Jurassic 5’s Throwback Raps Stand the Test of Time

Boulevard Pool, July 17


Photo by Joe Fury

Despite hip-hop’s pop evolution, rap-and-scratch outfit Jurassic 5 reminded us that the genre’s roots were still intact. Reunited after breaking up in 2007, the crew’s four emcees put on an excellent show of verbal gymnastics. They delivered whirlwind rhymes on “A Day at the Races” and “Improvise” while rapping in harmony like a barbershop quartet on classic headnodders “Jayou” and “Quality Control.” MC Akil even break danced. As cool as it was, the real stars were DJs Cut Chemist and Nu-Mark. Already impressing with their dizzying scratches, they took center stage midway through the two-hour set with Cut Chemist rocking out on a turntable guitar and Nu-Mark improvising beats on a drum machine dangling from his neck. And what I thought was a stage prop—a giant turntable the size of an ancient sundial—turned out to be fully functional when they spun it like the Wheel of Fortune. I left with even less respect for laptop DJs. ★★★✩✩

Photos by Joe Fury