Static Multimedia Exclusive Jedi Mind Tricks Interview


Today is significant because today we are droppin’ an interview that marks the actualization of a personal dream of mine. I was granted the privilege as well as blessed with the opportunity to sit down and talk with Vinnie Paz and Jus Allah of the mind-blowing and thought-provoking underground rap duo known as Jedi Mind Tricks. I have been following these guys since they released Violent By Design back in 2000. So after hearing them preach over beats for countless times over the course of twelve years, to have them suspend their status as rap gods of the underground and sit down and talk to me, who is just a college student, a hip-hop reporter, and a die-hard JMT fan, was nothing less than surreal. When my supervisor sent me this assignment, I was ecstatic but also very nervous and intimidated to talk with Vinnie and Jus. These last few months working for Static Multimedia, I have evolved (at least, least in my opinion) as a writer and as a reporter. However, the thought of talking to artists whom I idolize really got me anxious and had me feeling like it was day-one, and I had never done this before. I felt like I was in unfamiliar waters, and I will admit I was even a little scared. What if I messed up during the interview? What if I didn’t ask them the right questions? What if I asked them the wrong questions? What if I annoyed them? What if I am not as seasoned as some of the other reporters whom they are used to talking with? What if they weren’t as kind as I would have hoped? These were all questions that raced through my mind constantly in the days leading up to the interview.

However, I am extremely happy to divulge that these were two of the nicest and most down to earth guys whom I have ever talked to. I realize I have said that in the past, but the level of accommodation, enthusiasm, and warmth that both Jus and Vinnie showed me transcends that of any other artist that I have interviewed before. I mean these guys are really the kind of dudes that you would genuinely want to hang out with and speaking with them was surprisingly comfortable and came very natural and with great ease. That’s just how welcoming they were and I got this inexplicable sense that there was a feeling of mutual-respect that radiated throughout the entire duration of our conversation. After I had concluded the interview and hung up the phone, I was absolutely blown away by how great that it had actually gone, and that was the point when my mind was flooded with all the lyrics and mental images that Jedi Mind Tricks has ever produced. Those same monumental rappers whom I subscribe to had taken time out of their busy schedules to talk to me, and that is when I was hit with the sudden revelation that Jedi Mind Tricks are really, two of the most real emcees in the rap game today.

Now, before I get all into discussing the new JMT album which hits stores October 25th, 2011, I have to share something that I thought was pretty comical about the whole interview experience. When I had originally received the assignment details, I was given Jus’ number as well as Vinnie’s, the duo was not located in the same place during the time of the interview. So, my original plan was to call both numbers and set up a conference call in which we could all speak and hear one another despite being in different regions. First, I called up Jus Allah and told him what my plan was and asked him if he was cool with that, and after he agreed I tried to get Vinnie Paz on the phone while Jus was still on the line. I called Vinnie and it rang once and then I realized that Jus was no longer on the phone so I hung up before Paz answered. The conference call plan wasn’t working so I just decided to interview the artists separately and I figured because Paz hadn’t answered his phone and seeing how it was a number that he wouldn’t have recognized that he probably wouldn’t have given it any thought. So I called Jus back and started my individual interview with him, and it’s going pretty good, we’re about two minutes in, when all of a sudden I get a text message from an unknown number and when opened, I see that it says, “Ayo, this is Vinnie. Did you just call me?” Well, I almost lost my shit right then and there. I was thinking to myself, “Holy shit, Vinnie Paz just texted me!” I just thought that it was awesome and so hilarious that I, of all people, had received a text message from rap-phenom Vinnie Paz. I was geekin’.

Enough of all my adoration and hip-hop head braggadocio, let’s talk about Violence Begets Violence. For more than fifteen years, the name Jedi Mind Tricks has become synonymous with raw, gritty underground hip-hop. From their debut album, The Psycho-Social, in 1996 to their seminal sophomore release, Violent By Design, to their musical expansion heard on Servants In Heaven, Kings In Hell, JMT has made an indelible impression on the independent music scene (with over 400K units sold) while arguably forging its own sub genre of rap. Led by the fiery vocals of controversial front man, Vinnie Paz (who also released a critically acclaimed solo-LP, Season Of The Assassin in 2010, which featured the underground smash “Street Wars” featuring Clipse and Block McCloud and also guest appearances from Paul Wall, Freeway and Beanie Sigel), and his venerable rhyme partner, Jus Allah, the group has built one of the most critically-acclaimed and commercially-successful careers in independent music.

Though JMT rarely appears on Billboard charts, their success is most accurately measured in the passion and respect of their growing legions of hardcore fans who have packed JMT shows around the world from Boston to Bogota to Bucharest. JMT’s music is defiant, and their longevity is a testament to their blue-collar work ethic; born from the bloodlines of their hometown, Philadelphia, PA.

On October 25th, 2011, JMT is set to drop their seventh studio album, Violence Begets Violence, through Vinnie Paz’s own label, Enemy Soil. Though JMT fans can expect more of the uncompromising, unrelenting brand of hardcore rap music that has become the group’s signature sound, Violence Begets Violence, marks a change as longtime JMT producer, Stoupe, hands over production duties to a new wave of talented producers honed in on the JMT sound; but set on creating a fresh take on a classic formula.

For even more info on the new Violence Begets Violence album check out the interview below and leave your comments letting us know what you think. I was privileged enough to hear and advanced copy of the album and all I can say is “wow”. I mean, that’s all I can really say. If you’re a Jedi Mind Tricks fan then you already know what to expect, it’s just that same kind of classic insane hardcore rap that makes JMT who they are. It very well may be their best installment yet, and dealing with the departure of Stoupe may have been an obstacle to overcome but JMT did so seemingly effortlessly and (as bad as it may sound) the absence of Stoupe is almost unnoticeable. Violence Begets Violence is an album that I have already listened to multiple times through, and I am still extremely excited to go out and purchase my copy October 25th, 2011. I ensure you that pickin’ this one up is a wise investment because this album has staying-power and is most certainly one that you’ll be able to listen to over and over again, taking away something new and different with each spin.

Jedi Mind Tricks’ Violence Begets Violence will be available on CD, vinyl, and via digital download on October 25th, 2011.

Pre-Order It Now From

“My shit is hard-body lord, I’m a fucking legend / I don’t get my hands dirty that’s for fucking henchman / I’m the equivalent of Russian Roulette, fuck contention / And when you hear the ram’s horn it’s the fucking ending” – Vinnie Paz on Ill Bill’s “Brick Wall”


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Violence Begets Violence Tracklist:
1. Intro
2. Burning The Mirror
3. When Crows Descend Upon You feat. Demoz
4. Fuck Ya Life feat. Blacastan
5. Imperial Tyranny feat. King Magnetic
6. Design In Malice feat. Young Zee & Pacewon
7. Weapon Of Unholy Wrath
8. Target Practice
9. Carnival Of Souls feat. Demoz
10. Willing A Destruction Onto Humanity
11. Chalice feat. Chip Fu
12. BloodBorn Enemy
13. The Sacrilege Of Fatal Arms
14. Street Lights