Jeru the Damaja

Speaking out against what he saw as a decline in rap during the mid-'90s, Jeru the Damaja came to the fore as a self-proclaimed prophet and the savior of hip-hop, much as KRS-One had done almost ten years before. Jeru first appeared as a guest on Gang Starr's Daily Operation album, and his own deal with Payday/ffrr appeared soon after, resulting in 1994's The Sun Rises in the East. Though he made few friends in the rap world -- given his outspoken criticism of such popular figures as the Fugees and Sean "Puffy" Combs -- he proved a vital force in the emergence of the new rap consciousness of the late '90s.

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