Jimmy Magahern of the Phoenix New Times spoke with Jurassic 5’s Dante ‘Akil’ Givens who admits most of the audience coming to see them play are either white or Asian. “They got the money to pay for the concert tickets,” he laughs. But the real truth, he admits, lies in what the different races get out of hip-hop today. “There’s more representation for the cultured aspect of hip-hop in the white youth than with the black youth,” he says. “We get lumped into the whole underground, backpack movement. And the people who identify most with that aspect of hip-hop are Asians and white people.”
San Diego CityBeat spoke with Jurassic 5’s Chali 2na, whose group has been opening the eyes of crowds who aren’t specifically hip-hop, touring with the likes of Jack Johnson and Fiona Apple. “We’re just trying to spread our message, to get it out there in any way, shape, or form possible,” says 2na. “If it’s received on a tour with Fiona Apple, then so be it. It’s cool to be in these missionary types of situations where we’re trying to convert.” Read more.
Zac Crain of the Dallas Observer spoke with Nu-Mark of Jurassic 5 who spoke out against the commercial hip hop that is pervasive on the airwaves when his group, Dilated Peoples, Mos Def, Talib Kweli and Blackalicious have a much tougher time. “Oh, yeah. I mean, there’s no doubt about it. It’s not even a debate, I don’t think, I mean, unless you got something I don’t know about,” Nu Mark said. “That’s what’s on the radio, and that’s what people are buying. People wanna hear MCs talk sh** about women and degrade ’em. Especially women. It’s been proven that they buy most of the records. I don’t know. I can’t explain it. If I was a woman, I wouldn’t wanna be called a bitch or a slut or a ho or whatever. This music is quirky like that. But all you gotta do is do what comes from your heart.”
Brian Baker of Cincinnati CityBeat spoke with Soup (aka Zaakir) of Jurassic who talked about the group’s new sound in ‘Power of Numbers’. “We just wanted to show a different side of J5,” says Soup. “Not like we was trying to do something brand new. Quality Control was a part of us, and we wanted to show people another side of us. We wanted to make it sound better and thicker than Quality Control was, and just up the ante as far as J5 is concerned.”
Jurassic 5 DJ/producer Nu-Mark spoke with Chart Attack on why they brought in Nelly Furtado to put the chorus on ‘Thin Line’. “What’s really cool about Nelly is that she’s the kind of girl that you’d see out at Rocksteady Park in New York break dancing,” Nu-Mark says. “So she kinda fits in with our whole little mold. She’s a B-girl, you know, and she rhymes. And she has a really cool voice. It reminds me of a mixture of a 13-year-old kid with a woman’s voice. She has a unique voice — it doesn’t sound like a straight-up R&B singer or a straight-up pop singer. It fits.”
Dan Aquilante of the New York Post was on hand at the Jurassic 5 show at the Hammerstein Ballroom on Wednesday night, where Grand Master Flash, who announced that Jason “Jam Master Jay” Mizell – a founding member of Run-DMC — had been murdered earlier that evening. The announcement sucked the life out of the crowd, but afterwards J5 played one of the most uplifting hip-hop performances in memory.
Jurassic 5 were in Toronto over the weekend in support of their new album ‘Power in Numbers’ and MuchMusic about the benefits of non hip hop tours. “It is cool to do non hip hop tours, cause you may not be able to reach these people,” said Zaakir. “Plus if you want to do this music seriously you have to branch out. You cannot be standing in your little nest. But we will do a Warped Tour, but they may throw some stuff at you.”
Searches for Jurassic 5 last month on pay-per search engine Overture.com were fairly weak, with the group getting only 12,770 searches during September. The most searched for group member of the six was Cut Chemist.
Chali 2na went off on Jurassic 5 being labeled “alternative”. He tells Franklin Soults of the Cleveland Scene, “Okay, check this out. The word alternative as it applies to our style of hip-hop is bullsh**, simply because, what are we alternative to when it comes to hip-hop? I mean, we try to take you back to the essence of what hip-hop truly is, and we get called ‘alternative’ simply because what’s popular is that bling-bling sh**. To me, that’s alternative hip-hop, you know what I’m saying?”
Joseph Patel of the Boston Phoenix reviewed Jurassic 5’s new album ‘Power in Numbers’ and says the group’s “succinctly harmonized raps still evoke the feel of the Cold Crush Brothers, and their funk cut-ups still echo hands-in-the-air basement jams.” Patel added, “In their mission to validate their standing within hip-hop and go beyond their backpacker characterization, J-5 want to act hard, and that could cost them their loyal but decidedly liberal fan base. It’s not a formula for longevity. What is, on the other hand, is J-5’s role as a time-traveling portal that brings hip-hop history to the masses.” The full review at bostonphoenix.com has since been removed.