I haven't posted on Rhyme Junkie in a couple weeks but I just put something together profiling Jeru the Damaja's debut album The Sun Rises in the East
. Jeru is so underrated and it makes me sad that so many people don't even know who he is these days. His first two albums were produced entirely by DJ Premier and Jeru is an excellent emcee. He's intelligent, has a unique flow and a great voice.
Here's a snippet of the intro:
I can't even begin to describe the pain I feel when I bring up Jeru the Damaja's name, and people look at me as if I just said that Rosie O'Donnell is sexually attractive. I can, however, look back at his excellence that so, so many people have overlooked for 20 years.FULL ARTICLE --- RECORD RECALL: JERU THE DAMAJA - THE SUN RISES IN THE EAST
Jeru the Damaja made his commercial debut as a Gang Starr affiliate, as he appeared on "I'm the Man" off of their 1992 classic boom bap masterpiece Daily Operation. After he anchored the track by displaying his lyrical potential, strong flow and captivating deep voice that draws you in from the get-go, the people wanted more. Most importantly, DJ Premier wanted more. Not only did he put Jeru on and give him a crack at his own record, Premo produced the entirety of each of his first two albums.
We'll get to Wrath of the Math next week, but for the time being, let's focus on Jeru's often overlooked debut album The Sun Rises in the East. On the strength of prime DJ Premier production, Jeru got the attention of the hip hop world in the fall of 1993, where he dropped one of the hottest golden age debut singles of the mid-90s era, "Come Clean." The smash acted as the set-up for what would turn out to be one of the most underrated albums of its time. Of course, it wasn't quite as successful as some of the other classics that dropped in 1994, as it's tough to compete with the likes of Nas' Illmatic, Notorious B.I.G.'s Ready to Die, OutKast's Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, Method Man's Tical, Gang Starr's Hard to Earn and a [dang]-near unlimited list of other timeless records; but make no mistake about the fact that Jeru held his own.
The Sun Rises in the East is bottom-heavy, as the second half of the album really bangs at a completely elevated level in comparison to the first five tracks. Don't get me wrong, there's plenty to like prior to "Da ****ez," but tracks 6-13 really cement this album's legacy as a golden age classic. Jeru was gifted top-notch production, but he expands on his unique style of delivery by conveying quality lyrical substance on the strength of his intelligence, self-awareness and deep knowledge of his social surroundings.
Walk with me, hip hop heads, as I try to figure out how in the world Jeru the Damaja doesn't get the love he deserves.
Next week I'm gonna tackle Jeru the Damaja's second album, Wrath of the Math
All comments/feedback is very much appreciated. What do you guys think of Jeru? What are some of your favorite tracks?