Jedi Mind Tricks

Violent by Design

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Like all excellent underground hip-hop acts, Philadelphia's Jedi Mind Tricks want to sound like Kool Keith but actually make some sense. That they've now moved on from their debut album's UFO-a-philia into more sociopolitical ramblings shouldn't distract you: Violent By Design again shows a group that still knows their nobly skewed stuff. Even when they add a third solid member, JusAllah (aka Megatraum), and about 400 guest spots. There are tales of pipe-wielding violence and obligatory Star Wars references, amusing uses of Hulk Hogan and Pi samples, but Stoupe's newly jagged and ominous turntablist hooks give you a new barren, kung-fu film landscape for those imaginative nights when you're truly feeling sinister. The Virtuoso, Esoteric, and Bahamadia collaboration "Exertions" superbly captures a sloping account of reparation, placentas, and Zodiac killers, while "The Prophecy" interlude sounds like a hip-hop cousin to the dark jazz played in the club scene of David Lynch's Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. Hardcore vulgarity and pointed, Wu-Tang hooks notwithstanding, Jedi Mind Tricks are well-versed in contradictions. They know how to intimidate without gangsta pretensions and they know how to create menace without losing sight of humor or clarity.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 0:38 Spotify
2 3:47 Spotify
feat: Killasha
3:14 Spotify
feat: Mr. Lif
4:22 Spotify
5 0:34 Spotify
feat: Esoteric / Virtuoso
3:31 Spotify
feat: Mr. Len
0:52 Spotify
feat: Planet
3:43 Spotify
9 3:08
10 0:32 Spotify
11 4:34 Spotify
12 3:13 Spotify
13 0:34 Spotify
14 3:38 Spotify
15 3:34 Spotify
feat: Mr. Len
0:27 Spotify
17 3:40 Spotify
18 3:34 Spotify
feat: J-Treds
3:50 Spotify
20 3:54 Spotify
3:21 Spotify
22 4:07
blue highlight denotes track pick