Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Jeru The Damaja- Wrath of the Math 2xLP


FFRR/Payday (Reissue, Originally released in 1996)

Every Wednesday, in honor of Ed Lover Dance Day from Yo MTV Raps, I take a break from rock and roll to write a little bit about hip hop. In the late 80s and early 90s hip hop ruled my musical life. During this often called 'Golden Era' I discovered so much incredible music. As I am slowly replacing the CDs I've had for twenty-five plus years with vinyl copies, I'm going to talk about some albums that had a really important impact on me during some very formative years.

I can't figure out exactly when this repress of Wrath of the Math came out, but I'm very glad it exists and is easily obtainable at the moment.  There have been a lot of records, particularly old hip hop releases that have been reissued in the past few years, but then went out of print and are commanding high costs on the secondary market. Not that I should be buying a ton of records right now anyway since my hot water heater shit the bed and have put out about five grand in plumbing bills over the last couple of weeks.  But, I do wish it was easier to get a few records that would have been easy even a year or two ago.

I never heard this album until very recently.  I had Jeru's first CD in high school, but by the time 1996 came around, I was pretty convinced there was nothing useful happening in hip hop anymore.  I still sort of stand by that statement, but I have discovered a few outliers that buck that trend.  Wrath of the Math is every bit as good as The Sun Rises in the East.  DJ Premier holds down the production again and it's a total throwback to a few years earlier.  This probably sounded really bizarre in 1996 when the hip hop world had moved on to copycat G funk nonsense, but it sure has aged better than that stuff.

I wish I had heard this record when it came out.  I think it would have given me pause on my dismissal of hip hop as being a thing I only liked in the past tense.  I'm not sure that I would have found many more records as good as this one, but at least I would have been able to listen to it all this time rather than giving it a first chance a couple months ago.

Jeru The Damage - Wrath of the Math (YouTube Music full album playlist):

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