(AllHipHop Features) The saying “absence make the heart grow fonder” is not a phrase that most music insiders would agree applies to their business. In today’s ADD entertainment climate, if a music act is not feeding its fans with constant quality material their base is likely to move on to another artist who fulfills the Millennial generation’s need for instant gratification.
For those reasons, making a successful comeback to the game after a seven-year hiatus would appear to be an unachievable goal, but the early signs show Los Angeles Hip Hop group Jurassic 5’s reunion is on the path to defying music industry norms.
The creators of well-received albums like Quality Control and Power In Numbers are set to drop a new LP in 2014. Besides crafting their first project since 2006’s Feedback, Akil The Mc, Zaakir, Mark 7even, DJ Nu-Mark, Chali 2na, and Cut Chemist have also returned to rocking stages around the world including a set at this year’s Fun Fun Fun Fest that received rave reviews. According to Akil, it was a power greater than J5 that initiated the group’s return.
“We’re just going on the Creator’s time. The Creator said it was time for us to split up, and the Creator brought us back,” says Akil. “It was up for us to accept what happened and see the benefit in it. So us getting back together was beautiful.”
While group members have not publicly expressed exactly why Jurassic 5 parted ways, Akil reveals that the separation had to do with a combination of things like lack of communication, mismanagement, and poor decision-making.
Jurassic 5 was able to move past those personal issues and get back in the studio to complete their long-awaited fifth album. They plan to release it around July 5th, 2014 or “J5 Day.” The collection will include new cuts as well as previously unreleased tracks featuring production from Salaam Remi from the Feedback sessions. Even though those songs were recorded when most of the college aged kids now were still in middle school, Akil is not worried about the work sounding aged.
“The unique thing about us is that our style is old school. For us to have songs that are so-called ‘dated’ it doesn’t matter. It’s kind of like an oxymoron,” says Akil. He also expresses J5’s electric onstage chemistry and the renewed interest in the culture’s essence will be the ultimate selling point for J5 to still effectively stand beside today’s younger rap stars.
“Our newest song is like seven or eight years old, and we’re still rocking like that s**t just came out yesterday,” adds Akil. “The person that just came out two years ago or even five years ago ain’t even been to where we have catapulted to right now. Yeah, it’s because what we’ve done in the past, but just because you’re an old school group that doesn’t necessarily mean you can fit within right now. It’s beautiful that we fit into what’s going on right now- this resurgence of Hip Hop.”
Hip Hop heads not only can expect a new studio album from Jurassic 5 in the near future, but also a live album and a DVD documentary as well. Each member is also working on individual projects.
Akil produced about 75% of the tracks on his own upcoming independent debut solo album Soundcheck. To round out the soundscape for Soundcheck, he also connected with a cast of international producers including California’s Exile, New Zealand’s P-Money, and an unknown beatmaker from a small southeastern European nation.
“I was in Macedonia, and I ran into this guy in a bunker in Eastern Europe. This dude had some of the dopest beats I ever heard,” explains Akil. “I was there to do a project for somebody else, but he was playing me these beats and was like, ‘Hold on. Don’t play no more. I have to write a song to this.’ I got a couple of heaters from him that’s on the album.”
The Jurassic 5 projects and “J5 Day” are still a several months away. In the meantime, supporters can satisfy their J5 craving by checking out the Morrison, Colorado performance scheduled for January 31st or their Auckland, New Zealand concert on March 26th. Akil testifies it is that face-to-face experience that will ultimately guarantee Jurassic 5 complies to the new age need for having everything right now.
“I think that’s the plus we have with our live show. We’re able to pull of that instant gratification right there in front of you,” says Akil. “Regardless if you’ve heard of us or not, that’s been our history with our group. We have been able to tap into the human spirit wherever it’s at and give them what they need.”
Check out the dates for J5's headlining Great Britain tour and the video for "What's Golden" below.
6/19/14 - Manchester - O2 Apollo
6/20/14 - London - O2 Academy Brixton
6/24/14 - Nottingham - Rock City
6/25/14 - Bristol - O2 Academy