August 28, 2014 Jurassic 5’s magnificent return to NYC Best Buy Theater 8-2-14
Alternative hip hop was born in the 1990’s with a list of groups that appealed to a broad audience of listeners. In 1993 six individuals out in Los Angeles, CA united to form what listeners know as Jurassic 5. Having distinct influence on hip hop during the movement of the time, Jurassic 5 developed a strong following with a rhythmic and harmonic style few can match. It has been six long years since the talented group parted ways in 2007, but now they return with the Word of Mouth reunion tour stopping in twenty cities across July and August. In the final days of the tour Jurassic 5, along with Beat Junkies, MC Supernatural, and Dilated Peoples, rolled into New York City to light up the stage of Best Buy Theater in Times Square.
First up to the turntables was DJ Rhettmatic of Beat Junkies. Achieving a list of awards for his skills on the tables, as well as musical production, DJ Rhettmatic had everyone moving right from the start as he spun some hot tunes. With pin point timing and a good feel for the room, DJ Rhettmatic set the tempo for the rest of the night.
Next up was another veteran on the scene, MC Supernatural. Born in Indiana, but moving to New York City at the age of nineteen, he began to make a name for himself right away with his freestyle raps. Having the audience hanging on his every word, MC Supernatural’s presence was amazing and he had clear control over the room. Spinning his track called “Three M.C’s” he came up with a different rap style throughout the song nailing Busta Rhymes, stimulating the crowd to get louder. During his last track he went into a freestyle which he asked the audience to reach into their pockets or just grab something and hold it in the air to which he would rap about it on the spot. A unique segment where nothing was safe from dollar bills to caps, to watches, to drivers licenses. MC Supernatural’s speed, wit, and rhymes make him a much see act that not only spits out lyrics but keeps the crowd thinking the entire way through.
Next up was Southern California group Dilated Peoples. Together now since 1992, the group has attained a great deal of success and respect in the underground scene over the course of five studio records. Made up of Evidence, DJ Babu, and Rakaa Iriscience, they took the stage for a mix of great non-stop grooves for forty five minutes. Keeping the crowd bouncing, they rattled out new and old songs like “Good as Gone”, “You Can’t Hide You Can’t Run”, “Live on Stage”, “Show Me the Way”, and more. Interacting with the audience and keeping the energy high, they concluded with popular song “Worse Comes to Worst”. Dilated People’s newest offering Directors of Photography was released this month and could be their most successful album to date.
After being treated to great table setting acts, the near sold out crowd at Best Buy Theater was ready for the return of Jurassic 5. Gathering close for a better view, fans witnessed DJ Nu-Mark and Cut Chemist standing on high rises with large turn tables and MC’s Akil, Zaakir, Marc 7, and Chali 2na were ready to burn up the stage. Jump-starting the set with “After School Special” and “I Am Somebody” the room was on fire with excitement with hands in the air and contagious smiles all over. Reaching out into the crowd, showing their affection for the fans, Jurassic 5 kept the mood peaceful and made sure everyone was having a good time. Mixing in old classic “Jayou” with “Desk (Hip Hop History)”, “Influence”, and “The Break” proved to be a good balance of upbeat tunes.
Showing no sign of a wrinkle in their flow, “Monkey Bars” and “Improvise” came right before a killer DJ set where Nu-mark and Cut Chemist came forward with two mobile turn tables. Lighting up the audience with immense skill, the domination was not complete until they returned back to the larger turntables, spinning and controlling beats at will. A perfect showcase, like a guitar or drum solo in a rock show, both DJs were outstanding. Moving on with the show, fan favorite tracks came coming including “Quality Control”, “Concrete Schoolyard”, “High Fidelity”, and “Freedom”. Integrating their unique styles, the delivery of the lyrics was top notch and showed why as a unit Jurassic 5 has been so successful. What seemed to be the set closer with “In the House” was merely a prelude to a fantastic encore. Completely enthralled in the enthusiasm the group gave off, not a soul departed Best Buy Theater until the end when they exploded with “What’s Golden”.
Jurassic 5’s Word of Mouth Tour challenges for one of the best hip hop tours of 2014. Reminding fans of the genre that golden age hip hop talents still can rock a crowd like no one else. It is the feel good sensations, irresistible beats, and character of the music which make Jurassic 5 a must see act. One can only hope this reunion tour is just a sample of what is to come in the future.