For the most part, it seems as though you either love or hate Jedi Mind Tricks. The Phili duo of beatmaker Stoupe and emcee Vinnie Paz generally inspire a strong reaction either way. Stoupe is pretty much jocked all around for his production, and rightly so, it has been without a doubt the strong point of every album. Vinnie Paz is another story though. Some love his ferocious delivery and raw energy, and some hate his lack of diversity and his talkin-loud-but-ain’t-sayin-shit lyrics.
For my part, I take all sides. Stoupe‘s beats are why I listen to JMT, that was the case from day one and it remains even more so today. As for Paz, I love his energy and forceful presence behind the mic, small doses are preferred though (ie. guest appearances). My complaints are his constant butchering of Stoupe‘s more melodic offerings. I realize what his style is, but that doesn’t mean he can’t make the adjust to finesse a song like Blood In, Blood Out from their last album. I must say, his talking out of his ass gets tiresome as well. With heavy titles like The Age of Sacred Terror, Scars of the Crucifix and The Philosophy of Horror you come to expect some deep content. Paz tries, but many times it is just senseless statements like “the biology of magic is a gorgeous song” or “never even felt the supreme love from a warm gat.”
Even more troubling considering the religious overtones of the titles is his empty and inaccurate religious rhetoric. For example from Scars of the Crucifix he says “they wanna tell you that Islam is dangerous/when everybody knows the Christians are to blame for this/cause it’s the truth deal with it/but you complain every time I’m real with it/I’m about to kill critics and them take’em to war/and teach’em how to put their love and their faith in Allah/…/cause that’s the only way the fucking pagans will learn.” So after complaining that Christians have made Muslim’s look dangerous, he (a follower of Islam), threatens to take people to war. Contradiction number one. Then he threatens to force his beliefs on them through violence, which is of course Christianity’s most notorious crime in the last 2000 years. Contradiction number two. Then of course is his referring to them as “pagans.” This is in spite of the fact that pagans were those who worshipped the natural world, most notably the sun. The modern context of the term pagan is misused 99% of the time. I’m not religious so I don’t care either way, all I’m saying is that people take that shit seriously, so if you don’t know what you are talking about then it is best not to say anything. I should point out that Stoupe just laces the beat in that song.
Complaints aside, this album has plenty has plenty to like. Despite my criticisms Vinnie has gotten better, as evidenced by his acutely executed suicide note Before The Great Collapse. Stoupe‘s incredible beat doesn’t hurt either. Other tracks like the frantic On The Eve of War, And So It Burns and Me Ne Sballo were just made for Paz‘s furious flow. Me Ne Sballo is particularly impressive as he really switches up his flow nicely. The same goes for Saviorself as he tones his act down for the sake of the beat. Regardless, like every JMT album to date, it is Stoupe‘s incredible soundscapes that make this album worth your time and money. From the songs to the interludes, the Enemy of Mankind really outdoes himself here. Legacy of Blood is definitely a step up from Visions of Ghandi and more comparable to Violent By Design.