Violent by Design
|Violent by Design|
|Studio album by Jedi Mind Tricks|
|Released||October 3, 2000|
|Genre||Underground Hip Hop, East Coast hip hop|
|Jedi Mind Tricks chronology|
|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. 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, 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. 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. 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 cover art is from a photograph by Joel D. Meyerson, taken during The Battle of Dak To.
The group began recording their second album, originally titled Polymatrix: Reincarnation of the Hologramic Christ, 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 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."  While Carlson had mixed feelings on the album, AMG writer Joshua Glazer referred to the album as a classic . 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."
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."
- Contains a sample from the film Mean Streets
|#||Title||Producer(s)||Guest Performer (s)||Notes|
|4||"Speech Cobras"||Stoupe||Mr. Lif||
|5||"Breath of God Interlude"||Stoupe|
|6||"Death March"||Stoupe||Esoteric & Virtuoso|
|7||"Words from Mr. Len Part One"||Mr. Len||
|8||"I Against I"||Stoupe||Planetary||
|9||"Exertions Remix"||Stoupe||Virtuoso, Esoteric & Bahamadia|
|10||"The Prophecy Interlude"||Stoupe|
|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|
|18||"Trinity"||Stoupe||L-Fudge & Louis Logic|
|19||"The Executioners Dream"||Stoupe||J-Treds|
|21||"Heavenly Divine Remix"||Stoupe|
|22||"Army of the Pharaohs: War Ensemble"||Stoupe||Esoteric & Virtuoso|
|25||"Blood Runs Cold"||Stoupe||Sean Price|