Sometime it seems ridiculously mandatory for hip-hop fans to cling on to what is considered old school or classic. Many automatically shun new artists, claiming they could never replicate ‘how it used to be’. It seems like they are just unwilling to accept the genre’s progression, but the passion and skill showcased by the Jungle Brothers may prove them to be right. Maybe it is actually a case of out with the new and in with the old.
It might not have been a sold out show in the intimate settings of the Sugar Club, however that doesn’t stop the group from instantly creating an atmosphere only comparable to a house party with openers ‘Straight Out The Jungle’ and ‘Because I Got It Like That’. Kicking off with two of their biggest hits could be a brave decision but the pace and intensity of the performance only increases, especially when they delve into the garage and drum and bass sampled material, as both the speed of their rhyming and the BPM of the backing tracks are increased.
Both MCs have powerful, distinctive voices and exude charisma and confidence. The make a strong case for age not being a factor by putting more time and energy into their show than most rappers who are half their age. Also quite unlike many of their younger counterparts, they never need to shout to be heard and have no problem in winning over the crowd with a large selection of “party rockin” tracks to choose from their back catalogue. ‘Feelin Alright’ ignites a joyous reaction from both the crowd and the Jungle Brothers as they jump on to speakers and bound from side to side of the stage. All three members, fuelled only by good vibes and Guinness, are beaming from ear to ear and appear to be as happy to be there as the crowd.
They may be the least renowned of the Native Tongues collective, which also included A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul, but this is what provides the hunger that results in unforgettable shows like this. Not having the same exposure as these groups at the beginning of their career only seems to ignite a fire within them and create a need for the group to prove their worth to just a couple of hundred Irish people, over 25 years after the release of their debut album.