Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Dodgy Bootlegs Number 9-Jeru the Damaja East NY Stalks & Friend or Foe

This week's dodgy bootleg is a 1997 released Jeru 12" featuring two post Gangstarr tracks. This was picked up from one of London's West End record shops, probabley Deal Real before it shut down or perhaps Mr Bongos and it probabley cost somewhere around £7. The A-side is called East NY Stalks and the B-side is Friend or Foe which is often referred to as Friends due to Jeru's interpolation of the chorus from the classic track Friends.
As mentioned this 12" dropped in 1997 only a year after the underated but incredible Wrath of the Math which was entirely produced by DJ Premier. But soon after this album dropped rumors started to circulate that there was beef between Jeru and the Gangstarr foundation in particular DJ Premier. Then in 1997 we get this bootleg/promo 12" showing up in record shops with the track 'Friend or Foe' on the B-side. This is supposedly a diss track aimed at Gangstarr and Premier in particular. There is a number of reasons for this beef but the one I remember hearing first was that Jeru was unhappy with the amount of money Premier was making from his superb production work on Jeru's first two albums. There were also rumors that Biggie was also involved in this beef as Jeru had clearly taken some shots at the Bad Boy Team on the track One Day. In addition to that the Ten Crack Commandments beat was originally used for a Hot 97 promo with Jeru spitting over it so maybe Jeru wasn't too happy with the fact that Biggie got that beat in the end. Whatever the reason for the beef it did Jeru far more harm than it did anybody else.

Back to the tracks on the 12". Both of the tracks sound like someone trying to recreate that Premier and Jeru sound that made the Sun rises and Wrath so amazing and although these tracks are clearly no Primo gems their not too bad either. East NY stalks is a mid tempo track featuring Jeru's disjointed rhyme style over a sparse beat with some funky strings in the background the track also has another MC on it but I have been unable to find out who this dude is. The apparent diss track features a nice bass guitar loop coupled with some snappy snares (I'm sure that Premier copyrighted them) over which Jeru airs his grievances making accusation of back stabbing to this unnamed assailant who has been spitting on his grave (?) and hanging with shady individuals. Obviously Jeru is quite unhappy and whatever it is that caused this beef has prevented him from hooking up with Premier again. If I were Jeru I would try and sort that shit out and get Premier producing for him again because as we all know Jeru sounds best with premier. Check the link below to download a rip of this 12"
Friend how many of us have them ?

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