15 Songs, 54 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

In many ways, Quality Control is a product of its time. When it was released in June of 2000, the boom was cresting, the Y2K bug was a joke (not a threat), and the good times seemed endless. J5 were the darlings of 1990s “alternative” rap, and by the time they released this hotly anticipated full-length debut, they’d been toiling in the underground for nearly seven years. Decidedly, even defiantly, old school, Quality Control is a triumph of flow, unity, and positive vibrations--a cheerful party record that is a testament to the power of simplicity. Featuring four rappers and two DJs, it surges with a fresh, exciting, organic sound and boasts deft vocal interplay, soulful, straightforward beats, and the seamless cohesion of the two. Look no further than the Cut Chemist-produced title track, which glides across samples from ‘70s filthy funkster Blowfly and showcases J5’s trademark mix of group vocals and solo spitting. “The Influence,” produced by DJ Nu-Mark, is an anti-bling manifesto that borrows part of its melody from ‘50s jazz vocal group the Hi-Lo’s, of all people. “Jurass Finish First,” another Nu-Mark beat, cops a ‘50s snippet from West Coast jazzman Shelly Manne. Although there are a few “message” tracks, the album’s levity is its greatest asset.

EDITORS’ NOTES

In many ways, Quality Control is a product of its time. When it was released in June of 2000, the boom was cresting, the Y2K bug was a joke (not a threat), and the good times seemed endless. J5 were the darlings of 1990s “alternative” rap, and by the time they released this hotly anticipated full-length debut, they’d been toiling in the underground for nearly seven years. Decidedly, even defiantly, old school, Quality Control is a triumph of flow, unity, and positive vibrations--a cheerful party record that is a testament to the power of simplicity. Featuring four rappers and two DJs, it surges with a fresh, exciting, organic sound and boasts deft vocal interplay, soulful, straightforward beats, and the seamless cohesion of the two. Look no further than the Cut Chemist-produced title track, which glides across samples from ‘70s filthy funkster Blowfly and showcases J5’s trademark mix of group vocals and solo spitting. “The Influence,” produced by DJ Nu-Mark, is an anti-bling manifesto that borrows part of its melody from ‘50s jazz vocal group the Hi-Lo’s, of all people. “Jurass Finish First,” another Nu-Mark beat, cops a ‘50s snippet from West Coast jazzman Shelly Manne. Although there are a few “message” tracks, the album’s levity is its greatest asset.

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