Music Reviews

Jurassic 5

Power In Numbers


Do you have this CD yet? You get extra cool points if you do, and if you don’t, shame on you. Click on the link over there to the right to buy it from Amazon. Go on, I’ll wait.

The thing I like most about Jurassic is that unlike so many other hip-hop/rap acts, their material is original, not hacked up and repackaged samples of songs you didn’t even like when they were popular. Nothing on Power In Numbers is recycled, rehashed, or otherwise rendered unlistenable by overproducing, or overmixing. The music is rich and multi-layered thanks to DJs Cut Chemist and Nu-Mark, and the lyrics delivered by MCs Chali 2na, Zaakir (Soup), Akil and Marc 7 are clever and smart, not the same trite garbage about livin’ large, hos, or whatever nonsense most rappers prattle on about these days. Jurassic 5 is sophisticated and mature, yet it’s energetic, fresh, and still knows how to have a good time.

The first single, “What’s Golden” is a groovelicious ode to staying true to your roots and yourself. “One Of Them” is a not-very-subtle and rather scathing criticism of many of their hip-hop contemporaries. J5 takes to task and rebuke those who’d rather make their careers in hip-hop by becoming puppets of “street” fashion and regurgitate about the same tired subject matter again and again. Yes, P. Diddy, I’m looking at you; take note because J5 are swiftly usurping your hip-hop crown. “Thin Line” features Nelly “I’m Like an Irritating Song” Furtado, who actually co-wrote the song and is a wonderfully thought-provoking examination of whether male and female friends should cross the thin and precious line between friendship and romance. There are a few other guest appearances, those with sharp ears will recognize Kool Keith on “DDT,” JuJu of The Beatnuts on “One Of Them,” and Big Daddy Kane and Percy P on “A Day at the Races.” “I Am Somebody” gleefully and proudly proclaims the title again and again; you’ll be hard-pressed to not sing along to the affirming chorus.

Another aspect that sets Jurassic 5 from other hip-hop/rap artists is that no one ever fights for control of the mic – this is truly a collaborative effort and everyone gets his time to shine. With other multi-rapper groups, it often seems like each man is out for himself, desperate for attention and trying to out-rhyme his mates to prove he’s better. Not the case with J5 – they complement each other, support each other, and collectively deliver a solid smack to the tired, saggy ass of hip-hop.

Jurassic 5:

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