Inside the liner notes of Jurassic 5′s Quality Control , printed is the phrase “Knowledge in Digging + Appropriate Usage = An Audio Mosaic”. One could attribute this as the factor that makes this album a classic. Another could say that this album is a classic because of the amazing chemistry between the styles of Chali 2na, Mark 7 , Akil and Zaakir. Then the purist or old school enthusiast could say that these brothers present honesty in the lyrics and original style, and that makes it a classic. In reality, it s all of these things combined.
The group first appeared on the bargain bin favorite, “Unified Rebelution” on Blunt, in 1996. While this record was easily overlooked in it’s pencil drawn, black & white jacket, the crew finally got their due with the release of The Jurassic 5 “EP” , three years ago, during the initial independent boom. Meanwhile, Chali 2Na and Cut Chemist took a break from the group to add their flavor to the Latin-Funk-Hip-Hop band, Ozomatli, whose album was distributed by Interscope. Somehow after that, a copy of the J5 EP must have landed in the right hands at the big I, and the group was signed. After blessing us with the EP (in its various incarnations) and a 12 here and there, the time for the LP finally comes, and the result is a finely tuned six-man crew, with a magnum opus debut full length.
One thing new listeners will quickly pick up on about Jurassic is the use of old-skool stylistics in their delivery. Another trait of J5′s is how flawlessly they function as a group, rather than just a few rappers put together. The crew chooses a unified sound not heard since the days of Treacherous 3 or Double Trouble, but keeps the lyrics and production ahead of its time. Cut Chemist and DJ Nu-Mark provide the group’s beats, creating up-tempo grooves tailor made for innocent, multi-mic rockin , tag team rhymes. The two deejays’ extensive collection of ultra-nerdy breaks is transformed into a series of incredibly programmed tracks that are as virtuous as they are vibrant.
Tracks like “The Influence” or “World Of Entertainment” are so well produced, combined with the styles of the emcees that they will bring a smile to your face, if not make you get out of your chair and start shaking a leg in your living room. “Improvise” is probably the greatest example of hot potato style mic changing, if not the lyrical basketball match on “The Game”. Topping everything off is the ballsy “Swing Set”, which closes the album out a five minute excursion that basically conjures up images of Cut Chemist and DJ Nu Mark at a swing club in zoot suits deejaying. It must be heard to be believed.
People out there might be afraid to like these guys, because it might not be the cool thing to do, but the fact of the matter is, that there is NOBODY in hip-hop today making music this good, and pushing the envelope this far. Hey, Flex might have never heard of these them, but don t front – Jurassic is a 5.
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