Hip Hop Today: Jedi Mind Tricks – Violent By Design

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Back in 2000 hip hop was in a very different place than it is now, the 90s were over and people were hungry for what’s next. Groups like Non Phixon and Jedi Mind Tricks (JMT) were in the midst of paving the way for a new era in underground hip hop and developing a scene that strands strong today.

Following the 1997 release of their debut The Psycho-Social, Chemical, Biological & Electro-Magnetic Manipulation of Human Consciousness, JMT hustled aiming to bring a different style and enthusiasm to their next album. In 1999 they released “Heavenly Devine”, one of the tracks off the forthcoming collection that remains a signature song in their repertoire and a staple in hip hop that isn’t mainstream.

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16 years ago today in 2000 they released their largely acclaimed ground breaking Violent By Design. It’s a necessary treasure in the collection of any self proclaimed hip hop head and truly changed the landscape of underground rap forever. The group consisted of Vinnie Paz on the mic and Stoupe on the decks, they recruited rapper Jus Allah to make the album as well.

It was recorded in Stoupe’s bedroom every Friday for nine months at his parents house. They adopted a more rugged, raw and refine style, delving away from the science fiction and conspiracy based songs that were prevalent on their first release. Despite never reaching any Billboard chart it successfully sold 50,000 copies in the first week at a time when the majority of album sales occurred in store. It got them a mammoth underground following and a classic hip hop album under their belt for eternity.

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