Jurass Finish First is the tenth song on the 2000 album Quality Control, released by the underground rap group Jurassic 5. It features a repetitive piano that drives and guides the song, producing an unusual and unique sound that actually sounds quite fresh in an era of tired and repetitive mainstream rap acts. This song largely has a positive message, of surviving the difficulties of life as a unit, in contrast to the negative messages of much mainstream rap; again, another mark in its favor. This is the reason for the title; the group's name is often said in slang as "5 Jurass" or simply "Jurass" and together they figuratively "finish first." Of course, there is the obvious homonym.

But what really gets you in the end with this song is the music. The repetitive piano drives the song along with such a subtly infectious beat that you find your toe tapping whether you want it to or not. The voices flow together and rhyme quite well; they maintain a perfect rhythm throughout the song. It is this harmony of voice and piano that is so starkly different from the usual hip-hop beat-filled braggadocio; the music shines into your ears like a beacon of the joy of music and what is really possible.

Lyrically, the song is meant to be more fun, I think, while still touching on some worthwhile issues. The song, from the first line, condemns violence; the very first rhyme opposes the idea of robbery. It continues like this, building the idea that through togetherness people can succeed, building to the refrain of "5 Jurass finish first." The song also spends time condemning most of mainstream hip-hop, mostly in terms of producers like Puff Daddy who spew out album after album of unoriginal material and executives like Suge Knight who sell the idea of violence and actually use it to further their own business and image.

The song also has something of an anti-drug message, accusing those who use their talents to peddle drug use of being "fools." In a hip hop scene where the idea of having "street credentials" is seen as being so important and major stars such as Method Man, Cypress Hill, and Snoop Doggy Dogg actively flaunt their rampant drug use, it is impressive that a rap group would take such a lyrical stance. It's further proof that Jurassic 5 are bringing both a fresh sound and a fresh perspective to the table, and their skill and artistry has awakened in me an interest not only in their music (of which this song is a great example), but of the underground hip hop scene in general.

Although the percussion is sparse throughout the song, with only a sparse drum beat and the piano for instrumentation for most of the track, the song still manages to carry with it a very driving and purposeful attitude. In fact, it has been the song that I have set my alarm by many mornings; the driving piano-laden track pulls me up out of bed in the morning quite effectively.

The song closes with a recording of the father of one of the members of the group discussing his son's love for music. It is a perfect close to this song; this song is truly a solid piece of music. To hear the man talk about how the artist behind this song grew up loving music and feeling it in his soul somehow brings it all home perfectly.

I first discovered Jurassic 5 through the title track of the album, Quality Control, which received a bit of airplay on a few radio stations that I listened to, as well as a smidgen of video rotation on MTV2. After I picked up the disc because of the strength of that one track, I realized after the first listen that I had discovered a real gem. This song was unquestionably one of the high points; a song that deserves to be shared in more than just an annotated lyrical form. This song, like the album, is truly a hip hop gem. The lyrics are below, with some careful linking in a few spots to express some of the underlying issues the song digs at.

Yo, because of cash in the purse, guns blast in the hearse
A vast universe when the last is the first
The past been a curse, I need some asprin to nurse
It's your casket in earth, or my ass when it hurts
A passionate burst of some last-minute work
First the human bodies are living last in this Earth
Puffing grass when it works, a bastard at birth
But at last planet Earth, 5 Jurass finish first
Stashed in this verse Burning like gas on a torch
Graspin' a thought Some don't see past their front porch
Masked in a smirk No doubt my class been alert
Verbal splash for your thirst, 5 Jurass finish first

Yo, because of crooks in the game no one's acting the same
Not mentioning no names, merely passing the blame
Your ass been in flames since the cash went ka-chang
Now you can't stand the rain when my crew bring the pain
You a masculine myth who I constantly diss
As I bond with the Fish, understand we the 5th
Platoon, hit the dirt, wish you well, wish you worse
Your ass been cursed, 5 Jurass finish first

Bringing it back from the lost, we have to report
The trash on the chart make you have to resort
To leave the record store instead of quenching your thirst
But at last planet Earth, 5 Jurass finish first

Yo, because of passing the course wife asking divorce
Taking half of your cash, now you bask in remorse
Turning rap into sport, I've mastered the part
The trash on the chart making you have to resort
Now if you've mastered the art, I'm asking with force
To mass of your thoughts, to your ass is a corpse
Cover grass in a burst, unfasten your purse
Give your cash to the clerk, 5 Jurass finish first

Yeah, cause of tricks of the trade, some are virtual slaves
A smirk will get raised once the pen hits the page
While your thoughts of the stage and perhaps getting paid
Relax in the shade, time passing in days
I'm searching for ways to avoid the charade
Cause when voices are laid, choices are made
Be not afraid, people plastic on Earth
Verbal blast bout to burst, 5 Jurass finish first

Yo, because of passing the torch, puffing pipes with a bouche
You a hype living loose with your life in the noose
You invite many fools when you ligt chemicals
Night of the living ooze, your ego makes many bruise

You need to watch what you choose, what you give is what you get
Some are lacking intellect in their quest for a check
Is it love or respect, does the subject get you vexed?
Only 4 bars to wreck, the situation is complex

Yo, you in constant pursuit to be the last in the house
(Where's your wallet?) With the wife, deep stashed in her blouse

Like Without a Doubt you can catch me on the b-side
Cause the one who wins the war...

...is the one without pride
J5 make you feel a little gaseous at first
Martin Lawrence And yes I make you ask "Is that Lurch?"
Either try this or lyrical madness that works
Give your cash to the clerk, 5 Jurass finish first