Monday, September 10, 2007

Wrath of the Damaja

Artie Jefferson, the owner of the record store where this interview with Jeru the Damaja took place, was known to share his theories about artist development. I recall he and I discussing some of the thematic elements of "The Sun Rises In The East," and he said something I never forgot.

"You've got you're whole life to make that first album," he said, and then explained that coming up with another one within a shorter time frame was a challenge some new artists weren't up to.

I can't say whether Jeru's second record was rushed, but it didn't have the impact of his debut. Soon afterwards, he fell out with the Gangstarr foundation, which left him without the signature sound of DJ Premier and a association with recognized movement that's a prerequisite for rappers today.

On his second record, Jeru had the audacity to confront the forces that threatened the artistic integrity of the music he loved, while other rappers were either complicit with their silence or going with the flow. Jeru continues to fight the good fight on independent releases, but the damage is done.

2 comments:

tanqueray said...

good interview with the damaja. also, your summary/extra thoughts of the interview is well put. for example, where you end it with, "but the damage is done" is a well thought out idea to end the summary. props.

Craig Belcher said...

Thanks for your kind words.