Throwback: The Jonzun Crew-Pack Jam
“Pack Jam” is a 1983 landmark electro-funk song from The Jonzun Crew’s seminal Lost In Space album. Michael Jonzun formed the group in Boston with his brothers Maurice Starr and Sonzi Jonzun and Carl “Captain Fingers.” The preeminent presence of the vocoder, drum machines and a live musician using synthesizers made them a futuristic funk/hip-hop band. “Pack Jam (Look Out For The OVC),” “We Are The Jonzun Crew,” “Space Cowboy” and “Space Is The Place” all resonated with B-Boys and B-Girls giving the group vintage status in hip-hop’s playlist canon. They recorded two more albums for Tommy Boy but nothing surpassed the legend of Lost In Space. Maurice Starr later became famous for discovering New Edition and The New Kids On The Block. Michael Jonzun co-wrote many songs on the first New Edition album and produced the Lights Out album for rock artist Peter Wolf. Maurice Starr and Michael Jonzun also worked at Sugar Hill Records as studio musicians for a brief period. Although not as popular as Africa Bambaataa, Planet Patrol, Newcleus or Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five, The Jonzun Crew innovated the electro sound that morphed and resurfaced in hip-hop’s auto-tune strain and the genre’s love of technology.