Jeru the Damaja
|Jeru the Damaja|
In Atlanta, Georgia, in March 2008.
|Birth name||Kendrick Jeru Davis|
|Born||February 14, 1972|
|Origin||East New York, Brooklyn New York City, New York, U.S.|
Know Savage Records
|Associated acts||Gang Starr, Gang Starr Foundation, Afu-Ra, Group Home|
Kendrick Jeru Davis, known as Jeru the Damaja (born February 14, 1972) is an American rapper and recording artist who has worked extensively with Guru and DJ Premier of Gang Starr, whom he has known since high school. He is best known for his 1994 debut album, The Sun Rises in the East, which was ranked as one of the 100 greatest hip-hop albums of all time by the editors of About.com, calling it "one of the quintessential '90s hip-hop albums."
Jeru the Damaja was born February 14, 1972, in Brooklyn, New York, and spent his early years in that borough's East New York neighborhood, where he began rhyming at block parties as a youth. He first showcased his hardcore Brooklyn style to audiences on "I'm the Man," a track from Gang Starr's 1992 album Daily Operation. The following year he released his first single, "Come Clean," which was produced by DJ Premier and became an instant underground hit.
His first album, The Sun Rises in the East, was released in 1994 and produced entirely by DJ Premier. The album was well-received but Jeru was criticized by the Fugees for his lyrics, particularly for the song "Da Bitchez". Fugees member Pras lightly mentioned Jeru on the track "Zealots," from the group's landmark 1996 album The Score, with the line "No matter who you damage, you're still a false prophet," referencing Jeru's single "You Can't Stop the Prophet." Jeru responded lightly in the intro of the track "Me or the Papes" and also on the track "Black Cowboys."
Jeru followed up in 1996 with his second album. Wrath of the Math, again produced solely by DJ Premier. The album was also widely acclaimed, although not on the same level as his debut. Like on his first album, Jeru was accusatory of commercial hip hop artists and record labels such as Death Row Records and Bad Boy Entertainment, which he criticized on the concept track "One Day." After the release of Math, Jeru reportedly had a falling-out with DJ Premier and Guru (however, Jeru has dismissed this and claimed that they wanted to go in different directions), and was missing from the scene until 1999, when he released his third album, Heroz4Hire, released together with Mizmarvel, which was his first album without production from DJ Premier and also his first under his then-newly created KnowSavage Records. It featured the single "99.9 Pa Cent," which was a verbal attack on his former affiliates Gang Starr. The album was less critically acclaimed than his last. In 1999, he collaborated with the Spanish hip hop group Violadores del Verso in the track "Solo quedar consuelo."
His next album, Divine Design, released in 2003, was the first album under his new record label, Ashenafi Records. The album received little attention and mixed reviews. The latest Jeru album, titled Still Rising, was released on October 16, 2007. On April 2, 2007, during a La Coka Nostra concert at the Gramercy Theatre in New York, Jeru the Damaja came out for a surprise appearance to perform his song "D Original".
In 2009 Jeru started to collaborate with Drum & Bass Producers. In 2009, he is featured on Kabuki's track "Watch Your Step.", produced by Mainframe and also on "Open Up Their Eyes" by Italian producer Fabio Musta. Jeru also collaborated with Group Home in 2010 for a song dedicated to the late rapper Guru. The song is titled "G.U.R.U.". Recently Jeru confirmed he will drop a new album in 2011 with production from 90's legends JuJu from the Beatnuts, Pete Rock, Large Professor & old time collaborator (their problems since reconciled) DJ Premier.
In 2011 Jeru The Damaja featured in the song "Oddałbym" on the album "Reedukacja" of Polish hip-hop group Slums Attack (Peja, Dj Decks). In addition to Jeru The Damaja, a Polish rap star O.S.T.R. also featured. The album was a great success in Poland, and sold out in the first couple of days.
In 2012 Jeru featured in the song "The Mourning Son" on the album "Remix with the Sun" of French trip-hop group Chinese Man.
|The Sun Rises in the East
|Wrath of the Math
- Bush, John (February 14, 1972). "Jeru the Damaja". AllMusic. Retrieved October 15, 2011.
- "Jeru The Damaja Interview". Thesituation.co.uk. Retrieved October 15, 2011.
- "Jeru the Damaja Upcoming Album Featuring DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Large Professor, The Beatnuts & More". DJ Premier Blog. March 8, 2011. Retrieved October 15, 2011.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Jeru the Damaja|
- Official website
- Jeru The Damaja at Allmusic
- Interview on Divine Design from The Situation
- "Interview with Neil Acharya" at Exclaim!