Monday, June 20, 2011
Jedi Mind Tricks (JMT, Vinnie Paz)
Jedi Mind Tricks (JMT) is a hip hop Trio with "Vinnie Paz" and "Stoupe the Enemy of Mankind" from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and "Jus Allah" from Camden, New Jersey. The group was founded by two high school friends, rapper Vinnie Paz (Vincenzo Luvineri) and producer/DJ Stoupe the Enemy of Mankind (Kevin Baldwin). In1999 the New Jersey rapper Jus Allah (James Bostick) joined the group to record the second studio album by JMT, Violent by Design but left shortly after for reasons that remain unexplained. The track "The Rebuilding" (2006) marked his unofficial return to JMT since the split, but made a full fledged return aside Vinnie Paz for the sixth studio album, A History of Violence (2008).
DJ Kwestion is also a part of the group, mainly scratching choruses on the turntable. Kwestion (or Kwes) is also a part of the group Skratch Makaniks. Kwestion was a replacement for JMT's previous tour DJ, Drew Dollars, who is no longer affiliated with the group.
JMT has collaborations with both regional MCs and rap veterans, including GZA, Kool G Rap, 7L & Esoteric, Sean Price, Ras Kass, Canibus, Percee P, Killah Priest,Immortal Technique, Virtuoso, Louis Logic, R.A. the Rugged Man, Tragedy Khadafi, and Ill Bill. The group has sold over 250,000 albums in the United States and 400,000 albums worldwide, all of which were released independently.
Prior to the release of their first LP, Vinnie Paz had conceived the idea of forming a rotating, collaborative super-group of underground East Coast artists called the Army of the Pharaohs (AotP). 1998 saw the first result of these efforts in The Five Perfect Exertions EP. The release featured Virtuoso, 7L & Esoteric, Chief Kamachi and Bahamadia as well as Vinnie Paz himself. The EP was later remixed for JMT's next LP,Violent by Design (2000), albeit without Chief Kamachi's verse.
The LP was originally titled "Nyugha Reincarnation of the Hologramic Christ". Vinnie Paz became noticeably more aggressive, abandoning his cosmic, paranoid rhyme style from The Psycho-Social CD for more violent lyrics. The LP also introduced Jus Allah, a founding member of JMT who had left for college but dropped out a short while after. A self-proclaimed five-percenter, Jus was present on every non-AotP track on Violent by Design as JMT's unofficial third member. Most of the lyrics in Violent By Design show Jus and Paz describing exaggerated ways of killing people as well as their metaphorical superhuman powers. Typically, they do this by combining themes of hardcore/gangsta rap with mythological or fantasy imagery.
The list of guest artists on this album was also their longest, including Mr. Lif, Planetary of OuterSpace, Louis Logic, Diamondback, Philip King Rappah,Coffee Gangsta Child L-Fudge, B.A. Barakus, J-Treds, Killa Sha, C-Baz and Tragedy Khadafi, plus a couple of odd phone-call interludes by Mr. Len.
During the course of Violent by Design's 1999-2000 recording period, Paz changed his alias to Vinnie Paz, inspired by the boxer of the same name. The reason for this has been reported to be the result of a short-lived rivalry instigated by fellow Philly underground rapper iCON the Mic King. Vinnie Paz decided to settle on his new moniker in order to prevent any further confusion. It was also around this time that he formally declared himself to be a follower of Islam, alluding to this fact several times on record.
Army of the Pharaohs · Lost Children of Babylon · Outerspace
Jedi Mind Tricks Presents:
Outerspace · The Torture Papers · Ritual of Battle · The Unholy Terror · Sour Diesel · The Labor Union · God's Fury
The Psycho-Social CD · Violent by Design · Visions of Gandhi · Legacy of Blood · A History of Violence · Servants in Heaven, Kings in Hell