In life, there are some acts that are done strictly out of obligation. If my sister calls me at midnight stuck on the side of the road and I’m making love to wifee, no matter how good and warm that poom poom feels, I gotta get up and help her. If my guy gets thrown in jail for acting a fool and calls me in the middle of the night while I’m in deep rim sleep, no matter how good that cover and pillow feels, I gotta get up and bail him out (assuming the bail is a reasonable amount and I have the cash on hand). Likewise, since the Jungle Brothers are part of my favorite hip-hop collective (Native Tongue), if I find their albums in the dollar bin I have to buy them.
If you read this blog on a regular basis you already know how I feel about the Jungle Brothers and specifically how I feel about their sophomore effort Done By The Forces of Nature. Although they started of with a pretty solid debut (Straight Out The Jungle) they quickly lost their mojo with uninspired production and less than decent rhymes on its follow-up. In fact, I was so unimpressed by Done By The Forces of Nature that I have no desire to review the rest of their output. But, out of obligation, I present to you my J. Beez Wit The Remedy review.
Legend has it that the album was originally titled Crazy Wisdom Masters and featured a hefty amount of “experimental” records, but Warner Bros was so unimpressed by the songs that they rejected them for release. The JBs were forced to go back to the lab and create more conventional hip-hop record, thus J. Beez Wit The Remedy was created (factoid: a few of the records from Crazy Wisdom Masters were kept and used for J. Beez Wit The Remedy). Like their previous two albums the Jungle Brothers would handle pretty much all of the album’s production.
I’ve never heard J. Beez Wit The Remedy before today, but based on their track record and the horrible album cover artwork, I’m not feeling optimistic about this one, folks.
40 Below Trooper – The album opens with a bouncy bass line, simple drum beat and the Jungle Brothers spewing less than spectacular rhymes over it.
Book Of Rhyme Pages – The instrumental is an improvement from the previous song and their bars are actually decent on this one. Not a great song, but it’s serviceable.
My Jimmy Weighs A Ton – Afrika and Mike G use this melodic instrumental to talk about their love affairs and the power of the D, aka jimmy. Their lyrics are cool but the beautiful instrumental is the true star of this song. By the way, I absolutely love the song title.
Good Ole Hype Shit – And all the album’s upward momentum built up on the previous song goes straight to hell with this one. This a complete train wreck, folks.
Blahbludify – WTF was that?
Spark A New Flame – Brothers Jungle are in the mood for love on this one. I love the African tribal feel the drums bring to the song. Unfortunately, everything else about the song reaks of mediocrity.
I’m In Love With Indica – You heard this concept used before: emcees using marijuana as a metaphor for a woman. The Jungle Brothers strand of choice happens to be Indica. Their lyrics are slightly clever but everything else about this song is pretty forgettable.
Simple As That – I’ll keep it simple…trash.
All I Think About Is You – This is the JB’s ode to the important women in their lives. The sentiment slightly distracts the listener from the luke warmness of the instrumental but it’s still noticeable.
Good Lookin Out – The song opens with a verse from Afrika reminiscing on that time when he went raw dog, got burned and how his dad was their to take him to get it treated and advice him on his future sexual encounters. I thought I’d finally found a song suitable for my Father’s Day hip-hop mix, but then Mike G derails that plan with his feeble verse about his homeboys. The instrumental is all kinds of buttery, though.
JB’s Comin Through – They do come through. Unfortunately it’s with experimental music and rhymes that end of sounding like a bunch of loud noise.
Spittin Wicked Randomness – For some reason they decided to re-use the same garbage instrumental and overly abstract rhyme scheme as the previous song. It still doesn’t work.
For The Headz At Company Z – This is pretty much a weird instrumental that ends with the fellas chanting the song title. Not sure what or who Company Z is. Must be an inside thing.
Man Made Material – And the JB’s wrap up J. Beez Wit The Remedy with more experimental hot garbage
The JBs reach new lows on J. Beez Wit The Remedy. As a whole, the rhymes are weaker and the production ranges from barely bearable to down right horrible (yes, I did enjoy “My Jimmy Weighs A Ton” and “Good Lookin Out”, but for a 14 song album, those are the extreme exceptions). The album is pretty much spilt in half between conventional and experimental song ideas but the results are almost identical. If you can’t rhyme you can’t rhyme, but if you have Tip and Ali, as well as De La Soul in your corner, why not tap them for some dope beats? J. Beez Wit The Remedy proves that sometimes you can judge a book by its cover.