Jeru the Damaja (born Jeru Davis) aka D. Original Dirty Rotten Scoundrel hails from Brooklyn, NY where he was born and raised. Jeru spent his early years in East New York, Brooklyn being introduced to hip hop music in the local parks “before it was popular” as he says. After completion of high school Jeru knew exactly what he wanted to do, be an MC. Influenced at the time by soon to be legends like Big Daddy Kane, Rakim, KRS One and Kool G Rap Jeru set out on his quest while he worked part time jobs in Manhattan. Jeru created and took on the persona of “the Damaja” (because he damages the mic) that is part conscious truth teller and part true to the streets Brooklyn hard rock. Jeru the Damaja then hooked up with DJ Premiere and Guru, collectively known as Gangstarr, shortly after they moved to New York in the late 1980’s.
Jeru first introduced his unique hardcore Brooklyn style to Hip Hop audiences on “I’m the Man” a track on Gangstarr’s 1992 Daily Operations album. The East New York native then cemented his place in the Hip Hop world by releasing the 1993 classic single “Come Clean” from his legendary album, The Sun Rises in the East. After a two year hiatus, Jeru then released his album The Wrath of the Math that included the hit singles “Ya Playin Yaself” and “Me or the Papes” and was proclaimed the savior of hip hop due to his honest and straightforward lyrics.
In 2000 Jeru released his album Heroz 4 Hire completely autonomously, from the production of the album to the albums release on his own independent label KnowSavage Records. With this release he established himself as a multitalented, multifaceted, artist and business person and even ventured behind the camera by directing the videos for his single “99.9 %” and “El Presidente” a single with DJ Honda. Since the release of his last album Heroz 4 Hire, Jeru has been touring extensively throughout the United States, Europe, South America, and Africa. In between tours Jeru has done joint project with the gold selling UK group Groove Armada, DJ Cut Killa, Doudou Masta in France, DJ Honda from Japan now based in New York and recorded with DJ Hazu from Japan. A song Jeru did, “Verses of Doom” with the production of Chad Muska, a professional skateboarder, can be heard on the Tony Hawks Pro Skater 4 released the end of 2002 and is on Chad’s compilation album Muska Beatz. Jeru is presently working on his fourth album that will be released on his new label Ashenafi Records. It will feature production by Jeru, and new producers Ed Dantes and Sabor. The first single will be released in the summer of 2003.
His latest release is highly anticipated by the entire hip hop community and will be the culmination of ten celebrated years in the music business. Jeru believes that this will be his best work put together with fresh new production and will be reminiscent of the early days of hip hop.