Jedi Mind Tricks might actually be the perfect name for this group. I have to admit the first listen of this album left a bad taste in my mouth. But after a few listens, these ARE the droids you’re looking for. This group has been perfecting its go fuck yourself style since 1996, and the experience shows. But you millennials are going to have to do your research because the references on this album might be a bit before your time. But those that are versed on 90’s rhetoric will be happy to hear what these rough spoken masters of the lyric have to say.
The voices used to convey their message may not be pretty voices but does it have to be? Can Carrie Underwood sing Bob Dylan and have the same effect on the listener? No. These hard hitting Philadelphia boys use their gruff voices to take you to their realm. It should sound ruff. Too many rappers have become lyrically castrated. Their creative members cut off and thrown down the halls of social media. There are no real gangsters in the rap game anymore. But Jedi Mind Tricks might be as close as it gets.
Like I said, the first run through I thought this album sounded like something that ICP would have shat out in the late 90s. Which is fine for some, mostly those who still inhabit their parents basement long after the acceptable time. But after the second listen it started to grow on me and they now have a new fan in me. Lets face it the real gangsters have always been from the east coast anyway. How gangsta can you really be under a palm tree?
So, for this album I have to utilize what I call the three time rule. If you don’t like it the first time listen to it twice more just to make sure. Every time you listen to a piece of music you listen to it with different ears or in a different frame of mind. Its art, after all, it may not catch you on the first try. I think the obvious “hit” on this album would be the fourth track “Hell’s Messenger.” It has a very catchy beat and a chorus that will stick with you for a day or so. Like I said, give it a few listens before making a decision but I give this album a strong seven out of ten.