"Power In Numbers" CD
Genres: hip-hop, underground rap, rap
2220 Colorado Ave.
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Feb 17 - 23 2003
lie, you know who Jurassic 5 are. Surely you must have
heard their name come up at least once on the radio - they're that
heavily acclaimed hip-hop crew that came out of the underground and
ended up being played on radio stations nationwide. After a
string of much-lauded singles and eps, their debut album, Quality
Control, hit the shelves and sold like nothing else. In 2002
came the topic of this review, a sophomore album by the name of
Power In Numbers.
Now, I must admit, I'm no big rap fan. Talk to my friends,
they'll be able to confirm it, I have a tough time relating to
anything under the hip-hop banner unless it's completely
instrumental. But, I figured, what better way to start out in
the genre than with the album everyone's hailing as the return of rap
I started off the album feeling as skeptical as ever. Was I
really going to be won over by this? Maybe I just can't
appreciate hip-hop. Maybe it really does suck, and I'm the only
one who can realize it.
As I went through Power In Numbers, I began to like it more
and more. The way in which the six guys have organized their
sound is just amazing. The turntables are mastered flawlessly - Cut
Chemist and DJ Nu-Mark manage to belt out the funkiest
rhythms ever - and the rappers, Mark 7even, Chali 2na, Zaakir,
and Akil, all tackle their parts perfectly, rapping along
quickly and effectively, barely ever taking room for a breath.
Guest vocalists, including Big Daddy Kane, Boy Wonder,
and even Nelly Furtado offer some nice voices to the mix, as
Due to the excellent flow of the album, it's hard to single out any
particular outstanding tracks, although a few do stick out in some
areas. "What's Golden," for example, is a particularly
danceable tune - the jumpy, funky turntable background is a perfect
supplement to the rappers' rhymes. And the catchiness of the
melody is guaranteed to get hip-hop fans rapping along to the chorus.
"Thin Line" is another excellent track. With a dark
bassline and a tastefully down-played beat, the track is a pleasantly
downbeat tune - Nelly Furtado's moody vocals don't hurt.
But what was, perhaps, the biggest treat for me was "Acetate
Prophets," an instrumental jam between Cut Chemist and DJ
Nu-Mark that sees them merging their styles perfectly.
Though not nearly as raw as Cut Chemist's work with the
Invisibl Skratch Piklz, it's a stupendous work that will get all
die hard hip-hop fans on their feet. Nice.
Well, I must say, I've been won over by Jurassic 5's
style. Perhaps I'm not a completely different person from
experiencing Power In Numbers, but I'd like to think that it
has really opened me up to a sound that I now realize is worth lending
an ear to. Hip-hop fans will love this, but its real value lies
in presenting a delectable slice of a genre that will help make any
non-believers see the beauty of the music. Recommended.
Fun Fact: Power In Numbers has
a Parental Advisory stamp on it. Innocent minds, you've been
17 songs, distributed everywhere, released 2002]