Jeru The Damaja (@Jeruthedamaja) – Solar Flares


Around Thanksgiving of 1993 I remember sitting in dorm room at Prairie View A&M University and listening to an underground hip hop show out of Houston. This song comes on and its one of the illest and most identifiable songs I had ever heard.  Then the DJ comes on and is like “yeah that’s Jeru the Damaja, from the Gangstarr Foundation.” That made all the sense in the world cause DJ Premier was and is one of the illest beatsmiths ever in hip hop (a native Texan no doubt). The way he started the song off was just so ill:

You wanna front, what, jump up and get bucked
If you’re feeling lucky duck then press your luck
I snatch fake gangster MCs and make ’em faggot flambé
Your nine spray, my mind spray
Malignant mist that’ll leave comp defunkt
The result’s your remains stuffed in a car trunk
You couldn’t come to the jungles of the East popping that yang
You won’t survive get live catching wreck is our thing
I don’t gang bang or shoot out bang bang
The relentless lyrics the only dope I slang
I’m a true master you can check my credentials
Cause I choose to use my infinite potential
Got a freaky, freaky, freaky freaky flow
Control the mic like Fidel Castro locked Cuba
So deep that you can’t scuba dive
My jive’s origin is unknown like the Jubas
I’ve accumulated honeys all across the map
Cause I’d rather bust a nut than bust a cap
In your back in fact my rap snaps your sacroilliac
I’m the mack so I don’t need to tote a Mac

I’ve been to Brooklyn once in 2001 and it was a brief visit, I’m talking 20 – 30 minutes and we were visiting someone. See it’s simple if you don’t know someone in Brooklyn you don’t casually visit the planet of Brooklyn lol. I can only imagine that these lyrics play like the transcript to a meeting with any roughneck from any part of Brooklyn circa 1993, shit was extra visual. Then came the video and we were all hooked on the soundscape of it. The song sounds like Primo went into the basement of an abandoned building and started sampling sounds then he went and spent a day mixing them into one of the illest songs ever in hip hop. That wasn’t the last time I heard some extremely dope material from Jeru but it was a hell of an introduction.


Fast forward to 2015 and The Damaja is back dropping heavy shit that will take the “heads” right back to the 90’s, but don’t twist it this is not a throwback. The results are on par with what we expect from the original Dirty Rotten Scoundrel. While many golden era artists make big claims about bringing “hip hop” back, Jeru seems to be one who is really doing that with his jaunt “Solar Flares” which sports a spacey beat by Large Professor. The beat is laced with Jeru’s mathematical flair and scientific side-notes. The song is off of his upcoming EP “The Hammer”, which also features contributions by PF Cuttin and the Beatnuts (you can wipe the slobber now). Check it out!


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