Jedi Mind Tricks, Legacy Of Blood | Album Review | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Seven Days needs your financial support!

Jedi Mind Tricks, Legacy Of Blood 

(BabyGrande, CD)

Philly hip-hop duo Jedi Mind Tricks are so self-contradictory, it's tough to figure out exactly where they stand. They made a huge underground impact with their 2000 release Violent By Design, an album as vicious as its title suggests. The follow-up, Visions of Gandhi, bemoaned our era's lack of peaceful leadership, and was described by MC Vinnie Paz as "a vision of hope." Well, whatever cursory pacifism informed that record is completely absent on their latest disc, Legacy of Blood.

Although Paz has claimed he's pro-choice and anti-death penalty, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more intolerant polemic than on this disc. The MC spits hyper-violent rhymes over militant rhythms, suggesting spiritual enlightenment is best achieved through superior firepower. Homosexuals, Christians and the government are all targeted. Partner in crime Stoupe keeps the angry beats coming, dropping sinister samples and rifle-crack snare hits wherever he sees fit.

It's pretty odd to hear an obese white rapper spouting an agenda cribbed from the most radical wing of the Nation of Islam. You gotta wonder whether Paz's verbal threats are just a pose -- a way to stand out in an increasingly crowded playing field. "You don't deserve to breathe, your brain's thoughtless," he says in the opening verses of "Sears of the Crucifix," a self-righteous, paranoid attack on Islam's enemies. "I civilize the savages / while you support gay marriages, evil demons and the Jesus of the Nazareth / I keep grenades in my pocket for the pacifists," he continues.

In addition to making Christians and progressives cringe, Jedi Mind Tricks also enjoy world history. "Saviorself" contains sharp-edged raps peppered with references to ancient Egypt, and even mentions the Roman emperor Tiberius. Fellow underground MC Killah Priest drops in for the second verse, delivering laid-back rhymes that nicely complement the track's repetitive acoustic guitar sample. Unfortunately, the six-string motif sounds more flamenco than Middle Eastern.

It's easy to appreciate Jedi Mind Trick's production and microphone skills, but if you've got any liberal leanings, the retrogressive message will get under your skin. Hip-hop has long used violence and indignation as dramatic devices, but the attitudes expressed on Legacy somehow ring false. Hear for yourself Thursday, April 7, at the Higher Ground Ballroom, when they play with Living Legends J-Live & Pigeon John.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

More By This Author

About The Author

Casey Rea

Casey Rea

Bio:
Casey Rea was the Seven Days music editor from 2004 until 2007. He won the 2005 John D. Donoghue award for arts criticism from the Vermont Press Association.

Comments


Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Latest in Album Review

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
newsletters:

All content © 2021 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Advertising Policy  |  Contact Us
Website powered by Foundation