Throwback: The Jungle Brothers-Straight Out The Jungle

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Mike Gee, Afrika Baby Bam and DJ Sammy B came together as The Jungle Brothers in the mid ’80s when they were Manhattan high school students. Straight Out The Jungle was their independently released 1988 debut. No one else could claim the Afrocentric jazz-infused hip-house of Jungle that would be the start of The Native Tongue collective. “Jimbrowski,” “Black Is Black,” “I’ll House You,” “Straight Out The Jungle” and “Behind The Bush” were innovative songs that broadened hip-hop’s aesthetic with cultural exploration, and the rare fusion of dance/hip-hop. Done By The Forces of Nature was their second album and it continued their pro-Black ideas with “Doin Our Own Dang,” “Black Woman” and “Sunshine.” J.Beez With The Remedy followed Nature with a sound so abstract it alienated them from their record company but they gained some commercial traction with “40 Below Trooper” and “My Jimmy Weighs A Ton.” Raw Deluxe was another entry into their jazzy rap canon that maintained their basic sound but by this time their marketplace presence was completely obscured. V.I.P.’s 2000 release was their second project for Gee Street and it openly courted dance fans with the assistance of British producer Alex Gifford. In 2002 they reconnected with Todd Terry who had produced “I’ll House You,” for All That We Do. The Jungle Brothers have nine studio albums in total but nothing has had the impact of their first two releases. Other members of the Native Tongue like A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul achieved more fame and success than The JB’s despite coming after them. Mike Gee has said in the past that poor business management always stopped their efforts from going further. The group had a reunion show at S.O.B.’s this year and Mike G said the band was also looking to release new material before the end of 2012.