Missed Music

Music you didn’t know you needed…until now.

Smooth and bright hip-hop from Jurassic 5

Jurassic 5 came out of Los Angeles, CA in 1993 and brought me two musicians who are scattered throughout my iPod, rapper Chali 2na and DJ Cut Chemist. Chali 2na has brought his baritone flow to Ozomatli and has popped up all over the place in one-offs with Talib Kweli, Damian Marley, Linkin Park, Galactic, and others. Cut Chemist also worked with Ozomatli and has collaborated with, produced for, and remixed a host of artists. The full complement of guys in Jurassic 5 only lasted 3 albums. Cut Chemist left the band before their 4th release, “Feedback,” but the group still had so much talent and so many ideas that this release is a winner.

They were already starting to fly apart by this time, but the creative juices were still flowing.

I will probably write up another Jurassic 5 album some other day, but for now, listen to these 4 tracks and consider picking up the disc. These guys are talented and cool and knew how to assemble an album by this time in their careers.

  • Back 4 U – An uplifting piano chord progression keeps things fresh while the guys take turns trading verses. They mix in some recordings of a Jurassic 5 live show and the effect is energetic and engaging.
  • Gotta Understand – An R&B vocal sample and halting but funky percussion back a bit of flow from the boys in the verses and a sung chorus.
  • Work It Out (feat. Dave Matthews) – I’m a big Dave Matthews fan so this could hardly miss me. It is a great track, too, with the usual flow backed by keyboards, clean guitar, and Matthews’ smoky voice.
  • Get It Together – Again, this is just piano, beats, and flow. The guys tell a couple cool stories about walking in someone else’s neighborhood and getting called out, and about getting advice from one’s father.

The band broke up in 2007. Like many break-ups, this one wasn’t unanimous. One of the founding members, Zaakir is quoted as saying, “I don’t want to sit here and fake around with it – we’re not seeing eye-to-eye right now. I’d like to keep it going, but you can’t force grown men to do what they don’t want to do.” Of course, he also got very mad when Linkin Park invited Chali 2na to work with them but didn’t invite him. Well, I like all of their work, so hopefully we’ll get some quality work out of all of them in the future.



September 15, 2010 - Posted by | Hip Hop

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