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CD Reviews:  Quality Control by Jurassic 5

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Keep an eye on Jurassic 5, the L.A.-based hip-hop group that, with its first full-length release entitled Quality Control, has assembled an impressive collection of memorable old-school rap tunes and dizzying, playful rhymes. Combining electrifying beats with plenty of lively lyrics, this album features a funky sound that'll have you bobbing your head throughout the entire 15-track set. Fans of A Tribe Called Quest and Black Eyed Peas, take notice: J5 should be at the top of your want list.

After a brief intro, Quality Control gets off to a strong start with perhaps the best cut on the album, "The Influence." One listen to this hip-hop triumph had me hooked, and after sharing "The Influence" with friends of mine they too became instant J5 fans thanks to a hypnotizing beat and absolutely flawless lyrical chemistry between MCs Chali 2Na, Zaakir, Akil and Marc 7. But the magic doesn't stop there -- these guys hit you with one stunner after another. On the turntables, DJ Nu-Mark and the Cut Chemist perfectly complement some aggressive rapping in "Great Expectations," while "Monkey Bars" and "Jurass Finish First" also chime in with some of the album's best rhymes. "The Game" is literally a basketball smack-talking session set to yet another silky-smooth beat: "Bring on the opposition, 'cause my position is to shut you down / As the basketball pounds on the parquet floor / Envisionin' moves to freak brothers every which way / Dominating like Doc J." And to wrap it all up, Cut Chemist and DJ Nu-Mark flex their turntable muscles with the album's closer, "Swing Set," an energized instrumental that features some remarkable DJ work together with a big band sound and even a few excerpts from "Animal House." Sounds like a disaster, I know, but they manage to pull it off superbly.

I'm still amazed that J5 hasn't seen more radio play. Rap just isn't what it used to be, with only the Beastie Boys, Outkast and a few other artists living up to the historical standards set by pioneers like Run-D.M.C. and Public Enemy -- along with the Beasties, of course. But thanks to their seamless blend of unforgettable beats and slick lyrics, Jurassic 5's Quality Control now gives rap fans hope for the future. Not to mention a kick-ass album!

~Jamey Codding : Feedback - Link to Us  - About B-E - FAQ - Advertise with Us

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