I gotta say, I think I've grown so much as a person this year: Here I am, writing a blog post about rapper Jeru the Damaja -- a guy who has two great albums called The Sun Rises in the East and Wrath of the Math -- and I'm gonna go the whole post without using a played-out, mildly racist Asian joke. Check out that growth!
Anyway, let's get back to business. Brooklyn rapper Jeru the Damaja will be rocking at the El Dorado Bar on Sunday. Jeru comes from what some call the Golden Era of Hip-Hop, a time in the early to mid-'90s when acts like A Tribe Called Quest and Gang Starr were birthing a new consciousness in the genre while also expanding its sonic boundaries. Jeru had the fortune of growing up with Gang Starr's DJ Premier. The legendary producer took the reigns on Jeru's first two albums (mentioned above) and, together with Jeru's hardcore rhymes, produced one certified classic (Sun Rises) and one excellent effort (Wrath).
Jeru actually came to Carlsbad sometime last year and ripped his set. I suppose it's pretty easy to rock a show when you have classic material under your belt. But for us in the audience, either way, that still means we're going to a good show. Tip for rappers: don't be afraid to crack a joke between songs every now and then. Or you know, smile. Smiling is cool sometimes.
Jeru will be supported by a slew of solid local acts. There's fiery rapper's rapper-turned-people's rapper Odessa Kane, who will almost surely be up for a San Diego Music Award nomination after dropping the superb Cuetes & Balisongs EP back in December, and Young duo Brother Nature, who will rock socially conscious rhymes over lighthearted jazz breaks. Then there's Altered States, a new group I'm excited about if only because each individual member is pretty solid on their own. If you like sounds and you're willing to have a crappy Monday morning at the office, you should check this out.
Quan Vu is the founder and editor of local music blog sdRAPS.com. He has also written about local and national hip-hop acts for San Diego CityBeat and the San Diego Reader. You can nerd out on rap trivia by becoming BFF's on Facebook or e-mailing him directly.