Jedi Mind Tricks
Violent by Design


4.5
superb

Review

by Matthew D. French USER (50 Reviews)
November 17th, 2010 | 21 replies


Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Jus Allah prays on the minds of the young, silencing the devil that speaks with forked tongue. Taste my blade’s sharpness - ranked in no class like Marxist, the heartless.

You know those woefully ignorant white suburban kids who will do anything to go against the grain and dismiss an entire genre based solely on stereotypes and what music they’ve heard on the radio? I regret to announce that I was one of them. For the longest time I thought that my perspective of hip-hop wouldn’t wane, even if circumstances were to intervene and impede upon it. However, after hearing a plethora of enjoyable hip-hop albums via Sputnikmusic, my opinion swayed in favor of it. Since then, I’ve renounced my prejudice and opened my mind to the dark, less conventional side of hip-hop. Among these transcending albums that acted somewhat as a catalyst for my appreciation of the genre is Jedi Mind Trick’s Violent By Design, a quintessential hip-hop gem for those who are patient and reminiscent.

The scope of Violent By Design is massive. Many audio-excerpts are sampled, some of which are taken from films: “Intro”’s snippet from ‘Planet of the Apes’, or “Sacrifice”’s opening speech, taken directly from the well known kids movie ‘Antz’. Other samples include poetry from the likes of Wilfred Owen, as read by Richard Burton in “Muerte”, and so on and so forth. While all of these don’t accentuate to an overlying theme, they most certainly add aesthetic value and make the songs feel more at home and familiar (for those of us who can pick them out). That’s not even the best part though, it’s what the songs embody when played. It’s moments like the Eastern-esque feel of “Untitled” conveyed by way of prominence given to guitar; or the paranoid feeling one might get when trudging through a dark alley that “Speech Cobras” portrays with its eerie tone. Every song is unique and has a distinct sound which helps to differentiate them, as the production will make those perceiving the album superficially think the songs are analogous. Their gritty, raw production and genuine, sharp-edged vocals are enough alone to propel them into the upper echelons of hip-hop -- placing them among the genre’s most renowned artists, such as Wu-Tang Clan, RZA, etc. But their music is also driven by their ability to perceive dark atmospheres and make them flow with powerful - albeit somewhat front-loaded - lyrics, which some are likely to complain about due to their profanity and sexual misconduct.

In a sense, it’s a little unfortunate that the album is 24 songs long; it’s not even an issue with consistency, as every song is good in its own right - it’s just simply too much to handle at times and difficult to fully immerse yourself in the entire album, which may slightly encumber newcomer’s enjoyment. The interludes and skits are creative, sure, but they fall short of really grabbing your attention or warranting a replay as they bear no contextual relevance to the songs proceeding them. Those minute things aside, this is one of the greatest hip-hop albums I’ve been lucky enough to come across. Although overlong, the album surprisingly doesn’t taper off or become tired at any point. Since this, the group haven’t committed themselves to anything as passionate and raw, but then again, not many artists have. A stand-alone classic.

Matt recommends:

Retaliation
Contra
Speech Cobras
Death March
Sacrifice
Genghis Khan
Army Of The Pharaohs
Blood Runs Cold




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4.1
excellent
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Gyromania
November 17th 2010


16089 Comments


This is actually my first rap review, and I'll be posting one for Kanye's new album in a few days. I hope this style suits me as well as any other.

Urinetrouble
November 17th 2010


5764 Comments


good review and good shit. this was the last album before vinnies voice went to shit. check out their first one if you haven't, its wya better than this.

pizzamachine
November 17th 2010


12572 Comments


This is one of the only rap albums I actually listen to occasionally. Review was fun to read, pos.

Xenophanes
Emeritus
November 17th 2010


10663 Comments


Fantastic review man. Pos, of course!

Digging: Blut Aus Nord - Memoria Vetusta III - Saturnian Poetry

alachlahol
November 17th 2010


7515 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

the genre is hip-hop, not rap. rapping is what you do in hip-hop

and referring to these guys as a band is awkward. they are a group

Idnuf
November 17th 2010


1491 Comments


The culture is hip-hop. Rapping is what you do to express hip-hop in musical form.

alachlahol
November 17th 2010


7515 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

idnuf looks at it more like a lifestyle than just a type of music

i personally don't give a fuck

Gyromania
November 17th 2010


16089 Comments


and referring to these guys as a band is awkward. they are a group

Duly noted, I'm not entirely sure why I said that. Also, you're right about the hip-hop thing, thanks for pointing that out.

crsini
November 17th 2010


93 Comments


A good review for a good album. Pos'd

Irving
Staff Reviewer
November 17th 2010


7321 Comments


Solid review Gyro. Pos. It's also worth noting that I totally empathize with your statement that coming onto Sputnik helps diversify your musical tastes. That's the beauty of being on here.

Xenophanes
Emeritus
November 17th 2010


10663 Comments


I'm still sticking with my statement that this is a fantastic review, but mentioning Sputnik in a review is always kind of awkward unless you are doing like, a pretentious 100th review that describes your tastes and how much an album means to you blah, blah, blah.

Can't wait to read your Kanye review!

Gyromania
November 17th 2010


16089 Comments


Thank you very much everyone, I appreciate the kind words.

KILL
November 18th 2010


72280 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

awesome review/album

Digging: Throwing Muses - Throwing Muses

Gyromania
November 18th 2010


16089 Comments


Thanks brosef =]

Urinetrouble
November 18th 2010


5764 Comments


srsly, get thier first cd, The Psycho-Social. its so much better

doomvendingmachine
November 18th 2010


94 Comments


A great album, but mostly because of Stoupe. Having said that, the beats on this album are AMAZING. He kinda out RZAs RZA. What holds this album back though I fell is the rapping, particulary Vinnie Paz. Vinne Paz's lyrics have always screamed, "I'm FUCKING mad for no particular reason!!!!!!!" to me. Also, although his multies are nice, i find his flow basic and predictable. However, Jus Allah is great here though, and puts in his best performance ever (somewhere between this album and his JMT reunion he fell off HARD, I mean now he randomly rhymes unrelated words simply because they rhyme).

Gyromania
November 18th 2010


16089 Comments


I like the element that Vinnie adds to this, he sounds raw and convicted.

Urinetrouble: I will look into it, thanks for the rec.

HalfManHalfAmazing
November 20th 2010


791 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Psycho-Social is better lyrically but production wise worse. Also, Vinnie Paz's delivery isn't as good.

Gyromania
November 20th 2010


16089 Comments


No, but it's still good

FuncrusherPlus1
November 4th 2013


116 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Amazing album, I might have listened to it more then I've listened to any album.



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