Recently reunited Los Angeles hip-hop group Jurassic 5, who's highest ranking album “Power in Numbers” reached No. 15 on the Billboard charts in 2002, will have a home-field advantage when it performs Saturday at the Greek Theatre.
Joining the group at the Los Angeles venue will be Dilated Peoples, The World Famous Beat Junkies and MC Supernatural. J5's DJ Nu-Mark answered questions about the group's future, the latest music release and what the Greek Theatre means to the band.
Q Was the group in the studio working together on the new song “The Way We Do It” or was it made via sending the track over email? How smooth was the process of recording and how long did the song take to record? When was the last time the group had recorded a song?
A Actually, this song was recorded right before we disbanded in 2006. We were experimenting quite a bit before we went our separate ways. Heavy D. was one of the producers we hit it off with, and he produced the track right around the time the White Stripes released the “Doorbell” song. It was all just a little too new for us to release, and it seems that it was meant to be shelved for a while. I wouldn't label our recording process as smooth. It's more like trying ideas and finding out what works and what doesn't. This was the last time we recorded together.
Q Is the group going to put out an album? Will all the members be taking part if you do? What are the next solo (or group) projects from individual members?
A We don't know yet what we plan to do as a group. People ask about an album from us, but does anyone listen to albums? Or is that question a figure of speech due to the collapse of the music industry? We'd like to record more with all members, but we're trying figure what would make sense during this state and time in the industry. The Internet and YouTube have shortened attention spans, and so we need to evaluate the playing field and record something from our hearts, if we plan to take this seriously. I can't speak for individuals' solo projects. I can only speak of my own. I have a new project with Slimkid3 of Pharcyde coming out this summer. Our first single, “Bouillon,” features Del (Hieroglyphics) and Murs (Living Legends). This self-titled LP will be released on Delicious Vinyl.
Q What can fans expect from your live performance if they've never seen you live? Will it be similar to the Coachella set with the big turntable?
A We take pride in our show and believe in keeping hip-hop solid. Big Wheel will make a return. By the way, that turntable took three months of me wrestling with the set designer, trying to figure out the physics on how to make it functional. I earned a few gray hairs on that one, but it was worth it!
Q How special is it to be performing at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles in your hometown? When was the last time you performed at the Greek?
A This will be the most important show I've planned for to date. The entire group is really taking this show seriously. The Greek is very near and dear to our hearts because we remember seeing legendary acts like Run DMC and the Def Jam Tour take place there during the early years of hip-hop's explosion. This will be our first performance at the Greek. We can't wait to entertain our hometown. Plus the system bumps tough there!
Q What are your thoughts about the state of hip-hop in 2014? Is it in a good place?
A It's up and down, just like every other genre right now. All forms of music are having to adapt to this unjust music business. Piracy has stripped all musicians of what little royalties we were earning to begin with. This environment has made every musician I know step up their live performance, because this is truly how we earn our living. The creative side of hip-hop is a mixed bag for me. I think more young heads are trying to push the boundaries in the production department. I hear a lot of unique beats right now. Lyrically, I'm not impressed because I was born and raised on Rakim, Kool G. Rap, Big Daddy Kane, KRS One, Chill Rob G., etc. They're kind of a hard act to follow.
word of mouth reunion tour featuring Jurassic 5 with Dilated Peoples, Beat Junkies and MC Supernatural
When: 7 p.m. Saturday.
Where: Greek Theatre, 2700 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles.
Information: 800-745-3000, www.ticketmaster.com.
Follow Wes Woods on Twitter: @JournoWest