Jedi Mind Tricks

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:: Jedi Mind Tricks ::
:: Bluebird Theater :: January 20 ::
:: Fox Theatre :: January 21 ::

 

By Neil McIntyre

The Jedi Mind Tricks have a reputation as being sick individuals on the mic but they have a separate reputation as men.

With rough vocals over rugged beats the Philly-based crew of Jedi Mind Tricks defines East Coast hardcore hip-hop today. Their lyrics are filled with angst and disdain and are as their classic album title implies Violent by Design. Not every head can relate to the viscous delivery of emcee’s Vinnie Paz and Jus Allah but Paz’s very down-to-earth take on their music is, if nothing else, respectful. “If you can’t understand then I’m not speaking to you.,” Paz said in a recent interview with The Marquee. “If you think I’m too hardcore then remember that X-Clan used to be hardcore and nowadays that’s looked at as conscious. Nowadays these so called conscious emcees they sound soft to me.  People like M.O.P., but when people they say that they’re too hardcore they’re critiquing the biggest element of the music. It’s clearly over their heads.”

JMT gives it to listeners raw and uncut and describes the fascination that can even be found in beating a man half to death. Paz said that these songs serve a greater purpose as they blur the lines between fantasy and reality and provide an outlet for the pent up aggression of the world’s youth. Horrorcore as some would call it, provides much the same service as horror films — the rush of adrenaline and the release of stress and anxiety. And just like their cinematic counterparts, Jedi Mind Tricks isn’t necessarily endorsing violence, they’re just finding ways to purge these violent feelings and to be entertained by it.

Determined never to soften their blows for commercial appeal JMT is more set on the revolution but with their hardcore ways it’s no wonder that they think the recent Occupy protests have lost their cred. “[Occupy] had its potential. Problem is a lot of those kids don’t know why they’re there. They could have done some damage but now it seems like a bunch of hippies hangin’ out in the park,” said Paz, adding “back in the day we had leaders like Martin and Malcolm by any means necessary, now it’s a bunch of rich white kids sittin’ around cryin’ I mean if ya ready for revolution then I’m down.”

But even with more anger than your normal protest mob, emcees of Jedi Mind Tricks have a very real and affable side to them as well. Paz, who was born in Italy, is the classic Italian Mama’s boy.  “My moms, that’s my baby.  I talk to her everyday (usually after shows). She’s my world, my Earth. You ain’t hard if you don’t love your moms. Disrespecting your moms, that’s some pussy shit.”

Likewise Allah might be the self-proclaimed Meanest Man in the World but, like Paz he too has a soft side. “I do my best to show everyone love,” Allah said. “That’s how my mom taught me, but every person is complicated. I’m still that same cat now as on record but I can get on some act-the-fool-shit. I’ll still punch ya in ya face, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t want to. That’s why I make music.  Music is therapy,” he said.

That therapy, which lead the duo to do some solo projects away from each other, has also brought them back full circle. “The music comes first always. “ Allah said “With me and Paz it was just natural to come back together, we have known each other for a longtime. We were 14 and 15 years old back when we first met.”

:: Jedi Mind Tricks ::
:: Bluebird Theater :: January 20 ::
:: Fox Theatre :: January 21 ::

 

 

 

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