"I began performing music in 2008 for a brief moment while I was still in the military, but I wasn’t able to focus on music at that time due to work," says San Diego-based MC Riston Diggs, who was born and raised in Pageland, South Carolina. After performing with locals the Known Unknowns, he released his debut album The Blvd Experience.
"I really haven’t figured out what genre of music I make, some have said it's hip-hop, some say rock, alternative, and it’s also been called rock-hop. All I know is that I rap, and I strive to make good music. I’ll let people have fun labeling it."
His 2016 release PTSD documents his struggles, desires, and ambition following the completion of a nine-year military career (2004-2013) with the U.S. Navy as an Aviation Administrator. "Raising awareness that PTSD isn’t exclusive to the military," he says. "Anybody that has gone through a traumatic event in life can experience PTSD. I’m just expressing mine."
His productions are usually local-centric. "We shot the entire video for 'Post Traumatic Stress Disorder' at various locations in San Diego: A condo in Mission Valley, the studio, a rooftop Downtown San Diego, Liberty Station in Point Loma, and La Jolla. The production company we worked with is based here in San Diego, New Evolution. We also work with the great Sly Beats, who lives downtown by Petco Park."
"I live here and wanted to create here and showcase that. I took pride in doing everything here in San Diego and didn’t run to L.A. like everybody else. Hopefully San Diego returns the energy."
The video for "Post Traumatic Stress Disorder" was uploaded in early 2016, quickly earning over 68,000 views. "Russia is viewing it the most...San Diego is not a rap friendly place. I understand, because a lot of people have given it a bad name by making bad songs. I’m tired of people telling me to go to L.A. I believe in San Diego."
A new album called Riston Diggs: The Second Coming dropped in September 2020. An EP called Three Headed Monster debuted in July 2021, with Diggs and Sly Beats on vocals and production by Mike Holmes. Tracks include "Back For More," "Breath Mint," and "Changed World."