10 Records in 10 Days: Day Four

14 Feb

Welcome back to 10 Records in 10 Days. A Facebook chain-turned 10 day blog series. The concept is simple. ”Post an album a day covering your 10 all time favourite albums. What really made an impact and is still on your rotation list, even if only now and then? Post the cover, no need to explain, and nominate a person each day to do the same”.

We’ve been nominated but rather than post without explanation, we thought it would be more fun to provide a little context. That is just the first of the rules we plan to break in this series. We are also not nominating anyone else (if you want to join in, you are more than welcome to do so) and we are also not adhering to any of the other implied rules either.

For the purpose of this series, we’ll be posting in the first person.

Having looked back over the first three entries, a theme of being exposed to new musical types and genres appears to be emerging. Day four is no different.

Jurassic 5 – Jurassic 5

I’m not going to lie. Hip hop and rap was never really my thing. Sure, I was exposed to the odd chart bothering track here and there (“Gangsta’s Paradise”, “I Got 5 On It” and the like) but it was never a genre I went delving into properly. From the outside it all appeared to be insanely braggadocious and all about guns, gangs and girls. It just didn’t appeal. Then one evening, I was out with some friends, over at a friend of a friends house, having a low key kind of evening where everyone was chilled out, and then someone put the Jurassic 5 LP on and I was blown away.

I’d never known Hip-Hop could sound like this. The next day I went straight out to my local Our Price (google it kids) and bought my own copy.

I’d soon learn of the influences and pioneers that had come before, but this multi-MC approach was entirely new to me. The feel was more lo-tempo, more relaxed. There were melodies and while the beat was essential, it wasn’t as in your face and bludgeoning as the stuff I had been exposed to previously.

The lyrical dexterity and interchanging vocals was incredible. The harmonies and breathless rat-a-tat flow, “taking four MCs and make them sound like one” was head-spinningly brilliant. More than that though, the whole thing was as infectious as any pop record, with hooks you couldn’t get out of your head. “Concrete Schoolyard” became a firm favourite and the lyrics even infiltrated the lexicon of my university friends. Even the skits and the samples were ingrained into me.

As with each album in this series so far, Jurassic 5 opened up a whole new musical world to me. From here I went back in time and discovered a whole new style of hip-hop and rap music that had been previously hidden from me. The likes of the Sugarhill Gang, Rakim and Nas came into my life all thanks to Jurassic 5.

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