Done by the Forces of Nature

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Done By the Forces of Nature
Studio album by Jungle Brothers
Released November 8, 1989
Genre Hip hop
Length 60:07
Label Warner Bros.
Producer Jungle Brothers, Kool DJ Red Alert (exec.)
Jungle Brothers chronology
Straight Out the Jungle
(1988)
Done by the Forces of Nature
(1989)
J Beez wit the Remedy
(1993)

Done by the Forces of Nature is the second studio album by American hip hop group Jungle Brothers, released November 9, 1989, on Warner Bros. Records.[1] Recording sessions for the album took place in 1989 at Calliope Studios in New York City, and production was handled by the Jungle Brothers.[2] It was mixed at Apollo Studios by Kool DJ Red Alert and the Jungle Brothers.[2] The album's title may refer to a line from the Bhagavad Gita, a Hindu scripture, wherein Krishna says, "Those who are deluded by the illusive power (Maya) of Nature become attached to the work done by the forces of nature," 3:28.[citation needed]

Done by the Forces of Nature peaked at number 46 on Billboard '​s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. It also received rave reviews from music critics who praised its Afrocentric themes, clever lyrics, house-influenced production, and eclectic sampling of music genres such as jazz, R&B, funk, and African music. Done by the Forces of Nature has been considered a golden age hip hop classic, as well as one of the greatest and influential hip hop albums of all time. In 1998, The Source magazine selected the album as one of its 100 Best Rap Albums.

Recording[edit]

Recording sessions for the album took place in 1989 at Calliope Studios in New York City, and production was handled by the Jungle Brothers.[2] It was mixed at Apollo Studios by Kool DJ Red Alert and the Jungle Brothers.[2]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Chicago Tribune 4/4 stars[3]
Robert Christgau A[4]
Los Angeles Times 4/4 stars[5]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[6]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 4/5 stars[7]

Done by the Forces of Nature was well received by music critics. In his review for Spin magazine, Greg Tate hailed the production as "the first hip house combination that puts a nastier spin on both groove formats" and called the album "a nonstop groove-a-think where sexist spectacle commingles with love paeans to the sistuhs, where safaris into Afro-centricity are made to house you."[8] Robert Tanzilo of the Chicago Tribune called it "one of the brightest records of the year".[3] Duff Marlowe of the Los Angeles Times praised the album's diverse sound and lyrical themes, including social consciousness and individual self-realization.[5] He wrote that the Jungle Brothers "present a vision of urbanized naturalism, a subversive and funky anti-intellectualism".[5] Steve Morse of The Boston Globe called the album "some seriously intense music that makes the commercial raps of Tone-Loc and DJ Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince sound like a child's play".[9] Peter Watrous of The New York Times observed lyrical allusions to hip hop and African-American culture that are "enriching an always solid dance beat".[10]

Rolling Stone writer Michael Azerrad praised the album's lyrical substance and said that "the Jungle Brothers' positive, spiritual vibe (a direct descendant of Earth, Wind and Fire's) is as hip as their music".[6] Yahoo! Music's Brett Anderson described it as the Jungle Brothers' "stab at edutainment".[11] Steve Huey of Allmusic praised the album's eclectic sound and sampling of music genres such as jazz, R&B, and African music.[1] In comparing the album to the Jungle Brothers' landmark debut album, Straight Out the Jungle (1988), Huey wrote that Done by the Forces of Nature "feels more realized in many respects, and is arguably the more satisfying listen".[1] French newspaper Le Monde called the album "brilliant".[12] Robert Christgau of The Village Voice found its sound "as original as De La Soul's, and the dreams of pleasure are straight out the urban jungle":

Somehow these young Afro-New Yorkers have evolved a rap version of urban African pop at its most life-affirming: the boasts low-key, the propaganda beyond hostility, the samples evoking everything tolerant and humane in recent black-music memory, this is music designed to comfort and sustain.[4]

Legacy and influence[edit]

The album has been considered a classic of hip hop's golden age and one of the most influential albums in hip hop.[13][14] It has also been described by critics as an "underrated classic".[13][15] Michael Azerrad, writing in Trouser Press, said that it was "largely overlooked," but is "one of rap's finest hours" with a "highly musical hip-hop" that "radiates upbeat spirituality".[16] The Chicago Tribune '​s Rick Reger called it a "masterpiece ... one of hip-hop's most imaginative, engaging records".[17] In retrospect, Rolling Stone '​s Nathan Brackett wrote "At their prime in the late '80s, the Jungle Brothers reflected all of hip-hop's potential – their second album, 1989's spiritual, street-wise Done by the Forces of Nature, was as conscious as it was funky and stands out as one of the most overlooked rap albums of that decade."[18] The Rolling Stone Album Guide comments that the "Jungle Brothers were ahead of their time" with the album and cites the track "Doin' Our Own Dang" as "the definitive Native Tongues posse cut".[7] Rolling Stone placed it thirty-seventh on its list of the 50 Coolest Records of All Time.[19] In 1998, Done by the Forces of Nature was selected as one of The Source '​s 100 Best Rap Albums.[20]

Track listing[edit]

All songs composed by the Jungle Brothers, except "Doin' Our Own Dang", which was composed by De La Soul, the Jungle Brothers, Q-Tip, and Monie Love.

  1. "Beyond This World" – 4:08
  2. "Feelin' Alright" – 3:35
  3. "Sunshine" – 3:44
  4. "What U Waitin' 4?" – 4:02
  5. "U Make Me Sweat" – 3:59
  6. "Acknowledge Your Own History" (with Vinia Mojica) – 3:38
  7. "Belly Dancin' Dina" – 3:41
  8. "Good Newz Comin'" – 4:37
  9. "Done by the Forces of Nature" (with Jungle DJ Towha Towha) – 3:47
  10. "Beeds on a String" – 3:32
  11. "Tribe Vibes" – 3:53
  12. "J. Beez Comin' Through" – 3:32
  13. "Black Woman" (with Caron Wheeler) – 3:54
  14. "In Dayz 2 Come" – 3:54
  15. "Doin' Our Own Dang" (with De La Soul, Queen Latifah, Q-Tip, and Monie Love) – 4:16
  16. "Kool Accordin' "2" a Jungle Brother" – 1:55

(*)The European version has "Doin' Our Own Dang (Do It To The JB's Mix)" as track 1 and "What U Waitin' 4? (Jungle Fever Mix)" as track 5, replacing the versions of those songs on the other release.

Charts[edit]

Chart (1989) Peak
position
U.S. Top R&B Albums (Billboard)[21] 46

Personnel[edit]

  • Jungle Brothers - design, reproduction
  • DJ Red Alert - executive producer, mixing
  • A Tribe Called Quest - performer
  • De La Soul - performer
  • KRS-One - performer
  • Monie Love - performer
  • Gregg Mann - engineer
  • Greg Curry - engineer
  • Dr. Shane Faber - keyboards, engineer
  • Abdullah Rahman - artwork
  • DJ Towa - design
  • DJ Towa Towa - performer
  • Caron Wheeler - performer

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Huey, Steve. Review: Done by the Forces of Nature. Allmusic. Retrieved on 2009-07-29.
  2. ^ a b c d Track listing and credits from the liner notes for Done by the Forces of Nature
  3. ^ a b Tanzilo, Robert (December 7, 1989). "Home Entertainment. Rave Recordings". Chicago Tribune. p. 15.G. Retrieved June 24, 2013.  (subscription required)
  4. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (February 6, 1990). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice (New York). Retrieved June 24, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c Marlowe, Duff. "JUNGLE BROTHERS: "Done by the Forces of Nature": Warner Bros.". Los Angeles Times. Calendar section, p. 62. Retrieved June 24, 2013.  (subscription required)
  6. ^ a b Azerrad, Michael (February 8, 1990). "Done by the Forces of Nature". Rolling Stone (New York). Archived from the original on October 4, 2010. Retrieved November 27, 2008. 
  7. ^ a b Hoard, Christian. "Review: Done by the Forces of Nature". Rolling Stone: 444. November 2, 2004.
  8. ^ Tate, Greg. "Review: Done by the Forces of Nature". Spin: 73–74. January 1990.
  9. ^ Morse, Steve. "Review: Done by the Forces of Nature". The Boston Globe: January 25, 1990.
  10. ^ Watrous, Peter. Review: Done by the Forces of Nature. The New York Times. Retrieved on 2009-07-29.
  11. ^ Anderson, Brett. Review: Done by the Forces of Nature. Yahoo! Music. Retrieved on 2009-07-29.
  12. ^ Sotinel, Thomas. "Review: Done by the Forces of Nature". Le Monde: March 16, 1990.
  13. ^ a b Larkin, Colin. "Review: Done by the Forces of Nature". Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music: March 1, 2002.
  14. ^ Drever, Andrew. Jungle Brothers Still Untamed. The Age. Retrieved on 2009-07-29.
  15. ^ Lindsey, Craig D. Back to the Jungle. Houston Press. Retrieved on 2009-07-29.
  16. ^ Azerrad, Michael. Review: Done by the Forces of Nature. Trouser Press. Retrieved on 2009-07-29.
  17. ^ Reger, Rick. "New Magic from the Crazy Jungle Brothers". Chicago Tribune: 4. December 20, 2002.
  18. ^ Brackett, Nathan. Review: Raw Deluxe. Rolling Stone. Retrieved on 2009-07-29.
  19. ^ Brackett, Nathan. Eliscu, Jenny. Fine, Jason. Fricke, David. "The 50 Coolest Records of All Time". Rolling Stone: Issue 893. April 11, 2002.
  20. ^ Staff. "100 Best Rap Albums". The Source: Issue 100. January 1998.
  21. ^ Billboard Albums: Done by the Forces of Nature. Allmusic. Retrieved on 2009-10-07.

Bibliography[edit]

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]