Jeru the Damaja
The Sun Rises in the East


4.0
excellent

Review

by somberlain USER (64 Reviews)
December 10th, 2009 | 14 replies


Release Date: 1994 | Tracklist

Review Summary: DJ Premier's production provides the perfect sountrack for Jeru's rugged rhymes on this impressive debut.

Jeru first appeared as a guest on "I'm the Man" a cut off Gang Starr's Daily Operation album where he held his own and maybe topped Gang Starr's Guru. The Sun Rises in the East marked the first time that DJ Premier produced an entire album outside of Gang Starr, it was also notable for the cover depicting the World Trade Center on fire one year after a terrorist attack on this same building.

Jeru's outstanding debut along with Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) in '93 and Illmatic in '94 was essential in the revival the New York hip hop scene. At a time when Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and other gangsta rappers were controlling things, a brash young newcomer by the name of Jeru the Damaja ran contrary to the violence of the west coast scene but also the glitz of Bad Boy Records.

On the first single "Come Clean" Jeru was determined to "cleanse" the rap game of materialism and violence with his conscious rhymes and Five-Percent ideology, lyrics like "I don't gang bang, or shoot out bang bang the relentless lyrics the only dope I slang" and "Leave your nines at home and bring your skills to the battle" where he made it clear that his brain was the strongest weapon he possesed "Your nine spray, my mind spray". As good as Jeru's lyics are on this track, Premier gives him one of the most outrageous beats in the history of hip hop, sounding like banging pipes or dripping water, it had people asking "What the hell is that?". It turns out that it's a waterphone, to put it in the simplest possible way: they're drums that have a small amount of water at the bottom which gives it that sound, leave it to Premiere to dig up something like this, a sample from Onyx "Uh-oh! HEADS UP, cause we're droppin some sh*t" completes this gem.

Working outside of Gang Starr gave Premier the freedom to get away from the jazzy loops used on said projects and allowed him to be more inventive, Premier went in a completely different direction which produced an amazing collection of beats. "D. Original" was simply an off-key piano chord with snapping kick drums and "Statik" where he used, well, static where Jeru proves that he "Can rock a rhyme with just static" but gets a little preachy on "Da Bichez", over a gloroius horn-driven sample, Jeru puts "Da Bichez" on blast put is careful to point out that only some women fit into this category. "You Can't Stop the Prophet" is Jeru becoming a super hero named The Black Prophet where he hunts down his arch-nemesis Mr. Ignorance, his heart is in the right place but he doesn't quite pull it off.

DJ Premier has a knack for scratching in other rapper's vocal samples and always seems to put the right one in the right place whether it's KRS One's "Brooklyn Keeps on Takin' it" on the track "Brooklyn Took It" or RZA's diabolical laugh from "Tearz" on the aptly titled "Ain't the Devil Happy" and even though N.W.A. was the opposite of what Jeru was trying to be a clip of Eazy-E saying "Bitch!" finds it's way onto "Da Bitchez" again fitting in perfectly.

This was an incredible showcase for Premier's skills and Jeru plays his part admirably, he's a commanding presence on the mic although his flow sounds a bit monotonous over the course of the album. Besides this project Primo also had a role on Nas' Illmatic, Biggie's Ready to Die and Gangstarr's own Hard to Earn, (in the same year!) which would establish him as hip hop's best producer for years to come



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user ratings (113)
Chart.
4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
GeorgeNelson (3.5)
Jeru is irresponsible sexually, but he won't shoot you. Here, his vocals, content and backing mix co...

Sam Feldman's Rating (3.5)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Ross22
December 10th 2009


1596 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Challenge the Damaja and you'll be histo-ry, mortal kombat fatality.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
December 10th 2009


17213 Comments


such an incredibly good cd.

Digging: Inigo Kennedy - Vaudeville

FistfulOfSteel
December 10th 2009


894 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

BBBBBBBBROOKLYN keeps on takin' it.

one of my fave rap albums.

hydeyomoney
December 10th 2009


934 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album is great.

This rapper can be pretty good, but also dull as FUCK.

Ross22
December 10th 2009


1596 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^true I find that sometimes when listening to Jeru

hydeyomoney
December 10th 2009


934 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

like this is some of Premier's leetest production and is overall a fantastic effort, but almost everyother effort it's a mismatch between inconsistent beats and lyricism that's either mindnumbingly astounding or mindnumbingly dull, a lot of times both.

handoman
December 10th 2009


2386 Comments


this is good ya

somberlain
December 10th 2009


2121 Comments


exactly right hydeyomoney when it works it REALLY works

illmitch
December 11th 2009


5429 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

like this is some of Premier's leetest production and is overall a fantastic effort, but almost everyother effort it's a mismatch between inconsistent beats and lyricism that's either mindnumbingly astounding or mindnumbingly dull, a lot of times both.


this describes so many new york rappers its not even funny

good review, great album

hydeyomoney
December 11th 2009


934 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

pretty much

HalfManHalfAmazing
November 15th 2010


565 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great album but Brooklyn Took It and Statik suck, especially Statik.

Ross22
November 15th 2010


1596 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

WHAT??? Brooklyn Took It is bangin, ya crazy honkey

HalfManHalfAmazing
November 21st 2010


565 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Why is this not a 5 for you then?

Ross22
November 21st 2010


1596 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Because as much as I enjoy his style, his unique, lazy and inconsistent flow can be tiresome if listening to the album the whole way through.



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