The Jungle Brothers’ 1988 debut, Straight Out The Jungle, was important for many reasons. It was sloppy and goofy but had moments of real focus and social consciousness. It was a true “kitchen sink” record, that caught a rap fanbase enraptured by Eric B. & Rakim, Public Enemy and Boogie Down Productions a bit off-guard. Also of note, beyond the excellence of the album itself, the Jungle Brothers were the fulcrum for what would become the Native Tongues movement â€“ they came first, De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest followed, under their guidance.
By 1989, the group had even more confidence, plus a Warner Bros. contract and advance in their back pocket. They used it to great advantage on the self-produced and criminally underrated Done By The Forces Of Nature, expanding their sonic palette and continuing their Afrocentric approach to music and life. Singles like “What ‘U’ Waitin’ 4” and “Doin’ Our Own Dang” (with De La and Q-Tip, alongside Monie Love) showed the group’s fun side, which has also lead the way in the “hip-house” movement. But things weren’t all fun and games, as deeper, more pensive album tracks like “Black Woman,” “Beeds On A String,” and “Acknowledge Your Own History” show. It was another accomplished mix of fun, frolic and knowledge-of-self, proving that you could be serious in the rap game but still let off steam and fill the dancefloor.
Done By The Forces Of Nature stands as one of the most cherished hip-hop documents of the late ’80s among true-school heads, and this edition is the perfect way to revisit this classic thinking-man’s (and woman’s) rap platter. Issued for the first time ever on 2-LP with the original picture sleeve artwork, it also comes with a reproduction of the original insert, with credits and lyrics.