New ‘M Means Music’ Episode Tackles Jurassic 5’s ‘Power In Numbers’

‘Power In Numbers’ was released in 2002.

Published on

Jurassic 5, circa 2002 - Photo: J. Shearer/WireImage
Jurassic 5, circa 2002 - Photo: J. Shearer/WireImage

Season three of M Means Music has returned with a new episode offering an in-depth look at Jurassic 5’s classic album, Power In Numbers.

Host Daryl Easlea opens with a bit of background, saying, “Jurassic 5 were part of the late 90s new rap underground, along with Company Flow and Mos Def. The six-piece were rappers Marc 7even, Chali 2na, Zaakir, and Akil, plus producers and DJs Cut Chemist and Nu-Mark. The group were founded at the Rat Race and the Good Life, the LA café and venue which had been running open mic rap nights since the turn of the 90s. The venue was a serious workshop, and cussing was outlawed – founder B Hall was to say, ‘Young people needed a place to go to develop their own art. The no-cussing policy wasn’t about us being uptight church people, it was about wanting the atmosphere of a serious arts workshop. Most of the crowd respected the rule, some said it made rapping more challenging, that it created more respect and brotherhood.’

Later on, he dives into the album and why it became so successful, saying, “There are 14 tracks on Power By Numbers, and three brief interludes – the cut ups and samples played by Cut Chemist and DJ Nu-Mark are used unostentatiously throughout. Public Enemy, David Axelrod, Minnie Riperton, Ray Manzarek and Ennio Morricone. What made the record so special as with all their work is the blend of the four rappers working together.

“‘The first and foremost thing we had to do was put aside our egos.’ Chali 2na told The Pier in 2020. ‘As rappers we want to be heard and there’s 4 MC’s, so we was like: ‘Okay, how can all 4 of us spit on this without having 4 fully fledged verses?’ But we looked to the old school, like that song ‘Monkey Bars’: We paying homage as well as returning favors. Man, we paying homage to cats like the Cold Crush, the Fantastic 5, the Furious and all of the dudes who paved the way before us, The Force MCs, and all of those cats…That’s how we came up with trying to emulate the old school dudes, but add our own twist to it.”

Listen to the M Means Music episode on Jurassic 5’s Power In Numbers.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

uDiscover Music - Back To Top
uDiscover Music - Back To Top