The Rise of Mr. Wood$: When Music Is All You Know
At six-thirty in the evening, his laughter pelts with an infectious rhythm. He smiles and the universe reciprocates his anomaly.
Mr. Woods (Diallo Edmond) is a congenial jokester that appreciates the experiences of life and all of its commanding promises…
He attributes those engaging qualities to his earlier years, while living in Far Rockaway Queens, New York (1989).
As a high school senior, Woods worked part-time at the United States Post Office making about fifty-thousand dollars a year.
“I wrote and recorded music leisurely, but it still wasn’t something that I was pursuing as an artist,” he said.
Woods enrolled into college, majoring in Liberal Arts, and continued his services with the company for about 10-years. Although the lofty position was quite comfortable, Woods still had this crazy obsession for music that he just couldn’t shake.
In 1999 when TLC released their single, “No Scrubs.” Woods heard the song and immediately reacted.
“No Scrubs’ was a big record at the time and it was an anthem for the women. Everyone could relate to it,” he said.
“The song was so catchy that guys didn’t want to ride in the passenger seat of their homeboy’s vehicle. I couldn’t believe that the record had that much influence on the street.... Nas, Jay Z, and DMX, were at the top of the charts during those times, and nobody answered their record.
I had a friend by the name of DJ Rhude, he was part of Funk Master Flex’s record pool, and I was always on his mix-tapes… I asked him to send me the “No Scrubs” instrumental because I told him, ‘ I got something I wanna say.’ He sent me the instrumental and I wrote 16 bars on the instrumental, and I entitled it, “No Vultures.”
No Vultures was the same thing as “No Pigeons.” It was like chicks or birds... We agreed to change the name at the time because “Vulture” was a much harsher word,” said Woods.
It must’ve been fate because the single switched hands several times before making its way to Funk Master Flex. Ultimately, Woods collaborated with hip-hop artist, Sporty Theivz, to record and release the negation track, “No Pigeons.”
The song went gold on the Urban Hip Hop Charts and was #1 on the Billboard as well as R&B and Hip Hop Charts for seven weeks straight. It secured a #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100, in addition to #3 for Canadian Digital Sales-- information can be referenced on wikepedia ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_Pigeons).
“It was all a dream to me," he spoke endearingly as though the instance happened just the day before.
Feeling quite confident, Mr. Woods took another leap of faith after securing the plaques—he moved to Charlotte, NC in 2001.
"My mother supported me, but she thought I was nuts for leaving the post office… I didn’t even quit. I just packed up my stuff and moved. To be honest, till this day, I have the best parents in the world. I think that’s why I love what I do even more. My parents pushed me to greatness… How could I lose?” he shrugged.
Momma Woods partaking in a photo opp with her doting son
Just as Woods said, there was no way that he could be defeated. After moving to Charlotte, he purchased a new home.
“Even though I was financially good, I got bored and I needed to do something with my time. I had to start from scratch with employment all over again... Let me tell you how God works,” he affirmed. “When God has a destiny for your life, there is no way that you can deny it. He puts you in places to make sure everything is connected.”
Woods caught a big break—his cousin hooked him up with a job at a security company, working at the local radio station called WPEG Power 98.
It was there that he met Rhasaan Smith, who was head of marketing and promotions… “I noticed that this guy with dreads would walk in and out with different celebrities, so I knew that he was important,” Woods said.
“Although I did my job, I watched. One day, I came in with my CD, and I asked him (Rhasaan) to listen to it. The song was a collaboration project that I did with singer; Olivia (G-Unit) called “Jump-off”.
When he came back the next day, he told me that he liked it, and then he passed it on to Eddie Owens who worked for Power 98… That same week, on a Friday, I heard my song on the radio."
Woods said that he was ecstatic to hear his song playing on-air while still functioning as a security guard.
“After that, I performed at every show that the radio station had because of Rhasaan Smith.
Rhasaan became my manager and I went from being a postal worker, to a security guard, and now, this.”
The extrovert is co-owner to a record and dance studio in Charlotte, NC where he runs a multifaceted entertainment company (artist development).
He’s fine-tuned singers and performers such as Keyshia Cole, Akevius, Jessie Storey, Open Minds, hip hop artist, J One, and more recently, the female singing group, V4.
Woods pictured with Jessie Storey
Just this past week, he shared videos on social networks of another artist by the name of Charnel Allen, who is a vocalist under his music group called, “TUK” (The Movement). He launched a clothing line under the “TUK” signage.
Mr Woods featuring Charnel in "They Don't Know"
Speaking of the sundry members of TUK, the group won a trophy for "Hip Hop Group of the Year" at the #2016 Queen City Awards on December 10, 2016.
Leaving no imaginative stone unturned, Woods tested his acting chops and made an appearance in the featured film Mafietta about two years ago.
He also traveled with Keyshia Cole, Fantasia, and Kanye West. He mentioned that West would sit out in the audience and vibe to his music.
“To know that Kanye West was out there watching, it was big—I feel like it was a continuation from the “No Pigeons” thing, but that was God again,” he said.
Working for the U.S. postal service was the best days of Mr. Woods life, however, he didn’t feel alive until he began performing as an entertainer and as an artist.
Pictured with Keyshia Cole/Performance at the Coyote Joes/ Charlotte, NC
Woods said that his journey is spiritual. He also confirmed that humility is one of the reasons that he’s able to achieve all of the things that he dreamed about.
“God blesses you in many ways and it doesn’t have to be monetary. I’ve worked many days without getting paid. That’s what got me to where I am now. I mean, who am I to get paid? Who are you to get paid?” he acknowledged.
"I feel like a lot of artists don’t go anywhere because they don’t sacrifice their talents. If no one knows your music or knows who you are, you don’t hold value yet. I learned that, and I was fine with that, to work without pay. You have to sacrifice while being persistent and consistent-- if you aren’t doing that, people don’t care. You can’t think you’re on a high horse already.
Humility for me is the reason I am where I am. It doesn’t matter how much accolades or accomplishments I have… it doesn’t matter. I humble myself to where a person is positioned cause I gotta work with them. They’re building too—everyone has to start from somewhere. I started from somewhere and I started very low."
Woods doesn’t take credit for everything and admits that his success is attributed to many people that he’s worked with throughout the years.
“I like to bring people along on my journey and it doesn’t matter what level you’re at. You gotta reach out and help someone cause everyone won’t get the opportunity that you have, and some people won’t ever know what it feels like to become successful,” he resounded.
The reason that my career is so big right now, it’s because of Rhasaan Smith. No one can pay me to get another manager. Rhassan Smith was the only one that took a chance on me.
Mr. Woods said that if he couldn’t do music at all—“Oh, just get the shovel and start pouring dirt over my grave,” he joked.
Although he doesn't admit it, Woods is pretty impressive when it boils down to cooking a feast. His late father was an organic cook.
"He'd be in the kitchen making greens and stuff like that. I'd be standing right beside him, watching eagerly, and taking it all in."
Alternatively, if he couldn't make music, he'd be top chef, running his own restaurant or television show, and putting Martha Stewart out of business.
Without doubt, he’s passionate about music, as he stated above. He spends majority of his time recording compositions. Aside from "No Pigeons," Woods has other features, mix tapes, and singles-- he released a track called “Melody Makers.”
“We took the track back to the 90’s Reggae era and blended it into the song. When you listen to my music, you’ll hear that 90’s influence. That’s what I grew up on, the real hip hop, R&B, and Reggae. When you hear music that I currently make, you won’t hear the trendy music that people listen to now. That’s not what I grew up on, and that’s not the reason I fell in love with music. I fell in love with music because of that 90’s era,” he said.
Woods stated that the music today lacks creativity—“It’s serious. It lacks creativity and it’s repetitious. I don’t knock what they are doing because the youth is growing up in their era, the same as we did. I don’t knock them, but it’s definitely no creativity and it’s really not the same.”
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