[Review] Jedi Mind Tricks - Violence Begets Violence
Jedi Mind Tricks is a household name when it comes to indie hip-hop. The group has been a staple of the underground and at this point fans know exactly what to expect. Hard beats by Stoupe and violent rhymes by Vinny Paz and Jus Allah have made JMT a fan favorite, bringing the group an army of followers. Six LP’s deep in the game, Paz and Jus Allah bring us their seventh studio album, Violence Begets Violence, adding another brick to the JMT legacy.
Violence Begets Violence is a turning point for JMT as it marks the group’s first album without Stoupe on production. Stoupe has been the backbone of JMT since the beginning, and his departure is sad for fans of the group. With that said Paz and Jus recruited a nice group of producers and are able to successfully fill the void left by Stoupe’s absence. Tracks such as “Burning the Mirror” and “When Crows Descend Upon You”, “Imperial Tyranny” and “Design in Malice” are quintessential JMT tracks that make it hard to even notice that Stoupe is no longer banging the drums. It’s tough for a group to lose an original member and architect of many classic songs and still be able to soldier on, but on Violence Begets Violence, Paz and Stoupe are able to keep the wheels turning despite a pretty big loss.
As far as standout tracks go, “Chalice” is a bit of departure from the JMT sound that fans have come to know and love, but it doesn’t stop it from being flat out dope. The reggae infused track bumps and gets the head nodding almost immediately. Though the group tends to stay in its lane production wise, tracks like “Chalice” show versatility and though it’s not a huge departure from what they do, shows that if the group takes chances it can do greater things.
Lyrically, Paz and Jus don’t change their style one bit, but why would we expect anything different? The aggressive lyrics and kill-your-family delivery that the two emcees display are what fans of the group clamor for and they definitely deliver on that promise. As with most JMT releases, at times the lyrical content becomes repetitive, but at this point in their career, the group is really not going to change, so listeners will either have to take them or leave them. With that said, Violence Begets Violence is an enjoyable listen. Seven albums deep, Paz and Jus still have the same energy and chemistry that they had on Violent By Design. Tracks such as “Weapons of Unholy War”, “Carnival of Souls”, “Willing a Destruction onto Humanity” and the lead single “Target Practice” just flat out bang. JMT’s brand of hardcore hip-hop is a pleasure to listen to for fans of hard drums and of the off the turnbuckle rhyme style. Violence Begets Violence is an instant neck-snapper and a nice addition to the JMT catalog.
3.5 out of 5
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