Violent by Design

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Violent by Design
Studio album by Jedi Mind Tricks
Released October 3, 2000
Recorded 1999
Genre Underground Hip Hop, East Coast hip hop
Length 76:08
Label Superegular Records
Producer Stoupe
Mr. Len
Jedi Mind Tricks chronology
The Psycho-Social CD
(1997)
Violent by Design
(2000)
Visions of Gandhi
(2003)
Singles from Violent by Design
  1. "Heavenly Divine"
    Released: 1999
  2. "Genghis Khan"
    Released: 2000
  3. "Retaliation"
    Released: 2001
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars link
AllHipHop.com 4/5 stars link
RapReviews.com 8.5/10 stars link
cosmik C+ link
Salacious Sound (favourable) link

Violent by Design is the second album by underground hip hop group Jedi Mind Tricks. Despite never reaching any Billboard album chart, the album sold 50,000 copies in its first week on shelves.[1] The album was originally released on JMT's self-run Superegular Records on October 3, 2000. JMT's current label, Babygrande Records, re-released the album on May 25, 2004. The original vinyl release featured twenty tracks,[2] while the original CD release featured two extra tracks: the "Heavenly Divine Remix", originally released on the B-Side to JMT's "Heavenly Divine" single, and "War Ensemble", originally released as the B-Side of the Army of the Pharaohs Five Perfect Exertions EP.[3] Babygrande's Deluxe Edition featured three more bonus tracks: "Untitled", "Retaliation Remix" and "Blood Runs Cold", the latter two originally featured on the "Retaliation" single.[4] The Deluxe Edition also included a bonus DVD, featuring a video scrapbook from their Visions of Gandhi tour, and the music video for the group's 1997 track "I Who Have Nothing".

Vinnie Paz and Stoupe the Enemy of Mankind recruited Camden, New Jersey rapper Jus Allah to join them on the album, and while he was never officially inducted into the group, it can be assumed he became JMT's third member on the release, as his contributions were not marked as "featuring Jus Allah", while other close group affiliates such as Army of the Pharaohs members Chief Kamachi, Esoteric and Virtuoso were marked as featured guests. He was also featured in the album's photography.

The album was recorded and mixed in Stoupes bedroom for nine months and because of Stoupe still living at his parents house they were recording every Friday for three hours.[5]

The cover art is from a photograph by Joel D. Meyerson, taken during The Battle of Dak To.

Photograph of a U.S. soldier calling for a medic during The Battle of Dak To

History[edit]

The group began recording their second album, originally titled Polymatrix: Reincarnation of the Hologramic Christ,[6] after the release of their 1997 debut, The Psycho-Social, Chemical, Biological & Electro-Magnetic Manipulation of Human Consciousness, and the group's side project with the Army of the Pharaohs, 1998's Five Perfect Exertions EP. In the summer of 1999, the group released the "Heavenly Divine" single to hype their second album. The single has been recognized as the group's trademark song, and was described as "a perfect blend of Jedi Mind's metaphysical, spiritual and street influences". The following year, JMT released the single "Genghis Khan", featuring underground veteran Tragedy Khadafi, to further hype their upcoming album. After two years of recording, Violent by Design was released, featuring guest verses from AOTP members Esoteric, Virtuoso, Chief Kamachi and Bahamadia, OuterSpace member Planetary, Killa Sha, Mr. Lif, DiamondBack, Louis Logic, B.A. Barakus, L-Fudge, J-Treds, as well as two interludes performed by Company Flow member Mr. Len.

Straying from the Science fiction and conspiracy theory topics that dominated their debut, JMT adopted a more rugged, hardcore style with Violent by Design, mixing their past metaphysical content with violent lyrics. Their new unrelenting style gained them a large new underground following, but at the same time, drew significant criticism, largely due to the album's intense violence, and controversial anti-Christian and homophobic[citation needed] lyrical content. Due to this, Allmusic writer Dean Carlson stated that the group was "well-versed in contradictions", but also praised the group's unique style, stating "They know how to intimidate without gangsta pretensions and they know how to create menace without losing sight of humor or clarity." [1] While Carlson had mixed feelings on the album, AMG writer Joshua Glazer referred to the album as a classic [2]. RapReviews.com writer Steve 'Flash' Juon stated the album's graphic lyrics will "turn some people off", and like Carlson, goes on to compliment the rapper's style, stating "Paz and Jus can definitely flow, and they have essentially invented a new rapping style." Juon ultimately praises the album, stating:

"By adding another emcee and evolving their sound, JMT created a completely unique work with their sophomore epic"..."Courtesy of Stoupe, each song is brimming with random vocal snippets and string-laden, moody samples. The two emcees rap with unfettered fire, attacking everything from Catholicism to the American Government. This LP is a trip, in every sense of the word. Without a doubt, JMT's work is something to explore deeply, especially for the wonderful harmonies that Stoupe manifests. For those with patience and a sense of superior hip-hop, "Violent By Design" cannot be ignored. It is simply too remarkable."[7]

To date, the most acclaimed aspect of the album has been the dark, atmospheric production work by Stoupe the Enemy of Mankind. Featuring a variety of vague samples, largely taken from movie scores and various tracks from Latin artists, matched with random vocals taken from numerous films and selections of poems by British poet Wilfred Owen, Stoupe's work on Violent by Design helped to establish him as one of underground hip hop's preeminent producers. In his album review, Steve Juon endlessly praises Stoupe's work on the album, calling it "absolutely riveting", even going so far as to say that his production on "Sacrifice" was "one of the greatest single-song productions I have ever heard in hip-hop." He goes on to state:

"The glue that holds "Violent By Design" together is clearly Stoupe the Enemy of Mankind. The soundscapes he crafts on this album are complex, moody, and quite exceptional."..."All of these works, despite being completely distinctive, fall well within the range of the musical themes that Stoupe brings to the record"..."He practically invents a new method of hip-hop artistry."[8]

Track listing[edit]

# Title Producer(s) Guest Performer (s) Notes[9]
1 "Intro" Stoupe
2 "Retaliation" Stoupe
  • Contains a sample from "El Rio Y Las Rosas" by Rosita Peru
  • Contains a sample from "Cross My Heart" by Killah Priest
  • Contains a sample from "Money in the Bank" by Kool G Rap
3 "Contra" Stoupe Killa Sha
  • Contains a sample from "Kites" by The Cyrkle
  • Contains a sample from "Gotta Get Over (Taking Loot)" by Gang Starr
4 "Speech Cobras" Stoupe Mr. Lif
5 "Breath of God Interlude" Stoupe
6 "Death March" Stoupe Esoteric & Virtuoso
  • Contains a sample from "The Monster Materializes" by Richard Band
7 "Words from Mr. Len Part One" Mr. Len
8 "I Against I" Stoupe Planetary
  • Contains a sample from "What Are You Doing for the Rest of Your Life" by Cal Tjader
  • Contains a sample from "Jazz (We've Got)" by A Tribe Called Quest
9 "Exertions Remix" Stoupe Virtuoso, Esoteric & Bahamadia
10 "The Prophecy Interlude" Stoupe
11 "Heavenly Divine" Stoupe
12 "Sacrifice" Stoupe
  • Contains a sample of Gene Hackman's dialogue from the film Antz
  • Contains a sample from "You Ain't A Killer" by Big Pun
13 "Permanent Midnight Interlude" Stoupe
14 "The Deer Hunter" Stoupe Chief Kamachi
15 "Blood Reign" Stoupe DiamondBack, Louis Logic & B.A. Barakus
16 "Words from Mr. Len Part Two" Mr. Len
17 "Genghis Khan" Stoupe Tragedy Khadafi
  • Contains a sample from "Downloading" by Harold Kloser
18 "Trinity" Stoupe L-Fudge & Louis Logic
  • Contains a sample of a cover from "Concerto in D Minor - Allegro" by Tomaso Albinoni
19 "The Executioners Dream" Stoupe J-Treds
20 "Muerte" Stoupe
  • Contains a sample from "De Que Te Quiero... Te Quiero" by Gilberto Valenzuela
  • Contains a sample from "Adieu a La Nuit" by Paul Mauriat
21 "Heavenly Divine Remix" Stoupe
22 "Army of the Pharaohs: War Ensemble" Stoupe Esoteric & Virtuoso
23 "Untitled" Stoupe
24 "Retaliation Remix" Stoupe
  • Contains a sample from "De Los Amores" by Suasana Baca
25 "Blood Runs Cold" Stoupe Sean Price
  • Contains a sample from "Septiembre Y Usted" by Wilkins

Album singles[edit]

Single information
"Heavenly Divine"
  • Released: 1999
  • Label: Superegular Records
  • B-Side: "Trinity", "Heavenly Divine (Remix)"
"Genghis Khan"
  • Released: 2000
  • Label: Superegular Records
  • B-Side:
"Retaliation"/"Retaliation Remix"
  • Released: 2001
  • Label: Superegular Records
  • B-Side: "Blood Runs Cold"

References[edit]