Monday, June 14, 2010

My Opinion

I recently had a friendly argument with some people about Jurassic 5, because of which I have taken the time to listen to this song, recommended to me as pretty likeable. I have to say my opinion about the group has not changed. There's nothing really wrong with any of the formal pieces of this track. The beat is easy and laid back and the emcees are good at the sort of down-beat heavy rap they specialize in. Some of the lyrical passages are actually pretty nice, I enjoyed them. The problem I have with this song, however, is that its just not compelling for me. The song, in my opinion, is a claim of authenticity, of purity, that the group isn't about violence and money, but about music, "beats and lyrics". This is just as good a premise for a song as any, but they go about getting this point across in the very same way as the hip-hop that they are criticizing. They talk about sucka mcs, they talk about taking it back to the streets, they talk about their lyrical prowess etc. In addition, they address these subjects in a a tone that just doesn't contribute much to the general mood of the song. Lyrically, the song is generally proud and aggressive, but in terms of sound it fails to present this theme, or any other, successfully. All that comes across is that they are very vaguely having fun. I'm all for someone trying to revive an old school sound, but this song just comes off as non-committal, trying to represent itself as an alternative to aggression in hip-hop without presenting an alternative that's actually compelling. To me at least.

Just to present an alternative, have a listen to this gem, a similar song that I like much better. It does for me what the above song does not, it communicates a believable and bittersweet mood of nostalgia through both its beat and lyrics:

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