|Birth name||Kenny Jenkins|
|Origin||Chicago, Illinois, United States|
|Genres||Underground hip hop|
|Associated acts||RJD2, Prefuse 73, Madlib, Mos Def|
|Website||Diverse on Myspace|
Diverse got his start in the Chicago hip-hop scene while being employed at a post office. He has worked or associated with Chicago hip-hop mainstays such as J.U.I.C.E., Modill, and Iomos Marad. His debut EP, Move, featuring the track "Time", appeared in 2001. He has professional relationships with RJD2 and Prefuse 73. He contributed to Prefuse 73's album One Word Extinguisher, rhyming on the track "Plastic". Prefuse 73 also produced the original beat for "Wylin' Out," a track that paired Diverse with the beloved New York rapper Mos Def. The single "Wylin' Out" was well-received, with remixes by Definitive Jux's RJD2 and K-Kruz, and included on the 2002 Urban Renewal Program compilation.
Both Prefuse 73 and RJD2 contributed tracks to Diverse's 2003 debut full-length, One A.M. Prefuse 73's contributions were the ambient-flavored beats for "Jus Biz," "Leaving," and the interlude "Amberglis." RJD2's work on the album is some of the most directly rock- and funk-influenced work of his career. Other producers who contributed to the project were K-Kruz, Overflo, and Madlib. Guest appearances were made by Cannibal Ox's Vast Aire, the fierce Jean Grae, and Quannum Projects' Lyrics Born. Two of Diverse's songs from his One A.M. album, "Blindman," produced by K-Kruz, and "Explosive (Caural Mix)," were featured on the soundtrack of Capcom's 2006 game Final Fight Streetwise for the PlayStation 2 and the Xbox. Also featured on the soundtrack was "Wylin' Out (RJD2 Remix)" with Mos Def. The song "Certified" was also featured in THUG2. In the same year, Diverse was featured on the track "Gray Scale" by Montreal-area DJ Ghislain Poirier. In 2005, Diverse teamed with a Detroit-based crew called Lawless Element, appearing on a track called "...Something." Magnif, the producer associated with Lawless Element, is among those working with Diverse on his second full-length, Round About.
Summer 2006 saw Diverse participate in The Storm Tour, travelling across North America with headliner Aceyalone, Ugly Duckling, Mayday!, and Wrekonize. Diverse's setlist drew heavily from the still unreleased album and mixtape. In June 2006, Diverse was featured on the Chocolate Swim EP, a collaboration of Chocolate Industries and Cartoon Network's Adult Swim. On the six-track EP, Diverse appeared on a Kut Masta Kurt remix of "Wylin' Out" with Mos Def and a DJ Mitsu The Beats remix of his song "Ain't Right". This EP was available for free download on the Adult Swim website.
Diverse's second album will be called Round About. The few published progress reports on it have indicated the continued contributions of Madlib, K-Kruz, and Prefuse 73 and also involvement from Oh No, Sa-Ra Creative Partners, Hezekiah, and the late J Dilla. Featured guest performers are slated to include Gift of Gab (of Blackalicious), Strange Fruit Project, Invincible, and The Hypnotic. As of May 31, Diverse is said to be wrapping up production on the album.
Slated to precede the release of Round About is The Standard, a mixtape comprising snippets from Round About, exclusive content, rare works, little-heard remixes, previously unreleased songs, and, chiefly, covers of songs considered "standards" or "classics" of the hip-hop genre. Standards: The Mixtape was released in 2006. A mixtape entitled "B-sides & remixes" was released in 2009, however there have been no new announcements about releasing Round About.
Style and influences
Diverse cites Mos Def, Pharaohe Monch of Organized Konfusion, and Posdnuos of De La Soul as his three main influences. His style is clear with a large vocabulary and frequent use of similes and poetic imagery. His tracks, even his battle raps, are more delicate and less confrontational in tone than many rappers'. This can be attributed to his roots in poetry.
- One A.M. (2003)
- Round About (TBA)
- Standards (2007)
- Move (2001)
- "Certified" b/w "Build" (2002)
- "Wylin Out" (2002) with Mos Def and Prefuse 73
- "Explosive" (2003)
- "Jus Biz" (2004)
- "Big Game" (2004)
- "Escape Earth (The Moon)" (2008)
- "Beatseeking Missives: Diverse". The Stranger. 18 March 2004. Retrieved 19 June 2006.
- "Diverse Part of Chicago Rap Explosion". Chocolate Industries. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 19 June 2006.
- "Diverse: Chicago Postal Worker-Turned-MC Delivers". Chocolate Industries. Urb. Retrieved 19 June 2006.
- "Diverse wrapping up long-awaited new album". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 12 June 2009.
- "Alarm Magazine". Chocolate Industries. Retrieved 19 June 2006.
- "Bases Loaded: He Digs Baseball and Poetry. Hip Hoppin' Diverse is Aptly Named...". Chocolate Industries. Jockey Slut. December 2003. Retrieved 19 June 2006.