The word anniversary once referred to the commemorative feast in honor of a Catholic saint. Today we use the term for a celebration of any past event that took place the year or years prior on the same date. This year in particular marks the 20th Anniversary of a hip-hop record distinguished by its raw sound, uncompromising lyricism, and social commentary: Jeru the Damaja‘s debut album, The Sun Rises In The East. 1994 was a powerful, transformative year for hip-hop. Nas, OutKast, and Biggie Smalls each dropped their debut albums, while other more established artists released projects regarded both then and now as milestones in the genre. Jeru was only 21 years old when he recorded the The Sun Rises; 22 when it came out on Payday Records. And the album was well received in the hip-hop community.
What you’re about to hear is Jeru the Damaja taking us track by track through his DJ Premier-produced debut album, delving into an array of subjects and stories such as:
- Waiting and watching for Nas to create Illmatic.
- Spending formative years with the members of the Wu-Tang Clan.
- The nature of Brooklyn pride.
- His inspiration drawn from his family, friends, and predecessors.
- And the story of how he got his pet hamster.
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