Jedi Mind Tricks
Visions of Gandhi


3.5
great

Review

by Nick Greer EMERITUS
June 14th, 2006 | 20 replies


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist


Jedi Mind Tricks - Visions of Gandhi

Jedi Minds Tricks are an underground rap duo from Philadelphia, PA, and they are angry. Maybe they aren't actually angry people, but if we as listeners are to take cues from their lyrics, they ain't nuthin' to fuck with. However, their form of violence and aggression doesn't come from ultra-sparse beats or "gangsta" lyrics, but from an odd mix of sampling dramatic movie speeches, sampling famous symphonies, and spitting allusion-saturated pseudo-intellectual lyrics with the utmost hatred and disgust with the humanity, other rappers, generally, the world around them. This highly dystopian lyrical stance employs violence, anti-homosexuality, and really anything negative to get their point across as aggressively as possible.

However, Visions of Gandhi, though in a lot of ways their most a forward and animalistic album lyrically, is a much more diverse and withdrawn album musically. The typical Jedi Mind Tricks uses a lot of overly dramatic devices such as sampled classical music (e.g. Mendelssohn) or monologues from violent movies (e.g. Boondock Saints). They also tend to have smooth guitar for the lighter moments on the CD to contrast that against the darker more symphonic moments. Here, while we still get plenty of strings and horns, and plenty of guitar too, there's a wider diversity of sampled style here. In many ways it's nice to hear the weird a cappella of "Blood In Blood Out", the Mortal Kombat-esque ninja beat of "The Wolf," or the equally odd latin feel of "Nada Cambria," but does that really complement lyrics like:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nada Cambria
You ain't a thug money, you all maggot
You like to chill and hold hands with faggots
You conduct yourself like a savage
You like the smell of males on your mattress
Cause that's established, I fuckin hate you
Who fucking raised you? You a fucking disgrace!
And if you come around my way, you get bucked in the face
Get snuffed in the face, then I wack you
With razors, knives, guns, and what have you.
In some cases it does. Jedi Mind, despite their ultraviolence has really fun lyrics. It's terrible to say but they flow well and are delivered immaculately so to hear them against a variety backgrounds can be appealing in some ways. The best songs I feel are the straight up darkest (because when the dark lyrics and background sync up it's incredibly powerful), or the straight up chillest (because it's sweet to hear something so aggressive against a plain or reserved background). However, having a goofy background can spoil the affair, so on those songs Jedi Mind's strategy is less effective.

And, with all this talk about the saturation of the lyrics with violence and discrimination, one would think that that could use a little bit of variety or diversity, but somehow, it feels right the way it is. Because the commentary is so over the top, the lyrics work better in rations that are completely over the top. Hearing certain words like "faggot" repeated throughout multiple songs fits with the tone of the album as a whole. Also, one strong point of Jedi Mind's saturation approach is that they also self-reference a lot. It's as if they have their own particular mythology of philosophers, movies, historical warriors, and MCs that define them as a band. They will allude to Kublai Khan or the Ayatollah, or, use certain phrases like "steadily shine" (which was derived in their song "Heavely Divine" from Violent by Design) all over the CD so the Jedi Mind tone and lyrical content, really, their world, feels like a snowglobe. No matter where you go you'll come back to where you started. It's the cyclical nature of their little self-referential universe that makes the lyrical and vocal side of this band. This album is particularly forward and crude in the lyrics though still has some genius moments. Another element of Jedi Mind that I love is that even if you cringe when you hear their lyrics, they're always incredibly memorable and stick instantly, which is in part because of the content, but also because of the solid delivery and flow.

Ultimately, this album will turn off the easily offended, but is still a great rap album. It's not as rich or as amazing as Violent by Design, but it's a good introduction to the band because of the song variety and more simple and direct lyrical approach. As something to leave you with here is an except from VIsions of Gandhi:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rise of the Machines
They call me Kublai Khan, ready for war with a Ruger 9
I'm ready with a machete for Rudy Guiliani
I'm ready for anybody who wants war
Recommended Tracks: Tibetan Black Magicians, The Rage of Angels, Animal Rap, Rise of the Machines



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user ratings (114)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
204409
Emeritus
June 14th 2006


3996 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The album was up but there wasn't a review. I was going to do Violent by Design until I realized that reviewing this one would mean I would have to find the track list and CD cover. Niceee

Thor
June 14th 2006


10202 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Yes! I love Jedi Mind Tricks...their agression is almost unmatched in hip hop. I only have Legacy of Blood but I think I'll check this out. Great review, too.

Digging: Black Crown Initiate - The Wreckage of Stars

Knuckleheadz
June 14th 2006


36 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

their agression is almost unmatched in hip hop.

You don't listen to much rap do you?

Album is good, it's too bad Vinnie Paz can't flow for s[font=verdana]h[/font]it, cause JMT have some really good beats.

204409
Emeritus
June 14th 2006


3996 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

No I love the flow. It makes me feel like he's almost stuttering because he's so angry and can't get his rage out aggressively enough. It suits the content.

Knuckleheadz
June 15th 2006


36 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

No I love the flow. It makes me feel like he's almost stuttering because he's so angry and can't get his rage out aggressively enough. It suits the content.

Haha, yeah, I guess I could see that. It bugs me though. On some tracks more than others (if you have Legacy of Blood, listen to And So It Burns, it really annoys me on that track).

Zesty Mordant
June 15th 2006


1196 Comments


I never been able to get into to these guys a whole lot. I think its the beats/samples. These guys definately got some deadly fucking flows though.

I don't think this review was up to your usual standards, but it was still fairly good nonetheless.This Message Edited On 06.15.06

cjstunna
June 16th 2006


119 Comments


Good review, I'm in the middle of a Violent By Design review actually.

supraman_2
June 16th 2006


146 Comments


These guys are so funny, every song they have has to do with faggots, jesus and killing cops. If you think I'm wrong they went so far in one song to have a woman saying faggot in Hindi in the background, they're almost silly cuz how how ultra-violent they are.

Knuckleheadz
June 16th 2006


36 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Gravediggaz > Jedi Mind Tricks

Blokus
June 16th 2006


155 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Me >> you.

Knuckleheadz
June 16th 2006


36 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Not quite.

JumpTheF**kUp
January 11th 2007


2716 Comments


Nada Cambia is the bestest song ever. Good review.

Cadaveric
February 21st 2007


152 Comments


The Psycho-Social, Chemical, Biological, And Electro-Magnetic Man is the only album I have, but it's awesome. How would you say it compares to this one cuz Im thinking about getting it.

204409
Emeritus
February 22nd 2007


3996 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I do not have that one. Is it older? I've heard a collection of older stuff and it's pretty good but not nearly as refined as this.

Cadaveric
February 22nd 2007


152 Comments


Im pretty sure it's older but not 100%. My dad's friend from his work gave this to me. It's actually my first hip hop record and I'm pretty excited about getting into this genre. All I had heard before was the bullshit rap on mtv and I hated it. But I could get into more hip hop if it's like this. Any recommendations of where I should start?

204409
Emeritus
February 22nd 2007


3996 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Well, I don't like that many bands that are similar to Jedi Mind Tricks, but I think considering we both came into hip hop from the same direction, I'd check out all the stuff that got me into it: Deltron3030, De la Soul, Heiruspecs, Madvillain. Try those for a start.

rockfan123
March 18th 2008


344 Comments


i thought this CD had way too many guests first time I listened to it, maybe I need to listen to it again.

pulseczar
March 18th 2008


2385 Comments


I didn't like JMT at first very much, but Vinnie Paz has actually grown on me to a point where I don't really find him annoying, and Stoupe makes absolutely sick beats at times.

foxblood
January 28th 2012


6797 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Animal Rap and Blood in Blood Out rule

hikingmetalpunk
December 21st 2013


1179 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i stab you in the bladder with a dagger and watch you die in piss



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