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The underground hip-hop duo Jedi Mind Tricks started out in the streets of Philadelphia in early 1996. Friends since high school, producer Stoupe the Enemy of Mankind and MCs Vinnie Paz (aka Ikon the Verbal Hologram) released the Amber Probe EP in 1996 and, one year later, gained a cult following with the full-length Psycho-Social, Chemical, Biological & Electro Magnetic Manipulation (which was reissued in 2003 courtesy of the Babygrande label). Released in 2000, the sophomore effort Violent by Design marked the group’s last album before signing to Babygrande, as well as the first to feature Jus Allah (aka Megatron). Jus Allah‘s tenure in the group proved to be short-lived, however, as he left soon after the album’s release.
Under the labelship of Babygrande, Jedi Mind Tricks issued 2003’s Visions of Gandhi — which included the song “Animal Rap,” featuring Paz’s idol Kool G Rap — and 2004’s Legacy of Blood, not to mention a compilation of early 12″ records titled Outerspace). The duo also began featuring an army of rappers on their albums, with regular guests including 7L, Esoteric, Apathy, Tragedy Khadafi, and Louis Logic. In 2006, Vinnie Paz’s hip-hop supergroup made its full-length debut with Army of the Pharaohs: The Torture Papers, while the release of Jedi Mind Tricks’ Servants in Heaven, Kings in Hell proved that the MC’s primary group was still functioning. Jus Allah then made his return to the JMT lineup, which issued A History of Violence in 2008. 2011 found the release of Violence Begets Violence, the collective’s first release without the production help of Stoupe the Enemy of Mankind.