Jedi Mind Tricks – Violence Begets Violence

written by: November 16, 2011
jedi mind tricks violence begets violence Release Date: October 25, 2011


On every basketball court in America, you’ll find one or two dudes with the ego the size of the gym itself. Yeah, maybe they can play, but again, they’re playing in a pick-up game. In their heads, they should have made it and have a weird chip on their shoulders because, although they might have talent, they think they have a talent that belongs in the NBA. They are angry people who are incredibly difficult to find reason within.

For years, Jedi Mind Tricks have rapped about their talent and disdain for anyone who’s garnered more commercial success or anyone who thinks they don’t have the same level of talent as the big dogs. Their egotism turns into the worst kind of irrational lyricism. One minute, they’re rapping about conspiracies in the government and the next, they’re metaphorically classifying themselves as a group of rapists. Even with the exit of longtime producer Stoupe the Enemy of Mankind (charming), Violence Begets Violence doesn’t at all stray even slightly away from that formula.

Vinnie Paz and Jus Allah who make up the MCing components of Jedi Mind Tricks list groups such as Wu-Tang, Mobb Deep and Public Enemy as some of their influences. The griminess of the music itself isn’t a vast departure from the legendary groups listed—where JMT differ is the content. When trying to get a point across, they use shock value bordering on horrorcore. While this approach can be effective, when trying to touch on some of the subjects they try to broach, credibility is somewhat lost when the opening of the album is a glorification of serial killer Richard Ramirez.

They come off like adult, yet still immature, versions of Tyler, the Creator and the rest of Odd Future but with zero of the likeability and redeeming qualities—yes, for all the fowl-mouthed, psychopathic content, Tyler comes off as intelligent and sincere human being and exceptional creative at times. Songs such as “Imperial Tyranny,” an angry attack on perceived irrational leadership, and “Weapons of Unholy Wrath,” a bragadocious attempt of lyrical intoxication and rejection of authority,  fall well short of their intended targets because the execution comes nowhere near the validation they seem to have already attained in their heads.

They don’t completely lack talent. This will probably end up being played a bajillion times by die-hard Jedi Mind Tricks fans. It’s what they do. If 50 Cent has a fan base, anyone can find people they can manage to please. So, staying on the path they’ve made for themselves during the past 15 years isn’t going to hurt them in any way. They’re just going to be hard-pressed to get many converts on the JMT bandwagon.

Jedi Mind Tricks – Violence Begets Violence

  1. “Intro”
  2. “Burning the Mirror”
  3. “When Crowds Descend Upon You” (featuring Demoz)
  4. “Fuck Ya Life” (featuring Blacastan)
  5. “Imperial Tyranny” (featuring King Magnetic)
  6. “Design in Malice” (featuring Young Zee and Pacewon)
  7. “Weapon of Unholy Wrath”
  8. “Target Practice”
  9. “Carnival of Souls”
  10. “Willing a Destruction Onto Humanity”
  11. “Chalice” (featuring Chip Fu)
  12. “Bloodborn Enemy”
  13. “The Sacrilege of Fatal Arms”
  14. “Street Lights”