Quality Control by Jurassic 5 on Apple Music

15 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

In many ways, Quality Control is a product of its time. When it was released in June of 2000, the boom was cresting, the Y2K bug was a joke (not a threat), and the good times seemed endless. J5 were the darlings of 1990s “alternative” rap, and by the time they released this hotly anticipated full-length debut, they’d been toiling in the underground for nearly seven years. Decidedly, even defiantly, old school, Quality Control is a triumph of flow, unity, and positive vibrations--a cheerful party record that is a testament to the power of simplicity. Featuring four rappers and two DJs, it surges with a fresh, exciting, organic sound and boasts deft vocal interplay, soulful, straightforward beats, and the seamless cohesion of the two. Look no further than the Cut Chemist-produced title track, which glides across samples from ‘70s filthy funkster Blowfly and showcases J5’s trademark mix of group vocals and solo spitting. “The Influence,” produced by DJ Nu-Mark, is an anti-bling manifesto that borrows part of its melody from ‘50s jazz vocal group the Hi-Lo’s, of all people. “Jurass Finish First,” another Nu-Mark beat, cops a ‘50s snippet from West Coast jazzman Shelly Manne. Although there are a few “message” tracks, the album’s levity is its greatest asset.

EDITORS’ NOTES

In many ways, Quality Control is a product of its time. When it was released in June of 2000, the boom was cresting, the Y2K bug was a joke (not a threat), and the good times seemed endless. J5 were the darlings of 1990s “alternative” rap, and by the time they released this hotly anticipated full-length debut, they’d been toiling in the underground for nearly seven years. Decidedly, even defiantly, old school, Quality Control is a triumph of flow, unity, and positive vibrations--a cheerful party record that is a testament to the power of simplicity. Featuring four rappers and two DJs, it surges with a fresh, exciting, organic sound and boasts deft vocal interplay, soulful, straightforward beats, and the seamless cohesion of the two. Look no further than the Cut Chemist-produced title track, which glides across samples from ‘70s filthy funkster Blowfly and showcases J5’s trademark mix of group vocals and solo spitting. “The Influence,” produced by DJ Nu-Mark, is an anti-bling manifesto that borrows part of its melody from ‘50s jazz vocal group the Hi-Lo’s, of all people. “Jurass Finish First,” another Nu-Mark beat, cops a ‘50s snippet from West Coast jazzman Shelly Manne. Although there are a few “message” tracks, the album’s levity is its greatest asset.

TITLE TIME
1:14
3:56
3:37
0:31
4:48
1:15
4:07
3:57
4:06
4:35
3:45
4:25
4:34
14 3:28
5:18

About Jurassic 5

Though there's actually six of them, Jurassic 5 got everything else right on their self-titled debut EP. Part of the new rap underground of the late '90s (along with Company Flow, Mos Def, Dr. Octagon, and Sir Menelik), the sextet -- rappers Marc 7even, Chali 2na, Zaakir, and Akil, plus producers Cut Chemist and DJ Nu-Mark -- came together in 1993 at the Los Angeles café/venue named the Good Life. The six members were part of two different crews, Rebels of Rhythm and Unity Committee; after collaborating on a track, they combined into Jurassic 5 and debuted in 1995 with the "Unified Rebellion" single for TVT Records. At the tail end of 1997, the Jurassic 5 EP appeared and was hailed by critics as one of the freshest debuts of the year (if not the decade). Both Cut Chemist and Chali 2na are also part of the Latin hip-hop collective Ozomatli, while Chemist himself recorded several mixtapes plus the wide-issue album Future Primitive Soundsession (with Shortkut from Invisibl Skratch Piklz). The year 2000 found the group on tour with Fiona Apple and on the Warped Tour, just in time for the release of Quality Control that summer. Live work continued during 2000-2001, and a second record (Power in Numbers) appeared by the end of 2002. Jurassic 5 earned new fans -- many outside of hip-hop -- by playing some unconventional venues, including Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, and the Warped Tour. By 2006, Cut Chemist had left the group to pursue his production and DJ ambitions; the remaining quintet enlisted producers including Salaam Remi, Scott Storch, and Exile (as well as in-house talent DJ Nu-Mark) to record their third full LP, Feedback, released in July 2006. Less than a year later, however, the group called it quits, citing "musical differences." They reunited in spring 2013, playing Coachella and later announcing a full summer tour. ~ John Bush

  • ORIGIN
    Los Angeles, CA
  • FORMED
    1993

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