steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Jurassic 5

"Power In Numbers" CD

Interscope Records

Genres: hip-hop, underground rap, rap

2220 Colorado Ave.
Santa Monica, CA 90404

Feb 17 - 23 2003

Don't 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 greatness?

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 well.

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 warned.

Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 17 songs, distributed everywhere, released 2002]