Jurassic 5 Biography
Hip-hop is not dead. Indeed, contrary to the cries of some cynics, the vibrant cultural offering that is hip-hop music is alive and well. And nowhere is that point more apparent than with the heralded Los Angeles crew Jurassic 5 and their debut full-length album Quality Control.
Consisting of four MCs and two DJs, Jurassic 5 is a throwback of sorts, referencing a by-gone era in hip-hop when the only thing that mattered was the music and having fun. In sound, the four MCs Chali 2NA, Zaakir, Akil, and Marc 7 conjure up the dynamic flows of old-school groups like the Cold Crush Brothers and Double Trouble: harmonic convergence, dynamic vocal inflections, and fly b-boy bravado. Jurassic 5's beat-providers, Cut Chemist and DJ Nu-Mark, rock the decks with inventive, original beats that hark back to the true DJ innovators. With Jurassic 5, it's a more innocent, irreverent time that comes to mind, from the early days of jams in the parks to the creative insurgence of the Native Tongues era.
Jurassic 5 shouldn't be considered old-school revivalists, though. They hail from the eclectic Los Angeles region, children of that city's hip-hop underground, and thus are a merging of both the new and old. Between 1991 and 1994, the LA underground was a burgeoning Mecca of hip-hop innovation, possessing a kinetic musical energy and a flare for progressive beats and styles. The members of Jurassic 5 met through the Good Life Café, an open-mic space in the heart of South Central Los Angeles' old jazz district. The spot served as a prolific epicenter for a number of different groups, like the Freestyle Fellowship and the Pharcyde, each wearing originality on their sleeves with emblazoned pride. Undeniably, Jurassic 5 embody that era's constant ideals of progressiveness and unity.
Jurassic 5 formed in 1993 as the union between two crews, Rebels of Rhythm and Unity Committee, who came together to record and release the spontaneous, one-off single cleverly titled "Unified Rebelution." It was an infectious record that made an indelible impression with true hip-hop heads, quickly becoming a staple on the college radio and mix-show circuit. The success of "Unified Rebelution" cemented a union that would ultimately be Jurassic 5 and, ever since, the group has become one of the most revered new artists to emerge in years.
The burning interest in Jurassic 5 was fueled, in part, by their debut, self-titled EP. Released initially in 1997 on the group's own independent imprint, the EP sold over 200,000 copies in the US and England (where it cracked the UK Top 40 charts in its first week of release), a sign that hip-hop audiences worldwide were hungry for anything that diverted from the standard hip-hop sounds. Most impressively, the EP served as a rallying cry of sorts for a whole new movement in hip-hop, easily akin to what artists like The Roots, Black Star and De La Soul have done and continue to do.
Quality Control takes the momentum garnered by the EP and propels it even further. It is an album that is as funky, alive and as true to hip-hop's elemental essence as anything the genre has seen in years. The Jurassic 5 MCs each possess supreme microphone skills, and Quality Control highlights their abilities to flex a variety of styles. One minute, they're locked in unison, perfectly harmonizing whole verses or choruses ("Monkey Bars"), the next they're each energetically spitting spirited rhymes, only to set it off the next minute swapping couplets in dynamic superhero fashion, as on "W.O.E. Is Me."
The MCs flourish thanks in part to the colorful craftiness of Nu-Mark and Cut Chemist, the production and DJ tandem who lay down a bedrock of beats carefully culled from dusty crates. Throughout the album, their mastery and understanding of what makes something undeniably funky is evident, whether it's a tapestry of body-rockin' swing beats they weave on "Swing Set," or the mellow head-nod twilight they create for "LAUSD." Indeed, Nu-Mark and Cut Chemist arguably do for the funk what producers like Ali Shaheed Mohammed and Large Professor did for jazz and classic soul.
The album, though, is only half of the true Jurassic 5 experience. Like a modern day reflection of the old-school spirit, the group spends as much time on their live shows as they do in the studio and the perfection on stage is quite clear. It's a dynamic event that must be experienced to be fully appreciated. And it's yet another sign that it's with Jurassic 5 where new meets old. They are a group leading the resurgence of next-school optimism that will reconstruct the hip-hop landscape so that people will realize they are lost no longer.
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HIP HOP IS NOT DEAD | Reviewer: indonesian_hiphopers | 10/28/2007
this is the first time we heard about your song called "work it out". thats very interesting. we are in indonesia like your song. its musically genius
HI AKIL THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT THIS IS FOR SCHOOL | Reviewer: *~* JAY*~* | 8/29/2006
FIRST OF ALL THANKS FOR COMMING TO !!!NEW MEXICO!!! HERE AT THE SANTA FE INDIAN SCHOOL POLO! EVERYTIME I GO DOWN THER IT REMINDS ME OF YOU!! J5@!!! WELL A FEW QUESTIONS
DID YOU LIKE NEW MWXICO? BECAUSE NEW MEXICO LOVED YOU!
ARE YOU COMMIN BACK TO NEW MEXICO?
OH AND DO YOU REMEMBER THE GIRL WHO WAS DANCING TO YOUR MUSIC EVEN AFTER THE CONCERT WAS OVER WELL IF YOU DO THIS IS THE GIRL WHO WAS WITH THAT GIRL OH AND BY THE WAY MY NAME IS JAY CHAVARILLO IT'S ACTUALLY JAYNISSA BUT JAY IS EASIER FOR PEOPLE TO SAY!
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