ARTIST: The Jungle Brothers
TITLE: Straight Out the Jungle
YEAR RELEASED: 1988
CHART ACTION: #39 R&B
SINGLES: I’ll House You (#16 Rap, #28 Dance, #22 UK), Jimbrowski, Because I Got Like That (#98 UK), On the Run, Straight Out the Jungle, Black Is Black (#72 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Hip-Hop historians eat this up.
LINEUP: Afrika Baby Bam, Mike Gee, Sammy B. Q-Tip adds some raps.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: One of the first Native Tongues hip-hop records, and it’s full of word play and different styles that were unique to the movement.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Playful samples, unique rhythms, and smart, catchy rhymes – the Jungle Brothers debut was one of the first “Native Tongues” records out there. It holds up today, and is just a great listen from start to finish.
Innovations like using house music as a base, incorporating jazz, dropping in odd found sounds, echoes and other production tricks that helped to accent their clever wordplay and overall atmosphere make this a fun and interesting listen. It’s accessible enough for casual hip-hop fans and may make some converts on the way.
As with most innovators, they didn’t become a big hit but made the way for much bigger hip-hop acts like De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Afrika Bam-Bam’s stage name is a tribute to Afrika Bambaattaa
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: A bonus track was added in 1990.
GRADE: A+: They’re trailblazers, and this is a great start to explore Native Tongues, and it may make you a hip-hop fan before you know it.