Saturday, May 31, 2014

Jeru The Damaja "Come Clean" (The Source, 11/93)


"Just when you thought quality and skill were things of the past, in steps one of the last true MCs - Jeru "The Damaja" - to save the day. Jeru, who comes from Brooklyn, is a charter member of the Gang Starr Foundation and he might be best remembered by his jaw-tapping debut on the duo's last LP. Now he steps into the area with a solo that is already causing quite a buzz. "Come Clean" has been quietly kicking through the underground for a few months now, but now, with nationwide distribution, everyone is going to hear what the fuss is about. You can't get any rawer than this. You haven't heard a beat so stripped down since "Sucker MCs," and the rhymes head straight for your throat. Over one of the most distinguishable percussion patterns ever laid down (it literally sounds like an amplified version of Chinese water torture) Jeru kicks some of the ruggest lyrics of the year." Peep the visuals to the DJ Premier-produced banger, "Come Clean," cont'd below ...


"Jeru is a hardcore brother who takes no shorts, but what separates him from other rappers is that he conveys that image with lyrical skill instead of the typical guns 'n guts favored by the less talented. The only violence he commits is on the mic - "Real, ruff and rugged / Shine like a gold nugget / Every time I pick up the microphone I drug it / Unplug it on chumps with the gangs a babble / Leave your nines at home and bring your skills to the battle" - and if you can't do the same, he calls you out. With a fat beat, fat skills and a voice willing to criticize and challenge popular conventions, Jeru does every thing a rapper is supposed to. You can't ask for more." - The Source