Throwback Thursdays Vol 10

An education this week for those of you who may not have heard of Jeru The Damaja. Whether you have or haven’t heard that the bird is the word, after today you will know that the bird, is definitely, the word.

It was hard choosing a single track for this week’s throwback because every one of Jeru’s early material is so immaculate. So I’ve just pulled Jeru’s five singles from his first two albums for you, alongside the video which hopefully you’re already halfway through watching.

Jeru was shimmied into the industry through Gang Starr (after first appearing on I’m The Man from the duo’s 1992 effort Daily Operation) and his first two albums, The Sun Rises In The East and Wrath Of The Math, were produced solely by Premo (DJ Premier for the uneducated), in part enabling them to reach the classic status they now honour. Jeru’s conscious lyrics and trademark Brooklyn style rivalled East coast heavy weights such as Nas and Biggie, something which Jeru made evident on the Premo produced Bad Boy diss track One Day.

Premo’s producton on Jeru’s debut LP is often considered by many as his best work to date (alongside Group Home’s Livin’ Proof), even if only slightly better than on Wrath Of The Math. If you know Premo then you know what to expect, so I’m not going to waste too much time explaining how ridiculous his piano and drum loops are and his extensive knowledge of how to integrate that perfect sample.

Jeru’s lyrics mainly concern afrocentricity and preserving the state of hip-hop. Unlike some of his quick-fire counterparts such as Naughty by Nature’s Treach, G Rap, L, Pun and to some extent Nas, Jeru’s style is much more laid back akin to one-time-friend Guru. This does not make him any less listenable and his delivery, again much like Guru, is precisely tailored to Premo’s chilled production.

Although parting ways with Premier after his second album, Jeru stays true to his roots; now five albums deep, his 2007 release Still Rising emanates that 90’s vibe and regrettably went under the radar of an industry struggling for survival.

Jeru The Damaja – Come Clean

Jeru The Damaja – You Can’t Stop The Prophet

Jeru The Damaja – D. Original

Jeru The Damaja – Me Or The Papes

Jeru The Damaja – Ya Playin’ Yaself

Murray’s BDK Rating:ger

Up Next Week…

I’ve got a bit Premo’d and Wu-Tang’d up in recent weeks so next Thursday I’m taking a different angle. Albeit a controversial one.

He is one of the most successful artists to ever grace hip-hop. Some hate, some love. Yet many don’t realize he existed long before his smash single ‘In Da Club’ and next week I’m going to drop some of his material when he was once a young understudy of Jam Master Jay.

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