- How We Get Along: 👍🏻
- The Influence: 👍🏻
- Great Expectations: 👍🏻
- Quality Intro: 🤷♂️
- Quality Control: 👍🏻
- Contact: 🤷♂️
- LAUSD: 👍🏻
- W.O.E. Is Me (World of Entertainment): 👍🏻
- Monkey Bars: 🤷♂️
- Jurass Finish First: 🤷♂️
- Contribution: 👍🏻
- Twelve: 👍🏻
- The Game: 🤷♂️
- Improvise: 🤷♂️
- Swing Set: 👍🏻
I’ve really liked Jurassic 5 ever since they were introduced to me in college, but I don’t think I’ve ever sat down and listened to a whole album before today. I had intended to listen to them at some point this year anyway, but Ryder (the same person who introduced me to them to begin with) used the Suggest an Album form explicitly recommending Quality Control on the same day I listened to Dilated People’s 20/20. Based on how much I liked that album and how much I like this group, I was sure I would like this album a lot. And I really do.
In 2015, Paste magazine ranked Quality Control #2 in their “10 Hip-Hop Albums for People Who Don’t Like Hip-Hop” list, and listening to it, it’s easy to see why. I’ve never listened to much hip-hop, but I really like Jurassic 5. This album was chock full of great tracks. I can only really think of a couple negative things to say about it. First was the line “Y’all niggas ain’t nothing but some bitch ass queers.” I was totally shocked to hear that on this album, since it’s the only really strong language I remember hearing. Especially given that two songs before it, Contribution, opens with “Yo, either you a part of the problem or part of the solution. What’s your contribution to life?” I don’t have a problem with strong language, and I realize that this album is over 15 years old and that line was probably somehow considered to be less offensive then, but it seemed very out of place.
At any rate, the only other thing I didn’t like about this album is definitely more my problem than anyone else’s, but the tracks (or ends of tracks) that aren’t music that are all over hip-hop and rap albums drive me nuts. It totally takes me out of the music, and I’ve never found any value in them. I liked all the songs on this album, and I think the only ones I didn’t 👍🏻 were tracks that ended in not-music.
I know this isn’t the only album to do this, and they probably did it better than most. There’s probably a rich tradition of not-music tracks in albums going way back or something, but I have yet to hear it and enjoy it. If it weren’t for the fact that I’m trying to listen to all these albums in their entirety, I’d have skipped to the next track when the actual song part of the songs ended. And if I had, I might have even given this album 5 stars rather than 4. But again, I recognize this is my problem and not a fault of the album, necessarily.
I also have to mention this: I’ve been using Apple Music to listen to all these albums (except for Too Many Zooz F Note & Gin Wigmore’s Gravel & Wine which I already had, and the High Fidelity Soundtrack which I had to buy because it wasn’t in the catalog). I won’t go on too much of a rant about this, but I didn’t realize that of the 15 tracks on this album, only 14 were available through Apple Music until I was already half way through it. Track 14, Improvise, was missing and I had to find it on YouTube. Once the chorus hit I recognized the song and realized it was different from what I remember. I don’t know if the version I heard was actually the one recorded for this album. I like the song, but I definitely like the version I’m more familiar with more than the one I listened to today.
One last note: while I was listening to this I couldn’t help but notice that the title track sounded an awful lot like Eminem’s My Name Is. I started poking around wondering who was first (Eminem: 1999, Jurassic 5: 2000), and managed to discover the song they both sampled: I Got the… by Labi Siffre. I’d never heard of this dude before, but after listening to the song, I wrote down the name of the album to listen to at some point. Another win for this project: taking me down rabbit holes I wouldn’t have found without it.