Jeru the Damaja

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Kendrick Jeru Davis, known as Jeru the Damaja (born February 14, 1972 in Brooklyn), is an American rapper best known for his 1994 debut album, The Sun Rises in the East, ranked as one of the 100 greatest hip-hop albums of all time by the editors of He has worked extensively with Guru and DJ Premier of Gang Starr, whom he has known since he was in high school.


  • [Asked who inspired him to be a vegetarian] I used to sell books, when I was about 18 …. We were selling books, and right next to us was an old man. I mean, he had to be about 80 years old, and he was a nutritionist, but he was a holistic nutritionist, and he was talking to us about how you shouldn’t really eat animals and things of that nature … and he pulled up his shirt and the man had the abs of a 15-year-old. He says to us, “Touch ’em. Punch me,”—whatever—and he’s like, “How old do you think I am?” And we thought he was about 50 years old, and he’s like, “I’m 86 years old.” … We looked at each other, me and my friends, and we were, like, when we’re 86, we want to be like that …. So that’s what started it.
    • "Jeru the Damaja", interview by Peta2, having just released his album Divine Design (2003).

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