Unvaulted: Exploring Hip-Hop’s Unreleased Albums – Rappin’ Ron & Ant Diddley Dog “Slippin’ Into Darkness”

Oakland rap duo Rappin’ Ron & Ant Diddley Dog, also known as Bad-N-Fluenz, were members of Too Short’s Dangerous Crew back in the mid-90s.  The duo released their debut album Bad N-Fluenz on Cellblock Records in 1995 following multiple features on songs by Ant Banks (“Pimp Style Gangstas”), Too Short (“Get In Where You Fit In”), and Goldy (“Never That”). 

Featuring the hit song “Smoke Season” with Stacy Hogg, the album included stellar production work from Ant Banks (“All Rapped Up”, “The Bomb”), G.O. Twice (“How The Gangsters Do It”), and others, while the duo also collaborated with artists like Seagram, Mr. ILL, Too Short on “Dirty Work”, Street Thugs, and The Govenor.

Following up with stand-out appearances and writing on the 1995 Ant Banks Do Or Die album, the 1996 Cellblock Records Compilation on songs like “Deep Shit”, “Expect The Unexpected”, and “Game Time”, as well as a handful of guest features on Bad N-Fluenz click member and Cell Block Records labelmate Mr. ILL’s ’96 debut album The Rebirth , the dynamic duo were positioning themselves to become household names in the music industry.  However, as a second Bad N-Fluenz album, Slippin’ Into Darkness, was being put together Rappin’ Ron died in a car accident on December 14, 1996.

Not much is known about Rappin’ Ron & Ant Diddley Dog’s sophomore album, although it’s been speculated that the songs “Deep Shit” and “Expect The Unexpected” from the first Cell Block Compilation were going to be included on Slippin’ Into Darkness.  When asked in a 2008 interview with DubCNN about the status of the second album, Ant Diddley Dog, now known as A. Doulos, said, On that project, we had songs like, “Nuthin’ But The Town”, “I’m Not Confused, I’m Convinced”, and “How I’m Livin”, which was one of my solos. And then we was going to record “Ron-devous”, “Head Rush” and some others that I can’t remember [be]cause that was like 10 years ago, man, but I think Banks [has them] on adat.”

One can only imagine what Slippin’ Into Darkness would have sounded like and what it would have accomplished for Rappin’ Ron and Ant Diddley Dog.  In 1997, Ant Diddley Dog returned with a song on the Ant Banks compilation Big Thangs with “Time Is Tickin” featuring Mr. ILL, Otis & Shug, and in 1998 he showed up on the second Cell Block Compilation Face/Off with the track “Face To Face” featuring B-Legit.   The Cell Block Compilation II: Face/Off compilation also featured the last song released by Rappin’ Ron & Ant Diddley Dog called “Success Is Guaranteed” and even advertised the release of Slippin Into Darkness for August 11, 1998.    

Ant Diddley Dog went on a hiatus from music for roughly 15 years, until re-emerging as a solo artist under the name A. Doulos and releasing his gospel project The Proclamation in 2016.