I miss Jeru the Damaja. I was listening to “My Mind Spray” in my car this morning and it made me late for work! I had to listen to it about 6x before I was satisfied for the morning. With such impressive lyrical prowess, and production by one of the greatest producers of all time, DJ Premier, you can’t go wrong! His debut album, The Sun Rises in the East, is easily one of my top hip hop albums of all time. “You Can’t Stop the Prophet” is the only hip hop track that I know completely word for word. The wordplay on that track is incredible and the video is dope as hell!
I haven’t kept up much with Jeru in recent years, maybe because DJ Premier was no longer producing his tracks. As top notch as Jeru’s lyrical ability is in my books, this is one of those instances where the production is key. I mentioned in my article about Sound Battle Royale, that “Good lyrics over a mediocre beat makes for a not-so-memorable track.” Not taking anything away from Jeru as a lyricist here, but when he has that dope beat to rhyme to it makes his tracks phenomenal.
Apparently, Jeru was supposed to release a new album this year featuring production from Pete Rock, Juju of the Beatnuts, Large Professor and a reunion with DJ Premier. It wasn’t released this year, but I’m sure we can expect this in 2012.
Here are a few of my Throwback Thursday picks from Jeru the Damaja:
My Mind Spray LIVE performance
Can’t Stop the Prophet (Pete Rock Remix)
Crooklyn Dodgers 95 – Return of the Crooklyn Dodgers (Jeru, Chubb Rock & O.C.)
Speak Ya Clout (Gang Starr ft. Jeru & Lil Dap)
I’m the Man (Gang Starr)
1, 2 Pass It (D&D All Stars: Doug E. Fresh, Fat Joe, Jeru the Damaja, KRS-One, Mad Lion & Smif-N-Wessun)
Ya Playin’ Yaself
Me or the Papes