The age of especially long jazz-fusion hip-hop records were the thing in the early 2000’s. That was an era of man that decided that 25-total tracks was the best approach to engrain power to the ears. Jedi Mind Tricks with their second release, Violent By Design takes an hour and 16-minutes to tell a story of pain, misery, and some sense of truth behind their twisted delivery.
The bass heavy production and keys that string along the samples and raw, unapologetic lyricism takes the underground hip-hop to different methods of madness. “Beware of the beast man, for he is the devil’s pawn… He kills for sport, or lust, or greed… Shun him, drive him back into his jungle lair for he is the harbinger of death” explains the opening sample that pulls the curtain on Violent By Design. Showing a Picasso-esque painting of despair; the rough edges that show a desire to prove a higher level of thinking leaves some word-heavy bars that mark the age of the record. Jedi Mind Tricks is devised by work of Vinnie Paz, DJ Kwestion, Jus Allah, and Stoupe the Enemy of Mankind. This team up of underground hitters allows for some experimentation to grasp on the production aspects and to allow for a more uncut sense of rhyme schemes that would not have made most mainstream attachments.
More of a sinful desire than any sort of rap dream, Violent By Design is standoffish but makes for a strong example on performance and delivery. While it may be a busted mess that can sometimes teeter on becoming a jagged final product. There is still some potential behind Jedi Mind Tricks and showcases a prominence when stepping away from the horrorcore examples, hearing emotional messages of “Sacrifice” that displays some internal conflict from the verses with authenticity behind the bars. “Witness the art of combat, the center is where the bombs at… Sad realities for those that battle me, find enemy beats, awaken my sacred force of alchemy.” The verses blend simultaneously and forms over a beat that feels more English and prominent than previous examples.
Even as the bloodshed continues through the almost never-ending bombastic assault of pushing rhymes. The final moments are sweet and feel responsible for some reprieve after a battlefield of pain. The sun starts to fade on the forgotten days of Violent By Design, grasping a new plan that attaches to a new generational gap within hip-hop and government systems all alike.