Today in Hip-Hop: Jungle Brothers Drop ‘Straight Out the Jungle’
On this day, Nov. 8, in hip-hop history...
1988: The Jungle Brothers' debut album, Straight Out the Jungle, was the introduction to conscious New York lyricists Mike Gee, Sammy B and Afrika Baby Bam. The project also serves as the introduction to the The Native Tongues collective.
Their intelligent, pro-Black lyrics combined with both house party and soul music helped to create a new sub-genre of rap back in the late 80's. Straight Out the Jungle—released through Warlock, an independent record label at the time—provided tracks for men, women and children alike, as the guys of Jungle Brothers told stories of the struggle and how to persevere through it with lighthearted jokes and funky 70's samples. On tracks like "What's Going On," the crew spits raps like, "Stay in school, don't be no fool/Don't lose your temper and keep your cool/Follow your heart, and not your friends/'Cause some of your friends could lead you into dead ends," as Marvin Gaye's single of the same name appears on the chorus.
Jungle Brothers were also some of the first rap artists to pay homage to their African roots, as they featured two instrumental-only tracks—"Sounds of the Safari" and "Jimmy's Bonus Beat"—on the LP. In addition, Straight Out the Jungle's lone feature was none other than Q-Tip, who appears on "Black is Black" and "The Promo."
After Straight Out the Jungle, The Native Tongues grew to include De La Soul, Queen Latifah, A Tribe Called Quest, Black Sheep, Monie Love and a handful of others. The rest, of course, is hip-hop history.
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