Notorious B.I.G. raised the bar when he released the track "Juicy" from his classic album Ready to Die, referencing the infamous concept of living "back in the day." Since then, MCs near and far have stepped in line to follow this trend, making it an industry standard in the rap game to spit lyrics about the early days of hip hop. Jurassic 5 conquers this industry standard within the first few tracks of their new album Feedback, and for that reason alone, I think they deserve the "hood rich" stamp of approval.
I have been a longtime fan of Jurassic 5, and waiting patiently for a follow up to their 2001 album Power in Numbers left me with elevated expectations. Initially, I was a bit skeptical of Feedback because the new "J5 future sound" they boasted about came off with a hyper-synthetic pop feel to it. It was almost as if it was written exclusively for the radio, and Dave Matthews Band making a guest appearance on the new album didn't make it any easier not to judge. But true-school credentials were immediately redeemed when DJ Nu-Mark sampled a cut from Al Greene's "Love and Happiness," persuading even the most legit of hip hop kids to nod their heads.
J5's always sick lyrical flow mixed with their ability to remain positive in our debased third decade of hip hop leaves me walking away satisfied. Feedback has slowly made its way into heavy rotation on my stereo, and I have caught myself on more than one occasion engaging in the dance-party-while-driving motif. I say Feedback is yet another praiseworthy album from J5 that will most likely make its way into every hip hop purists library. Hats off to J5 for staying consistent with their beats and always-on-point lyrics. And cheers to keeping it real.