For more than a decade, rap collective Jedi Mind Tricks have been underground mainstays thanks to venomous wordplay and a niche all their own. On Violence Begets Violence, the group return with the hardened approach that’s become their trademark on their first album in three years.
“I am the reverse of Christ,” frontman Vinnie Paz rasps at one points, and his yen for minor-key hellfire remains robust throughout the album. Even with longtime producer Stoupe a no-show this time around, the Philadelphia indie group manages to elicit a sinister consistency from a younger generation that includes Hypnotist Beats, Illinformed and the inventive C-Lance. Scorched-earth stomps like “Design in Malice” and “Willing a Destruction Onto Humanity” beget their own share of sonic mayhem.
With Violence Begets Violence, JMT are as vicious and energetic as ever, reminding why they’ve been able to enjoy such longevity. Not even the occasional curve ball (like the reggae-inflected “Chalice”) can harness Paz’s Mephistophelean fervor. JMT’s fan base, which views “three inches of blood on my carpeting” as a good thing, wouldn’t have it any other way. —Eric Grode