October 17, 2014

Jeru The Damaja Interview (Hip-Hop Connection, 1994)

"Every now and then an incredible hip-hop record comes out that makes you stop in your tracks. You start to nod you head ... it leaves you lost for words, and you're like 'what the f#ck was that?" "Come Clean" is that record. A real New York hardcore sound, straight from da underground, with a unique delivery from 22-year old Brooklyn MC, Jeru The Damaja: D Original Dirty Rotten Scoundrel...  The DJ Premier produced "Come Clean" is Jeru's reaction to the negativity prevalent in modern rap. "I felt like it's my job to bring forth a little positivity, so "Come Clean" is a chance for all the gangsta rappers and people of this nation to stop doing that. What they're doing is influencing the youth to a negative manner and they're not living this way themselves and that's perpetration, y'know. So basically come clean, drop all your acts and just rhyme... Right now I think hip-hop is about to return to its original form - lyrics and beats, no gimmicks, no fronts, just young people coming and expressing themselves to music. That's what hip-hop started as, expression to music, it was a non-violent way to release energy, stop others hurting each other." Jeru is also keen to point out he isn't on the preaching tip either. "Don't get me wrong, I'm not looking for every rapper to come out saying we shouldn't do this, we shouldn't do that, that's not what I'm on... It's one thing to be a gangsta or to live a rough life and just tell your experiences, but it's another thing to make something up 'cos you think that's what people want to hear and it'll sell a lot of records." - HHC.