Jurassic 5 - Power In Numbers (Cover Artwork)

Jurassic 5

Power In Numbers (2002)


A good rap band is hard to come by these days. In the days of P Diddy, Jay Z and Master P all flashing their "bling bling" and how many Benjamins they have in their back pocket a band that actually has something to say is a rarity. Thats why Jurassic 5 is so important not only to the well being of rap but music in general. The lyrics that Chali 2na, Soup, Akil, and Marc 7 can be considered some of the best by any standards, past or present. Power by Numbers starts off with Freedom, hard hitting lyrics about ethics of third world countries and attitudes people throughout the world and especially this country. One that hits home for me about a lot of the so called "punk" scene we have hear on the internet and across the country these days is: "Got people screamin' free Umi and Jamal/But two out of three of ya'll will probably be at the mall/I'm heated wit ya'll, been defeated before/And complete an unsolved when the word freedom's involved." If this doesnt speak to you I dont know what will.

But J5 arent only about speaking to you through their rhymes. Sporting 2 DJ's, 2 of the best in the world, Cut Chemist and Numark, they are able to create beats that astound even the most learned of all rap entusiasts. But, while hearing these 2 on on record can impress you, seeing them perform live is a whole different experience altogether. Not just involving the 6 turntables they rock, Numark picks up some mallets and bangs on the xylophone, grabs his drum sticks and rocks the set better than most drummers I have heard. Cut Chemist grabs his over the shoulder turntable and spins out some crazy scratches.

Back to the album, the beats on this album are superb and match the lyrics and rhythm of the 4 MCs so well it seems like Martha Steward put them together. Highlights on the album include "A Day at the Races", "Freedom", and "Break". But the album does nothing to compliment their amazing vocal skills like a live show can. For me a rapper really shines when he can freestyle well. Watching a rapper bust out a few ill rhymes (god a crack myself up sometimes) is something that you cant compare to seeing them perform the songs from their record. A song from a record is great and can get involved in the show as well but hearing them come up with something on the spot that has to match the beat given to them by their DJ is something else altogether.

Alright well to keep this relatively short and sweet (well maybe not so sweet) I'll leave it by telling you that this is definitely a band that I would recommend to anyone with an OPEN MIND... but I know thats hard to find around here. They toured with the Warped Tour in 2000 which, I think, gained them a lot of respect from the punk rock audience, not only because they were on a dominantly punk tour but because they were exposed to the incredible lyrical and musical skills of J5. But if you consider yourself a fan of MUSIC then definitely check this band out.