11. The Sun Rises In The East, Jeru The Damaja
Premier might have found his sound on Daily Operation, but he didn’t perfect it until Hard To Earn, Living Proof and The Sun Rises In The East dropped. Primo boiled his beats down to the raw materials – drums, samples and scratches – for the purest product. The result is a drug so potent that it stuns you and lingers for days after intake.
Primo has a tendency to fuck with traditional NY-cap wearing rappers and Jeru fits that role. The ebb and flow of his delivery can encircle and snag a snare at any point, making the interaction between words and music an essential third element to the album. It was a departure from Guru’s monotone wisdom – Jeru was poetic where Guru was direct – and thus made NY rap fans jubilant. Most importantly, the album was a powerful addition to the resurrecting army of East Coast rappers that included Gravediggaz, Biggie, Wu-Tang and Nas.