Wednesday, 28 September 2011

'Jerus & Gentiles' - Knew Jeru'slum (album review)

Here's a review I did a while back now of an LP from the UK:

Rowdy and militant – that’s how I’d describe ‘Jerus and Gentiles’. Now you must understand; I use both words with all possible positivity. Knew Jeru’slum’s debut LP disturbs the peace with its no-nonsense approach to Hip Hop although it’s not all heavy fire.

‘Intro’ featuring cuts from First Word’s Andy H, ‘Thirty Twos’ and lead single ‘Non-Apologetix featuring US MC Manchild are pure aural assault with the album’s three producers Eliphino, The Scarlet Pimpernel and Brutal Artistry each taking their turn to match the MCs’ impassioned rhymes. ‘Dreamcatchers’ featuring JND (as heard on Certified Banger’s ‘On The Radar’ series) and ‘Kaleidoscopic’, whilst remaining equally as heavy, provide a slower tempo and a rest in the trenches before ‘Speakwise’ explodes into the ear canal with renewed fervour.

Label mate Chief Wigz must have influenced ‘Move Mountains’ featuring Larbi; the interplay between Jonny Alpha and Watson G on the chorus makes for one of the most memorable tracks on the album. Another US MC, Pigeon John, joins the ranks for the summery ‘Hibernation’ on which Belinda’s vocals are showcased beautifully. ‘Aircon’ does what it says on the tin – provides a breather and a chillout moment which is backed up by the serious message and the laid back vibe of ‘One Foot In The World’.

‘Plan To Prosper’ brings the funk and the juxtaposition of the haunting background vocals with the MCs frenzied words is fairly close to surreal, and that’s before it ascends into Drum and Bass chaos. Narykcin provides a heartfelt chorus on ‘Penitent Man’ and if you hadn’t caught onto the fact that this album is inspired by the Christian faith of its proprietors by this point then this will track will point you in that direction, causing you to re-think everything you’ve heard so far.

‘Memoirs’ serves as a decoy before ‘Bobby Legion’ devastates the situation; the track, featuring singer Stevie Heath’, has the most mass appeal because of its chorus which is insane considering the earth-shattering hardcore-ness of its Hip Hop beat – definitely the album’s atomic charge, talk about saving the best ‘til last! In fact, it’s not the last; ‘Hunger’ featuring Rini of Sons of Light and Ragga artist Wizkid bring the final frontier of variety as old school Hip Hop, R’n’B and Dancehall rub shoulders making for a crowd-pleasing product.

You can download this now for £2.50 by going to Bandcamp ( and typing 'halfprice' into the discount code box. Not sure what that will work out as in dollars but it won't be much and paypal does all the money changing malarky for you. Do it.

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