Old school hip hop back in town with Jurassic 5

More than 20 years on from their inception, Jurassic 5 still look to be enjoying themselves as much ever as they took to the Rockhal stage on Monday night.

Having reformed in 2013 after a 6-year hiatus Jurassic 5 are back thrilling crowds just as they did in their heyday of the late 90’s. J5 were never a big selling hip hop act but they were much loved and brought back an old school hip hop vibe when the genre was becoming self indulgent and all about the bling.

As they opened with “I Am Somebody” each member bounded onto the stage and their infectious energy was palpable. This led to the audience waving their hands in the air (like they just didn’t care) and swaying side to side. It’s that party atmosphere that set J5 apart and it’s clear they haven’t lost any of that fun or charisma over the years.

With all 6 founding members back, this meant DJ Cut Chemist and Nu-Mark were on stage to drop the beats and take the spotlight as they escaped the confines of the decks with an ingenuous playful moment, which saw them walk around the stage with a wearable drum machine as well as a homemade turntable/guitar hybrid, as they had a scratch battle between themselves.


If that wasn’t enough there was even a kazoo solo in their classic hit “Concrete Schoolyard” taking us back to 1998 in the process. The infectious energy of Akil, Zaakir and Marc 7 anchored by the distinctive deep voice of Chali 2na, sustained excitement for the whole show as they bounced off one another literally and lyrically with big beaming smiles throughout, whilst on “Future Sound” the four MCs swapped and overlapped verses with consummate ease.

Unfortunately, on “Remember His Name” they couldn’t quite remember the lyrics but that didn’t matter as they laughed it off and asked the crowd to shout out more suggestions for songs as they delved into some old favourites like “In The Flesh”, which once again got the hands in the air bouncing along.

Old school hip hop comes into its own in the live setting and it was hard to not get caught up in all the excitement flowing from the stage, even if the venue was exceptional warm but hey what better soundtrack to a summers night than good time hip hop.

Having recently released their first new track in over a decade with “Customer Service”, there looks to be more in this reunion than just a fleeting bunch of shows. And with the dark days we’re all going through now, some upbeat old school hip hop is needed more now than ever, so welcome back Jurassic 5.

Rockhal – 18.07.16


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