Jedi Mind Tricks - Violence Begets Violence

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"Violence Begets Violence" may not draw too many new fans in, but it will serve to satisfy longtime supporters.

This is new territory for the Jedi Mind Tricks. With Violence Begets Violence, the veteran collective is releasing its first album without production from Stoupe the Enemy of Mankind, a move that has left some supporters understandably skeptical. Longtime collaborator Jus Allah has also rejoined the group after years of being absent. Amid all of these changes, the group has promised that fans need not worry, noting that this effort will keep the essence of JMT alive. Still, the questions surrounding this disc are legitimate and the final results are mixed.

Lyrically, the Jedi Mind Tricks offer little variety. It’s not that they aren’t technically sound. They are often skillful, delivering multisyllabic rhyme schemes on every cut as usual. However, they offer little variety in subject matter, diluting some songs and showing a lack of balance. From the opening lines of “Burning the Mirror,” the album is filled with shock rhymes of violence, homophobia and hate. “I write ignorance on loose leaf,” Paz explains on the opener. For some, this will be a welcome return to form. However, for others, this may be too forgettable, particularly with some of the lines that miss their mark (“I meet a bitch, I don’t sweat her [sweater]. This ain’t a Christmas party”). The rage filled rants can become monotonous as the album wears on but some longtime fans will be satisfied with the angst-fueled vocals. Even those longtime supporters will note that where JMT has succeeded in the past with concepts and depth (see “Uncommon Valor” or “Razorblade Salvation”), this album is missing some of those elements, often sounding more like a series of irate freestyles compiled over several disjointed instrumentals.

It’s with these instrumentals that the album loses more focus. Despite their statements to the contrary, Stoupe’s departure seemingly left a void that was difficult to fill. That is not to discredit the work of the producers brought forth to work the boards. For instance, “Fuck Ya Life” proves effective with Prodigy’s vocal sample bringing the track home. The haunting sound of “When Crows Descend Upon You” is also an appropriate canvas for Paz and Jus. However, one listen to the Reggae inspired “Chalice” proves that the musical direction of the album was sometimes misguided. Other songs, like “Carnival of Souls” seem to come out of left field, highlighting the fact that the disc lacks cohesion.

Violence Begets Violence
may not draw too many new fans in, but it will serve to satisfy longtime supporters. After more than a decade in the game carving out their own lane, The Mind Tricks have a following that will appreciate much of the horrorcore sound and the hate-filled rhetoric, though that will certainly not suit all. On the other hand, a slew of those same longtime supporters will be disillusioned by the loss of Stoupe and the lack of conceptual strength in the lyrics from Paz and Jus. This album proves that while the group may be walking on new territory, at least part of the JMT essence is still present.

85 Comments

  • Me

    They shoulda part ways as soon as Stoupe left. JMT can be JMT without Jus, but definetely not without Stoupe, and this repetitive album proves it. They try too hard to show they still hard. The production is absolutely monotonous and non-melodic, which is great at some point, not the whole album long. No deeper themes than your average violent ones and constant slow beats put their final touch on ruining this album. Lyrically, at rhyme level, they are not totally flawed, but its not like their best either. SIHKIH and even A History of Violence are nowhere near this shitty product, let alone Violent by Design. I can only hope Stoupe will return some day just like Jus did, meanwhile I wouldn't recommend this piece of shit even if it was free.

  • snowninja1

    one of the best albums of all time if only for the jus allah lyrics. some beats were massive too.

  • joe

    fuck kendrick....boxcuttah pazzie

  • hayden

    This album is the best yet.. better beats better lyrics.

  • AJ

    This is my favorite album by them. I loved all of Jus's verses and I like that every song is alike, the aggression was awesome sick album.

  • Doublespeak

    Having listened to this for a few months now I think that Stoupe's departure has been a bigger story than how good this album actually is. It's JMT; you should know what to expect content-wise. This was easily my favourite album of 2011. Listen to King Magnetic's verse on Imperial Tyranny; I think is encapsulates precisely what superior hip-hop is; fact is a "sub-par" JMT album is far better for the art than 99% of the disposable shit out there.

  • raw

    IMO this album was a disappointment. I ain't feeling Jus anymore, and I seriously think he brings Paz down. Paz solo was a straight banger, and his new Death Messiah 2012 track is fire water, so we know he can stay up without Stoupe, but in my mind, JMT is dead. Long live Paz solo career.

  • Adam

    Its great to have some new material from JMT and its reassuring that even with Stoupe's departure the group can still churn out slick tracks. We're not talking visions of Ghandi... the lyrical cohesion just isn't there, and I can't pick out any landmark tracks like razor blade salvation or uncommon valour. If you can accept that this album won't blow your mind like some of the past work, it is still a great listen. Definitely keeps us keen for the next offering.

  • Elias

    first of all I wanna say that I don't understand why some of u fans find "history of violence" wack. It had some hard ass tracks with lots of variation. like monolith, godflesh, trail of lies, terror. that shit was just crazy. I think this album is aight. of course everybody wants stoupe but these producers did a descent job. lyrically I think they are just on point as always. I wanna say though that I agree with some of u guys that the sounds are a little to similar. I like hard beats but it should have had at least one or two tracks with meaning and with slightly "softer" beats to make it balance.I have the same opinion about the "heavy metal king album. just 2-3 tracks that show that there are not just about murder but also can talk about relevant subjects. also I think Vinne Paz took the Islam fundamentalism too far on this one. In carnival of soul where he says "yall are swine eaters thats abomination to god" come on man u talk about killing people and abusing alcohol and weed and u are gonna judge us and tell us that God is gonna forgive u rather than us just cuz u dont eat pork. come on man that was just dumb. where i'm from there are lots of real muslims from the middle east and kurdistan and they wouldn't respect that. 3,5

  • youngvito79

    Definitely better without Stoupes wack ass overrated beats!!! one of their best albums..

  • Vincent H,

    I don't see why so many of you are getting mad at us longtime JMT fans who aren't feeling this album as much as you. I thought that "A History of Violence" was a major down-point in their music. It was the first JMT album where there were several skip-worthy, just plain boring songs. Vinnie's flow never changes up on that album and Jus Allah sounds like the cookie monster. Still don't understand how his voice changed SO MUCH over the course of the years, but whatever. and the same problems plague this album for me too. Long time JMT fans know that Vinnie is only as good as the beat he's rapping on. I honestly just don't love the production on this album, therefore it bores me because Vinnie just doesn't carry whole songs the way he used to. I know a lot of people here like the beats but I'd still rather hear Stoupe's weakest efforts over these because the man is a production genius.

  • bullshit

    lmfao at the clip there.. where's schwarzenegger when u need him..

  • Anonymous

    this is definetly their worst album to date

  • Anonymous

    good thing stoup is gone they suck now without stoupe

  • Christian

    I love JMT but this album wasn't as great as the previous ones, it had a AOTP type of sound although some songs resemble the old JMT like Design In Malice and Willing A Destruction Onto Humanity. They could have done way better if they put more time into it, these guys have way more potential than what they showed here. But everyone learns from their mistakes, maybe their next album will be from the JMT we've come to know and love...

  • Anonymous

    this aint a JMT album, its only angry fat ass vinne and jus allah, they aint muslim, vinnie would not survive one day of ramadan

    • DivineCypher

      HAHAHA, shit made me laugh. Yeah it is a bit funny though, I mean Vinnie had so many Islamic references in this album, yet you can catch him drinking alcohol on the daily. Isn't Jus Allah a member of the Nation of Islam? I do not know if you even want to consider that being Muslim.

  • Sherm

    JMT is gonna be JMT on they albums, the criticism for them not being diverse is illogical..My only knock on this is Stoupe is definitely missed. Other than that it knocks

  • Anonymous2

    To all the haters crying about how all the songs on this album sound alike, here's a newsflash, it's called being consistent. Raw boom bap sound. You geeks have grown so used to hearing albums with 6-8 different producers all having different styles. Most of those albums only turn out to have 2 or 3 good songs on it. If you feel this album is redundant, then this isn't your style of music. JMT is consistent with their sound. I love boom bap and I'm glad this album "sounds the same" because it's the kind of sound I love. That's what it means to make music for the fans.

  • ProblemChild

    im not gonna front on this the album was dope as fuck, not the same jedi mind from back in the day but still raw as fuck & yey i liked allahs old style better but dudes a beast & vinnie got some dope shit..id like to see a new album showin mor lyricism but if not..shit i still fucks wit em

  • Annoyed

    I'd rather watch C-Lance's incessantly annoying Facebook postings about how he "loves Anna Tripplet" than listen to this album again. Disaster.

  • SutterKane

    All JMT do now is rant and rave about Islamic Extremism and how much they hate everything else I use to tolerate it before because in between all that hate speech and Religous fanatic rants their were cool concept songs like "Shadow Buisness", "Uncommon Valor" and "Razorblade Salvation" to balance it out, not to mention a great in house producer you couldnt hear anywhere else Now, all the concepts are gone and its just 2nd Rate Shock Raps over lesser production "ALLAH AKBAR FUCK CHRISTIANITY BASH FAGGOTS BASH FAGGOTS BASHO FAGGOTS BBBBBRRRRRAAAAAPPPPPP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" ^^^^^^ Thats 80% of the album right there SMH.......As these guys get older they've just gotten corny to me, maybe I've gotten to old for this kind of shit, but whatever

    • bob

      this nigga read my mind

    • vee

      as i sed album of the yr gr8 rhymes of violence, homophobia and hate 5stars

    • Chris

      Couldnt agree more man. Its like you read my mind. Always liked em but its starting to get tiring and more prevalent (the extremism ranting ect) and now with stoupe gone idk what to think, still like army of the pharaohs tho, ..for now LOL!

    • mayday

      question. what SHOULD they rap about? it's always these non rapping geeks with ALL the answers. STFU. you were a big fan, now you're changing, and you don't like it, so let's reiterate the same blanket criticism again and again for everyone else to see. and is it really just a whole LP of praising allah and fag bashing, or is that just your interpretation? rap fans crying about fag bashing, hilarious. very soft audience with a hand on the mouse.

  • moe6

    whole lotta non hip hop non rapping no graff skills non breakdancing music experts on dx. zero credibility. if stoupe's name were on these beats the same ppl crying would be saying how much they love the beats. hard raps hard beats, head nod fuck you up shit. music has no edge right now and cats pick apart indy rap thats been coming with it forever while they hype unproven blog rappers with no catalog and no classics. shit is a trip. only in rap is a fall off celebrated/expected. if you can't top your best work, you fell off according to a lot these idiots. no respect. VBD. game changer. VBV is that same formula updated. 2011 hard raps hard beats best they can do. respect that. impressive album. reminds me of many albums that suffered key group absences that turned out really dope. metallica first album without cliff. sabbath with dio. first g rap album minus polo. beastie boys without rubin. nwa without cube. nice work.

  • Anonymous

    "Another sacrificial lamb, that died at the hands of Hologram/ Sent him into the dungeon and bludgeon his fuckin' clan!//" That's the JMT I miss!!

  • Anonymous

    Knoc-turn'al is the G.O.A.T. Bar none.

  • Brian

    this is coming from a true JMT fan...anybody that thinks this is lyrical is a retard and anybody who thinks these beats are banging never heard a good beat in their life. every fuckin' song sounds the same...same flows, same lyrics and beats that are reduntant and boring as hell. if you think differently than fuck you...Str8 Up. 2 out of 5 and i'm being generous.

    • motherfucker

      i don't think anyone who uses numbers in their words deserves a chance to critique anything, "Str8 Up", faglord.

  • stenkata

    One of the best album this year.

  • Ramiro

    Wasnt feeling this at all, especially when the reef shit came out on the same day.

  • Ryan MacQueston

    their should be a review for Reef's new album, it could have been the best of the year

  • d-troyt

    album of the yr gr8 rhymes of violence, homophobia and hate 5stars

  • tone

    erratum on the review FUCK YA LIFE IS PRODUCED BY JUNIOR MAKHNO, NOT CLANCE

  • Mahdin Khan

    This is too raw for HHDX. I didn't think the album was that bad to be honest. But yeah, as people said in the comments, if you listen to any Vinnie or JMT album, you're gonna hear some raw lyrics. And C-lance's beats are dope as fuck. So what if he uses Mobb Deep's sample as the chorus?

  • bios

    Stoupe's beats for History Of Violence were mostly weak though, so it doesn't really make a difference that he isn't involved anymore. The guy is done with hip-hop. This record is average, no more, no less.

  • Jedi Mind, Baby!!!

    And yeas, I appreciate rhyme schemes, but they can't mask the painfully corny lines that Jus's been spitting lately.

  • Jedi Mind, Baby!!!

    Seriuosly, I've been a longtime JMT fan, but it's been getting harder and harder to care they put a new album out and it's becoming impossible to listen to ignorant bullshit that a good number of their fans spout all over the internet. The truth is that they've become boring. And lazy. Is it really that they make music "for the fans", or just that they're unwilling/unable to step out of their comfort zone and change things up? And anyway, does making music "for the fans" mean expecting them to buy the same recycled shit over and over? Also, Jus Allah's return just hasn't been what it was cracked up to be - he's sounded like a bumbling idiot over these past two records.

    • psycho

      yo dummy if u fan u shud kno that vinnie sed in an interveiw that he making music 4him self not "for the fans" so get the fuck outta here

  • Anonymous2

    First of all whoever wrote this review needs to do their homework. This album was not the return of Jus Allah. He was involved in the JMT album prior to this one. This album is packed with bangers. Real boom-bap shit. It goes hard. The production is damn good in my opinion. Stoupe is one of my fav producers but he has taken a different path now. He doesn't make beats like he used to. I personally feel this album is better off without him simply because he is not the same producer he once was. Cop this shit if you truly are a JMT fan.

    • beelebud

      fuck you talkin about Stoupe is iller than ever, Jus Allah himself said they didnt use Soupe's beats he gave them coz they where to much "Razorblade Salvation" style Razorblade Salvation is a classic JMT track their fuckin fools turnin beats down reminiscent of that song

    • red rum

      i agree JMT 4 ever not sure y guys on here are not happy with the album its 2011 and this album is a banger hardcore shit stupid JMT fans stil want that VBD shit that was 2000 now its 2011 so get over it this album is better then any other hip hop album out nest to brotha lynch hung's coathanga strangla.

  • R2die

    *Vinnie Paz voice* Jedi Mind babyyy

  • G MON

    Demoz is also a fucking beast, his verse on Carnival of Souls is crazy. That guy has one of the best flows.

  • G MON

    JMT makes music for thier fans, thats why i love them. Sure sometimes their sound is the same, but these guys (more Vinnie) have put out so much music. This is the 7th JMT album, 3 AOTP albums, Vinnie and Jus both have solo albums, Vinni and Ill Bill HMK album. The guy still puts out good music consistantly. I thought this album was dope, hard beats, and there are a lot of good rhymes in there. I also think Jus Allah is so underated. This guys rhyming scheme is incredible. You gotta rewind his verses and listen good to pick up all his lines.

  • Ama Hussla

    imma be honest, I started listening to JMT cuz of stoupe's production.. he was and still is an unique producer. I never really found the lyrics THAT amazing, vinnie was very dope on the psycho social CD tho, and VBD is IMO a classic, the beats were incredible, and especially jus allah KILLED every single track he was on.. after jus allah's departure I only cared for the beats and the guest appearences, which outshined paz steadily (ras kass, gza, killah priest, ...). a history of violence was so so, I don't really like jus allah's style now, he's tryin to much to sound like vinnie paz.. fail. now this album is a total letdown, which is primarly because stoupe not being involved.. the beats are very mediocre, average at best, the raps and its lyrical content is absolutely boring, this LP has no replay value at all.. it's pretty sad cuz I loved JMT, but this just ain't the same, this is a total disappointment..

  • Matt Palmer

    Both vocalists really stepped up their lyricism, but the guests didn't contribute much and the production is subpar. Far from their best, but not their worst. Not as good as Psychosocial, VBD, Servants & Kings, or AHOV, but better than Gandhi and Legacy.

  • mike

    Physco Social CD and VBD are still the only good JMT albums. Reef's album was 10x better than this, I hope DX does a review on that.

  • Anonymous

    Lol people are mad that this didnt get 5 stars... LYRICS ARE NOT THE ONLY THING THAT MAKES AN ALBUM GOOD... what about flow, subject matter, concepts, beats, delivery, etc... If lyrics are the only thing that matters, then theres like 50000000 classic hip hop albums..

  • Doug Nichols

    This is actually the first HHDX review I can ever remember agreeing with. Long time JMT supporter, but this just felt recycled. I don't know if I would chalk it up to Stoupe being gone, or the fact that maybe I am finally growing tired of Paz being Paz, but this is the first time in a long time I won't be buying a JMT related album.

  • Tito

    Just a question, dis Stoupe leave JMT forever or just for this album?

  • V

    you know what to expect when you listen to JMT. HARDCORE HIP HOP. If you dont like it, this wasnt made for you & you never liked them in the first place.

  • Boom Bap

    Raw Hip Hop. Hardcore shit. JMT as usual.

  • vern

    haha. let the anger begin. i think this is their weakest album to date. Better than some AOTP shit. But damn, I hoped for better after Paz's solo.

    • Doug Nichols

      I completely agree with you. I've been a loyal fan since VBD (and retroactively back to the Amber Probe EP), and this was just...all done before. I don't know if it was because Stoupe wasn't there with the amazing production or what, but I was just not that into the album.

  • Brizz

    Agree completely with review and rating, almost exactly what i was thinking. 2 bad that stoupes not showing enough interest in jmt or whatever the reason might be for his absense. Still got love for paz but this didnt feel like a genuine jmt album. pz.

  • siccmade

    4.5 out of 5 easy hiphopdx is full of faggots

  • red rum

    too raw for hiphopdx review is way off