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Diverse (born Kenny Jenkins in Chicago, Illinoismarker) is an Americanmarker rapper. An underground hip-hop artist, he has received critical acclaim "from knowledgeable heads worldwide".


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 Yorkmarker 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.

2003: One A.M.

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.

In the same year, Diverse was featured on the track "Gray Scale" by Montrealmarker-area DJ Ghislain Poirier.


In 2005, Diverse teamed with a Detroitmarker-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 E.P., a combined effort of Chocolate Industries, Cartoon Network's Adult Swim, and Mountain Dew. On the six-track EP, Diverse appeared on another version of "Wylin' Out," this time a remix by Kut Masta Kurt, and a remix of his song "Ain't Right" by DJ Mitsu. This EP was available for free download on the Adult Swim website.

Round About

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.


Diverse cites Mos Def, Pharaohe Monch of Organized Konfusion, and Posdnuos of De La Soul as his three main influences. He also acknowledges Spike Lee, Kimbo Slice, Robert Mugabe and Sidney Poitier.

Lyrical style and content

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.



  • 2001 Move EP
  • 2003 One A.M.
  • Round About (forthcoming)


  • 2007 The Standard
  • 2009 Enemy of the State


  • 2002 Certified/Build
  • 2003 Explosive
  • 2004 Jus Biz
  • 2004 Big Game


  1. Beatseeking Missives: Diverse. The Stranger, 18 March, 2004. Retrieved 19 June, 2006
  2. Diverse Part of Chicago Rap Explosion. Chicago Tribune, cited at Chocolate Industries. Retrieved 19 June, 2006.
  3. Diverse: Chicago Postal Worker-Turned-MC Delivers. Urb, cited at Chocolate Industries. Retrieved 19 June, 2006.
  4. The Storm Tour., 10 May, 2006. Retrieved 19 June 2006.
  5. [1]., Retrieved 16 November 2007.
  6. Diverse wrapping up long-awaited new album. Chicago Tribune, retrieved 12 June 2009.
  7. Alarm Magazine, cited at Chocolate Industries. Retrieved 19 June, 2006.
  8. Bases Loaded: He Digs Baseball and Poetry. Hip Hoppin' Diverse is Aptly Named.... Jockey Slut, December 2003, cited at Chocolate Industries. Retrieved 19 June, 2006.

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