Top 100 Artists of the Decade: #29 Jurassic 5


The Top 100 Artists of the Decade list will be posted over the course of 100 days. On September 23rd, we will post one artist and continue every day until December 31st, when we will unveil our #1 artist of the decade!

Please read our introduction to learn about our nominating and ordering process.

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#29 Jurassic 5

I can't remember exactly where I was when I first heard Jurassic 5's "Quality Control," but I do remember buying the album soon after and playing that song about 25 times in a row. And, when I finally listened to the rest of the album, I was left in awe. They definitely drew on the De La and Tribe feel, but Jurassic 5 hit me in the same way that Blackstar did. In most hip-hop music, the lyrics and vocal delivery overpower the musical backdrop. But, when I heard 2000's Quality Control, I was stunned by the balance between the jazz-groove backdrop, the intelligent lyrics, and the smooth vocal delivery. Infused with a big band, bebop, and acid jazz elements, DJ Numark and Cut Chemist concocted an album of time warping beats that transformed a '50s era style into a 21st century dance party. Their follow-up, 2003's Power in Numbers, was not as powerful as their debut full-length, but it kept the organic, jazzy style in full form, which was in direct opposition to the state of hip-hop music at the time. The early part of the '00s was filled with horrendous R&B and gangster rap, both of the Southern and East Coast flavor. But, J5 kept to the truth, following the word of Afrika Bambaataa and Q-Tip, extending the trail that they blazed. Although J5 disbanded in 2007, the mark they left on this decade is forever engrained. J5 is as significant to the '00s as Tribe was to the '90s and, just like Tribe's Midnight Marauders and The Low End Theory, J5's Quality Control and Power in Numbers will stand the test of time.

- Caleb Morairty

Check back tomorrow for the next artist! To see the full list of the Top 100 Artists of the Decade, click here.

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