May 07, 2006
I missed Springsteen, but at least I had Jurassic 5 to uplift my spirits. The hip-hop quintet from L.A. used positive lyrics throughout their concert at The Republic Sunday night. They also comforted and motivated with empathetic and acerbic words about hurricane Katrina. Theese harsh words were reserved for President Bush's response.
There was already talk floating around about how great J5's 2 a.m. show from the day before was, so that show must have been off the charts, because the concert I saw was spectacular. It's not often that I get to see a successful hip-hop group throw some airtight rhymes over insanely danceable beats. I wasn't even in a good mood, but I couldn't deny how my body wanted to react to the music.
Jurassic 5, which is composed of MC's Marc 7even, Chali 2na, Zaakir, and Akil, plus DJ Nu-Mark, didn't hesitate to wow the crowd with their skills. Too many hip-hop artists I've seen(like Busta Rhymes and Wyclef) send out their DJ to do what normally amounts to a boring 30 minute opening set, even if there's already been another supporter. Jurassic 5, on the other hand, ascended the stage with little fanfare and went to work.
I gotta admit that I didn't understand too many of the lyrics, but it was obvious from J5's celebratory and freewheeling delivery that they weren't venting. The audience was throwing their fists up, but not in an angry way. This was a empowering party, if anything.
Chali 2na was my favorite MC. He grinned in his silent confidence and performed sylabbic acrobatics. The baritone flowed regular, but when he went staccato, his delivery was so impressive. He fit so many words into such a small space, and in the process, showed his immense talent.
Jurassic 5 is known for finishing each other's sentences, and this concert displayed exactly how difficult it is to do that. The four MC's had obviously different styles, but they meshed together well enough so that when the mic was passed momentum wasn't lost.
The group got the crowd clapping and used all kinds of performer's tricks to get the people into it. They were entertainers and promoters. They made sure the crowd repeated the release date for their upcoming June album, "Feedback."
DJ Cut Chemist, who recently left the group, wasn't with them. This was a fun show from beginning to end.