Fun Fun Fun Fest Live Shot: Jurassic 5

Reunited MCs close out Sunday in spectacular fashion

“They’re the originators,” a fan gushed in anticipation of Jurassic 5 taking the stage Sunday night at Fun Fun Fun Fest for only the second time in six years. Not quite. Jurassic 5 was a throwback when they began, dropping an eponymous EP in 1997 and championing a bygone Cold Crush era of beats and rhymes in four-part harmony.

Photo by Jana Birchum

Seven years removed from their most recent album Feedback, the reunited J5 returns as golden-era nostalgia squared. They also remain one of hip-hop’s most vital live acts. Jumping off with “Back 4 U,” the Jurassic mic masters – Mark 7even, Chali 2na, Akil, Zaakir – took the stage one at a time as their verses began, a slow build proving there’s Power in Numbers.

The rust-proof Los Angelenos still take “four MCs and make them sound like one,” returning to the “Concrete Schoolyard” to flip verbal acrobatics on “Monkey Bars.” Like so: “Now you know us, but it’s not the Cold Crush. Four MCs, so it ain’t the Furious. Not the Force MD’s or the three from Treacherous. It’s a blast from the past from the moment we bust.”

In between displays of verbal interplay, DJ/producers Cut Chemist and Nu-Mark stitched together an insanely creative interlude with a vinyl guitar and the world’s largest turntable, while Bushwick Bill, whose habit of crashing local hip-hop stages has reached comedic levels of predictability, made his requisite cameo.

Jurassic 5 is back to finishing each other’s sentences like an old married couple. This triumphant set reminded us they bring more energy than an all-night bachelor party.

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Fun Fun Fun Fest, Jurassic 5, Fun Fun Fun Fest 2013, Mark 7even, Chali 2na, Akil, Zaakir, Cut Chemist, Nu-Mark, Bushwick Bill

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