“Straight Out The Jungle” marked the beginning of the Native Tongues collective, which later featured popular artists such as De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest and Black Sheep. With Afrika and Mike G as front men and Sammy B on the cuts, the trio crafted a debut that captures their dynamic effortlessly. With samples ranging from Break Beat staples like Jimmy Castor and Bill Withers to Sly & the Family Stone and Mandrill, the Jungle Brothers laid a template that everyone from De La to the Beastie Boys would duplicate; using a variety of Soul, Jazz, Funk, Rock breaks and anything that “worked” into the mix.
Standout tracks such as “On The Run” or “Black Is Black” (featuring Q Tip) are two great examples of the JB’s ability to mix the new sensibilities with a classic flair. “Because I Got It Like That” and “What’s Going On “are other key tracks, but it might be “Jimbrowski” that steals the show. “The idea for that came at the end of a studio session, with Mike, me, Red Alert and a woman Red was dating at the time," says the group’s Afrika Baby Bam. "Red was flirting with her and kept saying 'Jimbrowski' the whole night. Mike and I wrote the rhymes on the way back from the subway." Naming just a few tracks here, it should be clear that Straight Out The Jungle is an album you play from beginning to end, without ever having to skip even down to “Jimmy’s Bonus Beats”.
We can’t write this without mentioning the group’s groundbreaking collaboration with legendary house producer Todd Terry, “I’ll House You” which paved the way for numerous hip-house hybrids that shot up the dance and pop charts over the next few years and appeared to be a staple on every East Coast Rap Album from ‘88 until ’92 and had a major resurgence in the mid 2000’s up to today.