On The Sun Rises in the East, Jeru the Damaja combines the rawness of the Brooklyn streets and the somewhat positive outlook that many of his peers lacked. Throughout the thirteen songs here, he takes on the Devil, the supposed decline of hip-hop, and bitches. However, Jeru does not use the term as a derogatory generalization; more so, he juxtaposes back-stabbing and greedy women with ones which he respects.
DJ Premier, who also produced Illmatic that same year, fleshes out Jeru's rhymes with his characteristically dark samples and booming, thick beats. The Sun Rises in the East possesses the same New York grittiness as other albums of the time, but yet seems relaxed and confident. A classic debut album.
Jeru's flow has a lazy but menacing confidence about it. He gets at the industry and posers in the hood over the course of this highly creative debut. It helps that he has some of the hottest beats that DJ Premier ever put down with the standouts being the pipe-banging (listen and you'll understand) Come Clean, D. Original, Brooklyn Took It, Ain't the Devil Happy and Da Bichez. Absolutely one of the best hip-hop albums of the 90s.