On this day, Oct. 15, in hip-hop history...


1996: Jeru the Damaja dropped his sophomore album, Wrath of the Math, on Oct. 15, 1996.

With production credit from DJ Premier, the PayDay Records release boasts memorable drumbeats in the quintessential boom bap style New York would become famous for. Themes on Jeru's follow-up to The Sun Rises in the East very much echoed those of his debut: objection to materialism, promotion of Afrocentrism and above all, preservation of hip-hop. Jeru believed that the ideology behind hip-hop was being lost because of fellow 1990s acts like Bad Boy Entertainment and Junior Mafia. On "One Day," he tells a story of Diddy and Foxy Brown kidnapping hip-hop.

Throughout the 15 tracks, Jeru explains hip-hop's origins and even samples jazz, funk and blues tracks like Mile Davis' "Will O' the Wisp" and James Brown's "My Thang" to illustrate his point.

The album peaked at No. 35 on the Billboard 200 and No. 3 on the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts, just under Black Street's Another Level and Keith Sweat's self-titled album. Twenty years after its debut, Wrath of the Math is considered an East Coast classic by many hip-hop historians.

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