Jurassic Education 101
The west coast hip hop sound has always been known for its smooth, laidback sound. By still keeping it’s street credibility up to par, there are some west coast artists who don’t stray too far off of one of hip hop’s celebrated paths: the incorporation of the DJ as an accompanying member, not just someone who stands behind a set of turntables. Jurassic 5 has kept up this tradition and thanks to the amazing craftsmanship of Cut Chemist and Numark, they’re able to bring back that long forgotten sound of cuts, scratches and funky beats layered over playful and rhythmic word play. Thanks to their growing legion of devotees (which range from hip hop afficianidos to your average college student), J5 have schooled thousands with their theories and concepts of positive words and uplifting melodies. However, J5 is also very, very angry. On “One of the Them”, Marc 7 singles out those in the hip hop community that have become infatuated with their own reflection in the MTV mirror. “Concerned with lookin’ cute/Nails done, eyes plucked/Homie, what the fuck?/I mean really whassup/Help a brother/understand/How self-admiration takes the soul of a man/Damn, vain ass, plain ass, nothing ass niggas/Get your punk ass out the goddamn mirror” Upon first listening it would appear that J5 traded their upbeat, funky sound that flavored Quality Control for a more aggressive taste. Although anger can bring out some of an artist?s best work (see: Eminem) it can also be a bit tiring (again see: Eminem). J5 tries carefully to balance their anger with their preservation of hip-hop’s golden traditions, so they shift from personal to playful in (almost) flawless transitions. Their collaborations with Big Daddy Kane and Percy P (on the funky and tough “A Day at the Races”) and Nelly Furtado (on the sincere and sweet “Thin Line”) will add more members to their fanbase, and will educate those who are perhaps new to the world of hip hop (see: your average university student who has been weened on anything played on MTV).
College is where your mind is opened up to a whole new world of art, literature and philosophy, so it would be safe for me to say that J5 are the right professors to educate the masses.