Done by the Forces of Nature

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Done By the Forces of Nature
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 7, 1989
GenreGolden age hip hop
LabelWarner Bros. Records
ProducerJungle Brothers, Kool DJ Red Alert (exec.)
Jungle Brothers chronology
Straight out the Jungle
Done By the Forces of Nature
J Beez wit the Remedy

Done by the Forces of Nature is the second studio album by American hip hop group Jungle Brothers, released on November 7, 1989 by 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 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]

Reception and legacy[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[1]
Chicago Tribune4/4 stars[3]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music4/5 stars[4]
Los Angeles Times4/5 stars[5]
Mojo5/5 stars[6]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[8]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide4/5 stars[9]
Spin Alternative Record Guide7/10[10]
The Village VoiceA[11]

In a positive review for Spin magazine, Greg Tate hailed Done by the Forces of Nature as an innovative hip house production and, "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."[12] Robert Tanzilo from the Chicago Tribune called it "one of the brightest records of the year".[3] Los Angeles Times critic Duff Marlowe 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".[13] Peter Watrous from The New York Times observed lyrical allusions to hip hop and African-American culture that are "enriching an always solid dance beat".[14]

In Rolling Stone, Michael Azerrad praised the Jungle Brothers' lyrical substance and said their "positive, spiritual vibe (a direct descendant of Earth, Wind and Fire's) is as hip as their music".[8] Yahoo! Music's Brett Anderson described it as the Jungle Brothers' "stab at edutainment".[15] Steve Huey from 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".[16] 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.[11]

The album has been considered a classic of hip hop's golden age and one of the most influential albums in hip hop.[4][17] It has also been described by critics as an "underrated classic".[4][18] 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".[19] The Chicago Tribune's Rick Reger called it a "masterpiece ... one of hip-hop's most imaginative, engaging records".[20] 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."[21] 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".[9] Rolling Stone placed it thirty-seventh on its list of the 50 Coolest Records of All Time.[22] In 1998, Done by the Forces of Nature was selected as one of The Source's 100 Best Rap Albums.[23] The album was also included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[24]

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" (with KRS-One) – 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.


Chart (1989) Peak
U.S. Top R&B Albums (Billboard)[25] 46


  • 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


  1. ^ a b c d Huey, Steve. "Done by the Forces of Nature – Jungle Brothers". AllMusic. Retrieved July 29, 2009.
  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). "Jungle Brothers: Done By the Forces of Nature (Warner)". Chicago Tribune. p. 15.G. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
  4. ^ a b c Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th concise ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-85712-595-8.
  5. ^ a b c Marlowe, Duff (January 7, 1990). "Jungle Brothers: "Done by the Forces of Nature": Warner Bros". Los Angeles Times. Calendar section, p. 62. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
  6. ^ Cowan, Andy (October 2017). "Jungle Brothers: Done by the Forces of Nature". Mojo. London (287): 107.
  7. ^ "Jungle Brothers: Done by the Forces of Nature". NME. London. December 23, 1989.
  8. ^ a b Azerrad, Michael (February 8, 1990). "Jungle Brothers: Done by the Forces of Nature". Rolling Stone. New York. Archived from the original on April 19, 2008. Retrieved November 27, 2008.
  9. ^ a b Relic, Peter (2004). "Jungle Brothers". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 444–45. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  10. ^ Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). Spin Alternative Record Guide. Vintage Books. ISBN 0-679-75574-8.
  11. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (February 6, 1990). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
  12. ^ Tate, Greg. "Review: Done by the Forces of Nature". Spin: 73–74. January 1990.
  13. ^ Morse, Steve. "Review: Done by the Forces of Nature". The Boston Globe: January 25, 1990.
  14. ^ Watrous, Peter. Review: Done by the Forces of Nature. The New York Times. Retrieved on 2009-07-29.
  15. ^ Anderson, Brett. Review: Done by the Forces of Nature. Yahoo! Music. Retrieved on 2009-07-29.
  16. ^ Sotinel, Thomas. "Review: Done by the Forces of Nature". Le Monde: March 16, 1990.
  17. ^ Drever, Andrew. Jungle Brothers Still Untamed. The Age. Retrieved on 2009-07-29.
  18. ^ Lindsey, Craig D. Back to the Jungle. Houston Press. Retrieved on 2009-07-29.
  19. ^ Azerrad, Michael. Review: Done by the Forces of Nature. Trouser Press. Retrieved on 2009-07-29.
  20. ^ Reger, Rick. "New Magic from the Crazy Jungle Brothers". Chicago Tribune: 4. December 20, 2002.
  21. ^ Brackett, Nathan. Review: Raw Deluxe Archived 2008-07-06 at the Wayback Machine. Rolling Stone. Retrieved on 2009-07-29.
  22. ^ Brackett, Nathan. Eliscu, Jenny. Fine, Jason. Fricke, David. "The 50 Coolest Records of All Time". Rolling Stone: Issue 893. April 11, 2002.
  23. ^ Staff. "100 Best Rap Albums". The Source: Issue 100. January 1998.
  24. ^ Robert Dimery; Michael Lydon (23 March 2010). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die: Revised and Updated Edition. Universe. ISBN 978-0-7893-2074-2.
  25. ^ Billboard Albums: Done by the Forces of Nature. Allmusic. Retrieved on 2009-10-07.


Further reading[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]