The first live hip-hop show I ever went to was Jeru and Cocoa Brovas (before they were Smif-n-Wessun again). It was right around the time his new single “99 Pacent” dropped. Sadly, that was the last time I really remember Jeru being in the spot light.
However, The Damaja has come back with his new EP entitled The Hammer like he never left. The Brooklyn native’s rhymes and beat selection are still on point, without DJ Premier. Below is the track-by-track review.
- 1. Intro – A short, spaced-out speech about the ills in the world and how it’s affecting the youth. Not the most ground breaking intro, but def sets the tone off for themes Jeru speaks on.
2. Point Blank – A really dope, spacey beat with a hard kick and light snares. Jeru speaks on the differences between the golden era and today. While this isn’t a brand new idea, Jeru rides the the beat perfectly and isn’t afraid to call out skinny jean wearing lames.
3. So Raw – It’s a goofy beat, but in the same vein as something Premo would have done on his 2nd LP. The track is a typical braggadocio rapper theme, but def a head-nodder.
4. Attack of the Wack (skit) – Jeru talking over a funky break beat. Sounds very similar to something that would have been said over the “Can’t Stop the Prophet” series.
5. A.R.M.E.D. – Hands down, the best song on the album. The Beatnuts provide a bugged out banger sounding like someone trying to run a lawnmower under water (yea, I said that lol). Both Juju and Pshyco Les drop hot 16s over the hookless track.
6. Solar Flares – The other hottest track on the EP, produced by Large Professor. Just pure hip-hop greatness.
7. The Hammer – Jeru getting more aggressive than he usually does. Pretty cool beat, focusing on the drums and some guitar and Hammond B3 stabs.
8. Dr. Freedman (Outro) – Jeru changes his voice to imitate a doctor lol. He leaves the album on a high note, pointing out the health hazards of prolonged exposure to wackness.
While the album isn’t as gritty as his previous, Jeru still has it. The beats maintain a golden era sensibility, without sounding dated. And plus, the album is only $3.58 on Amazon! If you can’t afford that, you shouldn’t be reading this on a smart phone fam!
Check it out.