she say I act just like a kid / It’s true I need to work on my communication skills / But you irritating as hell, that shit get under my skin”
Elsewhere he touches on serious topics of poverty, incarceration and losing loved ones, reflecting on the harsh environments he was raised in with songs like “Freedom” with Dre Butterz and “Can’t Explain” feat Mozzy. His serious tone and introspective bars really hammer home a genuine gratitude for his ability to overcome his unforgiving surroundings.
In addition to the tape’s various topics, Peezy also appeals to a broader audience by finding some really interesting ways to apply the idiosyncratic Detroit flow that seem to bypass the need to acquire its particular taste. For example, on “Fiesta” he absolutely glides over an unusually Flamenco-infused beat, while on “I’ll Wait” he taps into that eerie dark trap sound increasingly popular amongst southern trappers.
And finally, some of the most standout tracks on the project are the ones where he takes a more understated approach. He contrasts his normally energetic delivery with songs like “Intro,” “How I’m Living,” “Murder 4 Hire” and “Cruise” where he seems to channel the quiet, cool-confidence of fellow Detroit frontrunner Babyface Ray to create some of the most compelling arrangements of the album. You might say he sounds “Wavy just like Babyface.”
Overall, ONLY BUILT 4 DIAMOND LINKS is easily one of the most polished, versatile and tightly crafted bodies of work to emerge from the divisive Michigan subgenre. As a result of its broad appeal, once again Peezy will play a major role in exporting the hyper-stylized regional sound far beyond the Midwest – which only makes sense coming from one of Detroit’s most important OGs.
Watch “2 Million Up” and listen to Peezy’s ONLY BUILT 4 DIAMOND LINKS below