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Jurassic 5 – J5 Deluxe Re-issue (2cd/1dvd)

Pronto Toronto Series Pt.7: Jurassic 5 – J5 Deluxe Re-Issue (2cd/1dvd)

Y’all know I love Jurassic 5. And this deluxe re-issue of J5 was a no-brainer for me. Look at all the glory (from the back cover):

“This deluxe re-issue features Jurassic 5’s breakthrough album, a bonus CD with 15 tracks of hard to find and unreleased material plus the first ever Jurassic 5 DVD. The DVD features “The Jurassic Period” documentary capturing this seminal group at the beginning of an era in an experimental, music driven time piece. Also included on the DVD is a 25 minute performance by Jurassic 5 at the Brixton Academy as well as the “Concrete Schoolyard” video.”

Here are the tracklists and then a few wee comments from me on each…

CD1: In The Flesh / Quality Control Pt. II / Jayou / Lesson 6: The Lecture / Concrete Schoolyard / Setup / Action Satisfaction / Sausage Gut / Improvise / Blacktop Beat / Without A Doubt / Lesson 6 (Reprise) / Action Satisfaction (Dub)

An unquestionable classic. It has the great beats and music, and the vocals are stellar to match, and here’s it’s all remastered. You get Concrete Schoolyard, Improvise, a ton of others. Man, just… you need this album.

CD2: Ignition Sequence / Ducky Boy / Verbal Gunfight / Rubber Tires / Long Road To Glory (recorded on JLSC tour bus during the Vans Warped Tour) / Ghetto Diplomat / Lesson Four: The Radio / Jayou Remix / The Rhythm / (Who’s Gonna Be The) Next Victim / The Joint Freestyle (recorded in 1994 for “The Joint” hosted by King Emz and Mike Nardone) / The Joint Promo / Wake Up Show Promo / Power 106 Promo / Unified Rebelution

This is worth the price of admission, right here. Lots of cool stuff in the unreleased tracks, and there’s even a remix of Jayou. I was pretty tempted to skip through the radio spot recordings, but whatever. They’re short, and I am glad, in a way, that they’re here – for completeness. That’s how you do it, folks. Put it all on there! The unreleased stuff here is all worth it, all of it!

DVD: “The Jurassic Period” Movie / The Brixton Academy Concert / “Concrete Schoolyard” Music Video

The DVD could have had more music videos than just the one, but you do get the Brixton Academy show, and a short ‘documentary’ which is cool but is really just cam footage. Still a worthwhile addition to the set.

In Sum:

Yes. In fact, hell yes! That’s what I would say if you ever asked me if you should grab this up. You simply cannot go wrong with Jurassic 5, and this set gives you a ton of goodies. A great deluxe edition done up right!


I took a wee break from all of my hairy reprobate listening to Red Fang \m/ \m/ to check out this Jurassic 5 EP called Improvise that showed up in the mail. I’d forgotten it was ordered. Thank you, past self!

Improvise is a clean version of the J5 version. Concrete Schoolyard (Clean Kazoo)  ain’t too different from the original. Concrete And Clay  (Clean) is a sweet groove and an amazing J5 track – can’t help but think it sounds like something Young MC would love. Improvise (Instrumental) is a neat addition too.

Super-sweet and groovy. Always love me some J5.

Jurassic 5 – Freedom

Here’s a great one to get us started.

I’ve been jamming Jurassic 5’s Power In Numbers a lot, lately. It’s a hot record, well worth everyone’s time. They have solid conscious hip hop-style messages, and the music’s super-sweet, a real classic feel. All the MCs are excellent, though my ear always waits for Chali 2na to come back on. His bass rumblings are infectious.

I remember they performed this song, Freedom, on the Henry Rollins Show.

Bonus points: Watch the spinning record banner at the top of this page as you listen to the track. Hypnotic.

Check it:

“[Chorus: Jurassic 5]

Hold on to this feelin’, Freedom (Freedom!)
Hold on to this feelin’, Freedom (Freedom!)

[Verse 1: Chali 2na, Akil, Marc 7]

[Chali 2na]
Yo, seldom travelled by the multitude
The Devil’s gavel has a couple fooled
My culture’s screwed cause this word is misconstrued
Small countries exempt from food cause leader have different views
(You choose)

What mean the world to me is bein’ free
Live and let live and just let it be (Let it be)
Love peace and harmony, one universal family
One God, one aim and one destiny

[Marc 7]
(Oh Yeah?)
Imagine life without a choice at all
Given no hope without a voice at all
These be the problems that we face
I’m talkin’ poverty and race
But no matter what the case we gotta

[Chorus: Jurassic 5]
Hold on to this feelin’, Freedom (Freedom!)
Hold on to this feelin’, Freedom (Freedom!)

[Verse 2: Soup, Chali 2na, Akil]

Yo, I’m the first candidate to hate
Had to beat on the drum to communicate
For what was to come to those who were hung
They would decapitate the tongue if you would mention the word (Freedom)

[Chali 2na]
Got people screamin’ free Mumia Jamal
But two out of three of ya’ll will probably be at the mall
I’m heated wit ya’ll, the defeated will fall
Uncomplete an unsolved when the word freedom’s involved

Yo, my forefathers hung in trees to be free (Rest in peace)
Got rid of slavery but still kept the penitentiary
And now freedom got a shotgun and shells wit cha name
Release the hot ones and let freedom reign

I’m the former vote prisoner
Hollywood visitor
Dance for cats segregated on wax
My color got me handi-cap Amos and Andy
For the freedom they just won’t hand me

[Chorus: Jurassic 5]
Hold on to this feelin’, Freedom (Freedom!)
Hold on to this feelin’, Freedom (Freedom!)

[Outro: Marc 7]

(Hold On)
Cause there’s not a lot of time (To)
Your heart, body, soul and your mind (This)
They’re so true and they been hurtin’ so long (Feelin’)
Thats the reason why we named this song (Freedom)

(Hold On)
Cause there’s not a lot of time (To)
Your heart, body, soul and your mind (This)
They’re so true and they been hurtin’ so long (Feelin’)
Thats the reason why we named this song (Freedom)”


Top Ten Favourite Rap Groups

Kudos to you if you clicked on this one! I know a bunch of you are dyed in the wool rawkers, so the hip hop may not do much for you. But I’ve got a real melting pot going on around here, and rap is just another of the components of my complete breakfast, so for me a post like this ain’t much of a surprise.

I know what I like when I hear it, and I was idling wondering if I could make a Top Ten artists list. Sure I can!

Now, I know that these are tricky waters. Some will say “where is Public Enemy, or Run-DMC, or Grandmaster Flash…” or any of the other classics. Or there’ll be newer artists or whole genres of hip hop I’ve skipped, etc etc. Well, those are surely great too. But this is my list of what I would choose to put on, when the mood moves me. Many were considered. And so it goes.

Alright, here we go:

1 The Roots
2 Wu-Tang Clan
3 Beastie Boys
4 Jurassic 5
5 A Tribe Called Quest
6 US3
7 Common
8 Mos Def
9 2Pac
10 Notorious B.I.G

Bonus Round!

11 Honourable mention goes to: Eminem*

12 The artist I most need to get to (but haven’t yet): Talib Kweli**

13 The new artist I most want to try: Kendrick Lamar***

14 The one I should probably include but I just don’t feel it when I hear him: Jay-Z****

* Eminem has a lot to say, and he pulls no punches. But I can’t do his anger all the time, so he doesn’t hit my 10 list because sometimes he just makes me tired.

**And by extension, since I’ve already included Mos Def, I should also get to Black Star.

*** I have no idea if this is a wise decision, his is just a name that keeps coming up.

**** This is probably an unpopular choice, but so what. I don’t dig Jay-Z enough. Go make your own list.

In Sum:

Based on that Top Ten list, you can tell I like it when rappers have something to say, and I like it jazzier and with a sense of fun. I don’t have any time for violence for the sake of violence, which is why 2Pac and Biggie sit at the bottom of the list – only about half of their stuff is brilliant for me. I also have zero time for a lot of the empty, plastic, boastful rap that seems to be popular ad nauseum.

What are your faves? Do you agree with this list? Disagree? Are you ambivalent?


My list is a total sausagefest, so if anybody can recommend any great lady rappers that might fit my likes, drop a comment!

Do you have suggestions for any other acts I need to check out? Let me know!

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