Unexpected Arrival

Diggy Simmons Rolls Out the Red Carpet at Album Listening

Even if Diggy Simmons is underage, he’s got a legacy to live up to when throwing a party, especially one featuring his first studio album. The bar at Tribeca Cinemas in New York City was filled with preening pre-teens, a Wonka-inspired candy spread, and colorful cocktails—sans liquor—as the 16-year-old freshman prepared to debut the entirety of Unexpected Arrival for a select crowd of industry folks and their shrieking mini plus-ones.

Diggy, dapper in preppy attire, received boisterous adulation as he briefly greeted the crowd, who were eventually seated in a theater to experience the songs for an accompanied visual affect. The album itself proved a versatility expected from the son of hip-hop royalty. There are the usual flirtatious, slick-talking tracks such as his current single, “Do It Like You” featuring Jeremih, and the impending follow-up “4 Letter Word,” which are virtually Drake-esque in tone and sentiment. The album also features what feels like the soundtrack to a lightweight entering the ring: “Hello World” boasts high-energy bass as Diggy pledges his devotion to music, money, and conjectures for inevitable success.

“I Need to Know” includes reflection usual for a young MC, discussing loyalty and trust. The standout “Unforgivable Blackness,” which may not make it as a single because of its more thoughtful nature, touches on race, politics, and even the elephant in the room—that Diggy will constantly be questioned for lack of “hardness” based on the fact that he grew up privileged, in more ways than one. Still, all of the tracks rest on catchy yet diverse beats, thanks to executive producer D’Mile, as well as Pop & Oak and Da Internz.

Unexpected Arrival lands in stores and online on March 20.

–Rajul Punjabi