Jedi Mind Tricks Violent By Design Review

  1. The sophomore effort by underground outfit Jedi Mind Tricks comprised of Vinnie Paz, Stoupe, Jus Allah, and DJ Kwestion. Given the heavy acclaim I’ve seen for this album I had decent.
  2. Jedi Mind Tricks (JMT) are an American underground hip hop group founded by two high school friends, rapper Vinnie Paz (Vincenzo Luvineri) and producer Stoupe the Enemy of Mankind (Kevin Baldwin). In 1999, rapper Jus Allah joined the group to record their second studio album, Violent by Design.Jus left the group shortly after, but returned in late 2006 and began working on the sixth studio.
Violent by Design
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 3, 2000
Recorded1998-2000
GenreUnderground hip hop, East Coast hip hop, horrorcore
Length76:08
LabelSuperegular Records
ProducerStoupe the Enemy of Mankind, Mr. Len
Jedi Mind Tricks chronology
The Psycho-Social CD
(1997)
Violent by Design
(2000)
Visions of Gandhi
(2003)
Singles from Violent by Design
  1. 'Heavenly Divine'
    Released: 1999
  2. 'Genghis Khan'
    Released: 2000
  3. 'Retaliation'
    Released: 2001
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic[1]
AllHipHop.com[2]
RapReviews.com[3]
cosmikC+[4]
Salacious Sound(favorable)[5]

If you discovered Jedi Mind Tricks in their exemplary late-’90s The Psycho-Social/Violent by Design period, you heard a potentially special young hip-hop group. The crisp production complemented.

Violent by Design is the second album by underground hip hop group Jedi Mind Tricks. Despite never reaching any Billboard album chart, the album sold 50,000 copies in its first week on shelves.[6] The album was originally released on JMT's self-run Superegular Records on October 3, 2000. JMT's previous label, Babygrande Records, re-released the album on May 25, 2004. The original vinyl release featured twenty tracks,[7] while the original CD release featured two extra tracks: the 'Heavenly Divine Remix', originally released on the B-Side to JMT's 'Heavenly Divine' single, and 'War Ensemble', originally released as the B-Side of the Army of the PharaohsFive Perfect ExertionsEP.[8] Babygrande's Deluxe Edition featured three more bonus tracks: 'Untitled', 'Retaliation Remix' and 'Blood Runs Cold', the latter two originally featured on the 'Retaliation' single.[9] The Deluxe Edition also included a bonus DVD, featuring a video scrapbook from their Visions of Gandhi tour, and the music video for the group's 1997 track 'I Who Have Nothing'.

Vinnie Paz and Stoupe the Enemy of Mankind recruited Camden, New JerseyrapperJus Allah to join them on the album, and while he was never officially inducted into the group, it can be assumed he became JMT's third member on the release, as his contributions were not marked as 'featuring Jus Allah', while other close group affiliates such as Army of the Pharaohs members Chief Kamachi, Esoteric and Virtuoso were marked as featured guests. He was also featured in the album's photography.

The album was recorded and mixed in Stoupe's bedroom for nine months, and because Stoupe was still living at his parents' house, they recorded every Friday for three hours.[10]

The cover art is from a photograph by Joel D. Meyerson, taken during the Battle of Dak To.

Photograph of a U.S. soldier calling for a medic during the Battle of Dak To

History[edit]

The group began recording their second album, originally titled Polymatrix: Reincarnation of the Hologramic Christ,[11] after the release of their 1997 debut, The Psycho-Social, Chemical, Biological & Electro-Magnetic Manipulation of Human Consciousness, and the group's side project with the Army of the Pharaohs, 1998's Five Perfect Exertions EP. In the summer of 1999, the group released the 'Heavenly Divine' single to hype their second album. The single has been recognized as the group's trademark song, and was described as 'a perfect blend of Jedi Mind's metaphysical, spiritual and street influences'. The following year, JMT released the single 'Genghis Khan', featuring underground veteran Tragedy Khadafi, to further hype their upcoming album. After two years of recording, Violent by Design was released, featuring guest verses from AOTP members Esoteric, Virtuoso, Chief Kamachi and Bahamadia, OuterSpace member Planetary, Killa Sha, Mr. Lif, DiamondBack, Louis Logic, B.A. Barakus, L-Fudge, and J-Treds, as well as two interludes performed by Company Flow member Mr. Len.

Straying from the science fiction and conspiracy theory topics that dominated their debut, JMT adopted a more rugged, hardcore style with Violent by Design, mixing their past metaphysical content with violent lyrics. Their new unrelenting style gained them a large new underground following, but at the same time drew significant criticism, largely due to the album's intense violence, and controversial anti-Christian and homophobic[12] lyrical content. Due to this, Allmusic writer Dean Carlson stated that the group was 'well-versed in contradictions', but also praised the group's unique style, stating, 'They know how to intimidate without gangsta pretensions and they know how to create menace without losing sight of humor or clarity.' [13] While Carlson had mixed feelings on the album, AMG writer Joshua Glazer referred to it as a classic.[14] RapReviews.com writer Steve 'Flash' Juon said that the album's graphic lyrics would 'turn some people off', and like Carlson, went on to compliment the rapper's style, stating, 'Paz and Jus can definitely flow, and they have essentially invented a new rapping style.' Juon ultimately praised the album, saying:

'By adding another emcee and evolving their sound, JMT created a completely unique work with their sophomore epic... Courtesy of Stoupe, each song is brimming with random vocal snippets and string-laden, moody samples. The two emcees rap with unfettered fire, attacking everything from Catholicism to the American Government. This LP is a trip, in every sense of the word. Without a doubt, JMT's work is something to explore deeply, especially for the wonderful harmonies that Stoupe manifests. For those with patience and a sense of superior hip-hop, 'Violent By Design' cannot be ignored. It is simply too remarkable.'[15]

To date, the most acclaimed aspect of the album has been the dark, atmospheric production work by Stoupe the Enemy of Mankind. Featuring a variety of vague samples, largely taken from movie scores and various tracks from Latin artists, matched with random vocals taken from numerous films and selections of poems by British poet Wilfred Owen, Stoupe's work on Violent by Design helped to establish him as one of underground hip hop's preeminent producers. In his album review, Steve Juon praises Stoupe's work on the album, calling it 'absolutely riveting', and even going so far as to say that his production on 'Sacrifice' was 'one of the greatest single-song productions I have ever heard in hip-hop.' He goes on to state:

'The glue that holds 'Violent By Design' together is clearly Stoupe the Enemy of Mankind. The soundscapes he crafts on this album are complex, moody, and quite exceptional... All of these works, despite being completely distinctive, fall well within the range of the musical themes that Stoupe brings to the record... He practically invents a new method of hip-hop artistry.'[15]

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleProducerLength
1.'Intro'Stoupe the Enemy of Mankind0:43
2.'Retaliation'Stoupe the Enemy of Mankind3:44
3.'Contra' (featuring Killasha)Stoupe the Enemy of Mankind, DJ Kwestion(scratches)3:18
4.'Speech Cobras' (featuring Mr. Lif)Stoupe the Enemy of Mankind, Drew Dollars (scratches)4:22
5.'Breath of God Interlude'Stoupe the Enemy of Mankind0:37
6.'Death March' (featuring Esoteric and Virtuoso)Stoupe the Enemy of Mankind3:34
7.'Words from Mr. Len Part One'Mr. Len0:58
8.'I Against I' (featuring Planet)Stoupe the Enemy of Mankind3:49
9.'Exertions (Remix)' (featuring Bahamadia, Esoteric and Virtuoso)Stoupe the Enemy of Mankind3:14
10.'The Prophecy Interlude'Stoupe the Enemy of Mankind0:36
11.'Heavenly Divine'Stoupe the Enemy of Mankind4:34
12.'Sacrifice'Stoupe the Enemy of Mankind3:20
13.'Permanent Night Interlude'Stoupe the Enemy of Mankind0:39
14.'The Deer Hunter' (featuring Chief Kamachi)Stoupe the Enemy of Mankind3:41
15.'Blood Reign' (featuring B.A. Barakus, Diamondback and Louis Logic)Stoupe the Enemy of Mankind3:37
16.'Words from Mr. Len Part Two'Mr. Len0:29
17.'Genghis Khan' (featuring Tragedy Khadafi)Stoupe the Enemy of Mankind3:50
18.'Trinity' (featuring L-Fudge, Louis Logic)Stoupe the Enemy of Mankind3:36
19.'The Executioner’s Dream' (featuring J-Treds)Stoupe the Enemy of Mankind3:52
20.'Muerte'Stoupe the Enemy of Mankind3:57
21.'Heavenly Divine (Remix) (hidden track)'Stoupe the Enemy of Mankind3:21
22.'War Ensemble (hidden track)' (performed by Army of the Pharaohs featuring Esoteric and Virtuoso)Stoupe the Enemy of Mankind4:07
Total length:64:12
2004 Deluxe Edition
No.TitleProducerLength
23.'Untitled'Stoupe the Enemy of Mankind3:38
24.'Retaliation (Remix)'Stoupe the Enemy of Mankind4:23
25.'Blood Runs Cold' (featuring Sean Price)Stoupe the Enemy of Mankind3:55
Total length:76:08

Sample credits[edit]

Intro

  • 'Elegia al Che Guevara' by Quilapayún
  • Excerpt from Roddy McDowall’s dialogue from the film Planet of the Apes

Retaliation

  • 'El Rio y las Rosas' by Rosita Perú
  • 'Get Out of My Life, Woman' by Lee Dorsey
  • 'Cross My Heart' by Killah Priest featuring GZA and Inspectah Deck
  • 'Money in the Bank' by Kool G Rap & DJ Polo

Contra

  • 'Port Authority Terminal' and 'A Song That Never Comes' by Cashman, Pistilli & West
  • 'Gotta Get Over (Taking Loot)' by Gang Starr
  • 'Def Rhymes' by 7L & Esoteric
  • 'Up Against the Wall (Low Budget Mix)' by Group Home

Speech Cobras

  • Excerpt from Sean Gullette’s monologue from the film Pi
  • 'Ginseng Woman” by Eric Gale
  • 'Hom Many MC’s…” by Black Moon
  • 'Di Goldene Pave' by The Klezmatics and Chava Alberstein

Death March

  • Excerpt from the speech by The Undertaker from the episode of WWE Raw aired on January 18, 1999
  • 'The Monster Materializes' by Richard Band

Words from Mr. Len Part One

  • 'Friday’s Child' by Nancy Sinatra

I Against I

  • ' What Are You Doing for the Rest of Your Life?' by Cal Tjader
  • 'Jazz (We've Got) (Re-Recording)' by A Tribe Called Quest

Exertions (Remix)

  • 'Estabamos Juntos' by Sonia Silvestre
  • Excerpt from the CBS radio broadcast of Adolf Hitler’s speech to the Reichstag on September 1, 1939
  • Excerpt from Ralph Bunche’s Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech

The Prophecy Interlude

  • 'Your Love Is Mine' by Holly Golightly
  • Excerpt from Eric Stoltz’s monologue from the film The Prophecy

Heavenly Divine

  • Yo-Yo Ma and Bobby McFerrin’s rendition of Antonio Vivaldi’s Andante from Concerto in D Minor for 2 Mandolins
  • Excerpts from the English translated broadcast of Pope John Paul II’s Pontificate inauguration Mass

Sacrifice

  • 'Apathy' by Gene Cotton
  • Excerpts from Gene Hackman’s dialogue from the film Antz
  • '9th Wonder (Blackitolism)' by Digable Planets
  • 'You Ain’t a Killer' by Big Pun

Permanent Midnight Interlude

  • 'Lotus' by The Rainbow Band
  • 'The Pope of Fools' by Alec R. Costandinos and The Syncophonic Orchestra

The Deer Hunter

  • 'Too Much' by Mathilde Santing
  • Excerpt from Burt Lancaster’s dialogue from the film Judgement at Nuremberg
  • Excerpt from Marshall Applewhite’s tape Do’s Final Exit

Blood Reign

  • 'Section' by The Roots
  • 'Bloodshed and War' by Da Youngsta's featuring Mobb Deep
  • 'Your Cranium’s Cracked' by The Singing MC Breeze

Genghis Khan

  • 'Downloading' by Harald Kloser

Trinity

  • Pierre Pierlot, I Solisti Veneti and Claudio Scimone’s rendition of Tomaso Albinoni’s Concerto in D Minor for Oboe, Strings and Continuo, Op. 9, No. 2 – Allegro

The Executioner’s Dream

  • Excerpt from Harvey Keitel’s monologue from the film Mean Streets
  • 'Lullaby, Part 1' by Krzysztof Komeda
  • 'Triangular Warfare' by Mr. Lif
  • 'Worst Enemy' by Buc Fifty

Muerte

  • 'De Que Te Quiero… Te Quiero' by Gilberto Valenzuela
  • 'Adieu à la Nuit (Adieu to the Night)' by Paul Mauriat and His Orchestra
  • 'Doggone' by Love
  • Richard Burton reading of Wilfred Owen’s poem 'Greater Love'

Heavenly Divine (Remix)

  • 'Uninvited' by Alanis Morissette
  • Richard Burton reading of Wilfred Owen’s poems 'Apologia Pro Poemate Meo', 'The Show' and 'Arms and the Boy'

War Ensemble

  • Excerpts from Martin Sheen and Marlon Brando’s dialogues from the film Apocalypse Now
  • 'All in Love Is Fair' by Stevie Wonder
  • 'Chinese Water Torture' by Jedi Mind Tricks

Untitled

  • 'Palomino' by Jon Boyes
  • Richard Burton reading of Wilfred Owen’s poem 'Sonnet On Seeing a Piece of our Heavy Artillery Brought into Action'

Retaliation (Remix)

  • 'De Los Amores' by Susana Baca

Blood Runs Cold

  • 'Septiembre y Usted' by Wilkins
  • 'Keep It Thoro' by Prodigy

Album singles[edit]

Single information
'Heavenly Divine'
  • Released: 1999
  • Label: Superegular Records
  • B-Side: 'Trinity', 'Heavenly Divine (Remix)'
'Genghis Khan'
  • Released: 2000
  • Label: Superegular Records
  • B-Side:
'Retaliation'/'Retaliation Remix'
  • Released: 2001
  • Label: Superegular Records
  • B-Side: 'Blood Runs Cold'

References[edit]

Jedi Mind Tricks

  1. ^Violent by Design at AllMusic
  2. ^AllHipHop review
  3. ^RapReviews review
  4. ^Cosmik review
  5. ^Salacious Sound review
  6. ^http://hiphop.discogs.com/artist/Jedi+Mind+Tricks
  7. ^http://hiphop.discogs.com/release/240551
  8. ^'Archived copy'. Archived from the original on 2007-02-19. Retrieved 2007-02-11.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^'Archived copy'. Archived from the original on 2007-02-19. Retrieved 2007-02-03.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^'unkut.com – A Tribute To Ignorance (Remix)'. 22 June 2017. Archived from the original on 22 June 2017.
  11. ^http://www.undergroundhiphop.com/audio/detail.asp?ID=3861
  12. ^e.g. 'That's unnatural, like love between faggots' from 'The Deerhunter'
  13. ^[1]
  14. ^[2]
  15. ^ ab'Jedi Mind Tricks :: Violent by Design :: Superregular Recordings'. rapreviews.com.
Retrieved from 'https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Violent_by_Design&oldid=984280919'

When Jedi Mind Tricks burst onto the scene in 1997, most heads didn’t even blink. Though the Philly-based group put in work on their debut, they remained in relative anonymity. For those who listened, the combination of Vinnie Paz’s conceptual rhyming and Stoupe’s atmospheric production was a success. Despite the excellence displayed on “The Psycho-Social, Chemical, Biological, And Electro-Magnetic Manipulation Of Human Consciousness,” the duo was just getting started. Enter “Violent By Design.”

After a short musical intro, “Retaliation” starts things off. Stoupe concocts a hypnotizing track with chopped up voice samples. Vinnie Paz, along with new member Jus Allah, attack the mic:

Jus Allah: “Feel no love
No way you shield the slugs
The ill thugs
We box with steel gloves
Doubt my faith, you can taste the slug case
Leaving niggas looking like dogs with the pug face”

Vinnie Paz: “So y’all better yield
Or Im’a choke faggots
My hands held more razorblades than coke addicts
We like to quote facists
Cuz we the meanest
And rip off your fingers with the pliers of Chakademus”

Their rhymes are graphic, to say the least, and some people will be turned off. Nevertheless, they are delivered with inspiring force. The real star of “Retaliation,” however, is Stoupe. The buttery beat is incredibly pleasing, and sets the bar very high for the rest of “Violent By Design.”

Jedi Mind Tricks Violent By Design Review

“Contra,” with Killasha, has Vinnie Paz spitting “holding the device tight/when it’s time for a mic fight/you’re a pagan trying to battle someone who’s Christ-like.” If you thought those words were chosen to offend, you’d probably be right. These emcees pull no punches with descriptions of violence and desecration. Homophobic references make an appearance as well. If they don’t offend you, however, lines like “drunk off the cop’s blood” bring a visceral, albeit occasionally ridiculous, ingredient to the rhymes. Paz and Jus can definitely flow, and they have essentially invented a new rapping style. A sample from “War Ensemble,” a bonus track:

Vinnie Paz: “I exit out of my sarcophagus, Fourth Horseman of the apocaplyse
For my esophagus breathes evil that just demolishes
Abolishes, to the darkness of Mephastophales
Mental in temple that went through an ancient acropolis
Conquered this, from a fetus to genius
Took DNA from the Shroud of Turin and cloned Jesus
Merciless leaders, the 19th galaxy
Born to a storm on the seas of Gallilee
Battle me and suffer whiplash from my apostles
Leave you in shackles in the castle of Nosferatu”

Name-dropping Jesus in the same verse as Nosferatu and Mephastophales certainly doesn’t seem to make sense, but it isn’t supposed to. There is really no point to many of the rhymes they kick, but since it sounds cool, and is so completely unique, I’m not complaining. Subject matter varies from anti-Christian propaganda to medieval violence to straight battle-rapping, but they illustrate the topics with such forceful conviction that the obscure references come to life.

Jedi Mind Tricks Violent By Design Review Free

Paz and Jus do begin to wear on the listener’s ear, though. Thankfully, there are enough guests peppered throughout to preserve their intensity. The likes of Mr. Lif, Louis Logic, and Bahamadia do wonders for maintaining the energy that Jedi Mind Tricks attempt to hold. Check out Tragedy Khadafi on “Ghengis Khan”:

“I hit the turnpike on dirtbikes with 2 ‘litas
On my way to Philly to fight for Mumia
Only thug guerillas’ll react to this
The laws try to destroy black activists
Half of y’all is performers and actresses
I keep at least a hundred grand in the mattresses
Shit so hot, soon as I write it I get indicted
I dare one y’all scared niggas to bite it
I stood in hood lobbies getting my rocks off
With longjohns and three pairs of socks on”

Guest spots like this are exactly what the album needs, because the angry rants Vinnie Paz and Jus Allah do occasionally get tiresome.

The glue that holds “Violent By Design” together is clearly Stoupe the Enemy of Mankind. The soundscapes he crafts on this album are complex, moody, and quite exceptional. “Heavenly Divine” has a remarkable blend of violins and a haunting vocal sample, with layer upon layer of samples for Paz and Jus to break down. “The Deer Hunter” features an intricate mix of harps and a female’s sad wailing. “Blood Reign” boasts an uplifting guitar section, with plenty going on in the background. All of these works, despite being completely distinctive, fall well within the range of the musical themes that Stoupe brings to the record.

Stoupe’s crowning achievement, however, comes on “Sacrifice.” After a short intro and a sample from the movie “Antz,” the stunning track fades in. Heavy strings swirl around the expertly placed scratches and booming drums, generating one of the greatest single-song productions I have ever heard in hip-hop. Vinnie Paz and Jus Allah have relatively short verses, which thankfully allows for over a minute for the instrumental to disappear. The sheer beauty of Stoupe’s work on “Sacrifice” is astounding. The rest of “Violent By Design” is incredible, but nothing else compares to this masterpiece.

Stoupe is no longer the well-kept secret he was before the release of this album. Canibus took notice and tapped him for 2003’s “Rip The Jacker,” and JMT’s “Visions of Ghandi” brought him to the forefront of the underground producing class. “Violent By Design,” however, is his crowning achievement. He practically invents a new method of hip-hop artistry, with influences from legends like the RZA. The production here is perfectly married to the vocals, and snippets from countless movies and even a WWF quote add to the atmosphere. His work here is absolutely riveting.

The cover artwork to this album features a black man in army fatigues, charging through the jungle with a machine gun. This is a perfect introduction to the music held within. Make no mistake, “Violent By Design” is fierce music. By adding another emcee and evolving their sound, JMT created a completely unique work with their sophomore epic, originally released in 2000. Courtesy of Stoupe, each song is brimming with random vocal snippets and string-laden, moody samples. The two emcees rap with unfettered fire, attacking everything from Catholicism to the American Government. This LP is a trip, in every sense of the word. Without a doubt, JMT’s work is something to explore deeply, especially for the wonderful harmonies that Stoupe manifests. For those with patience and a sense of superior hip-hop, “Violent By Design” cannot be ignored. It is simply too remarkable.