[midlife 150] #129: jurassic 5 “concrete schoolyard”

May 11, 2010

#129 Concrete Schoolyard by Jurassic 5 (taken from Jurassic 5 LP, 1998)

“We were sittin’ out on the step, y’know”. I can’t claim to have lived the hip hop life, but I like to think I can recognise quality rhymes and beats – even from here in the heart of mainstream.

Like most of Jurassic 5‘s tracks, this is a rap about rapping. More specifically it’s about how much better rapping was back in the day; the Old School of the late 1970s/early 1980s that Jurassic 5 so lovingly recreate. And, of course, it’s about how the MCs in the group are by far the best rappers on the planet. Maybe, maybe not – but they sure can spin them words, literate and polemical:

When I rhyme
I hit the designated area
I hope you got your shots ‘cos this is lyrical malaria
Spreading, beheading fools with the punishment
I live in America, but f*** this government

Musically it’s all about that piano loop from Ike Turner’s Getting Nasty, creating the homespun, nostalgic hook that gets you tapping your foot and nodding your head as though you were sittin’ out on the step, y’know.

This review is part of close to 94 ‘s [midlife 150] series, which counts down favourite music 1970-2009.


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