December 24, 2017

Jedi Mind Tricks - Violent By Design (2000)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
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© 2000 Superegular Records
Review by Matt Collar for Allmusic.com
Like all excellent underground hip-hop acts, Philadelphia's Jedi Mind Tricks want to sound like Kool Keith but actually make some sense. That they've now moved on from their debut album's UFO-a-philia into more sociopolitical ramblings shouldn't distract you: Violent By Design again shows a group that still knows their nobly skewed stuff. Even when they add a third solid member, JusAllah (aka Megatraum), and about 400 guest spots. There are tales of pipe-wielding violence and obligatory Star Wars references, amusing uses of Hulk Hogan and Pi samples, but Stoupe's newly jagged and ominous turntablist hooks give you a new barren, kung-fu film landscape for those imaginative nights when you're truly feeling sinister. The Virtuoso, Esoteric, and Bahamadia collaboration "Exertions" superbly captures a sloping account of reparation, placentas, and Zodiac killers, while "The Prophecy" interlude sounds like a hip-hop cousin to the dark jazz played in the club scene of David Lynch's Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. Hardcore vulgarity and pointed, Wu-Tang hooks notwithstanding, Jedi Mind Tricks are well-versed in contradictions. They know how to intimidate without gangsta pretensions and they know how to create menace without losing sight of humor or clarity.

tags: jedi mind tricks, violent by design, 2000, flac,

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