"Jumpdafuckup" features Corey Taylor of Slipknot on vocals, as well as sludgy guitar riffs. "Mulambo" appears in the movie The Forsaken. "Terrorist" incorporates lyrics from songs recorded by other bands: "Inner Self" by Sepultura and "Criminally Insane" by Slayer. In addition, "Terrorist" features Slayer vocalist Tom Araya.
"Son Song" pays tribute both singers' fathers who died young. Sean Lennon's father, John Lennon, was shot, while Max's father was killed by a heart attack. Musically, "Son Song" has Alice in Chains-like grungy riffs and Layne Staley-like vocals by Lennon. The song appears on the Valentine OST, although it's not included in the film.
"In Memory of..." is unique for Soulfly in that it contains rap elements. "Soulfly II" is the sequel to the first eponymously titled song, which uses a large number of instruments, including Congo drums, piano, sitar, twang, and various wind instruments.Asha Rabouin makes her first Soulfly appearance on "Flyhigh," in which she sings lines like 'Just let my soul fly free'.
Rolling Stone (9/28/00, pp. 53–4) - 3.5 stars out of 5 - "Old-school...Primitive is deeper...in the sound of [ex-Sepultura frontman] Max Cavalera's lived-in growl, the churning effect of a 4-string guitar and his concerns."
Q magazine (11/00, pp. 114–6) - 3 stars out of 5 - "While [their] percussive, ethnic grooves certainly make an impact, it's only when Cavalera allows his formula to be altered by others that sparks truly fly."
Alternative Press (11/00, p. 128) - 3 out of 5 - "With pre-millennial speed metal rubbing elbows with hip-hop, excursions into ambient instrumentals and acerbic soul, and a host of guests...Primitive is certainly a record [with] breadth."
CMJ (8/28/00, p. 32) - "More relaxed than their debut, the low-end slaughterhouse riffs are still embellished with Cavalera's beloved tribal percussion...[It] locks its teeth into the jugular."
Melody Maker (10/10/00, p. 50) - 4 stars out of 5 - "The metal album of the year so far...An incendiary blend of nu metal, reggae and Brazilian rhythms."
NME (11/4/00, p. 46) - 7 out of 10 - "Draws on Max's political rage at colonial history and crimes of the conquistadors...the heavy metal Bob Marley."