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J-Live Then What Happened?

  • Words: Max Herman
  • Label: BBE
  • XLR8R Rating: 7/10

Call J-Live stubborn, but this NYC native isn’t one to conform to hip-hop’s movements of the moment. Aside from an awkwardly attempted club track (“The Zone”), the MC/DJ/producer’s new album sticks to his longtime true-school spirit. And his persistence amounts to mostly palatable results. The xylophone-tinged “It Don’t Stop” is a prime example of how J’s love of hip-hop culture over wealth has only grown stronger via lines like, “Even as an amateur/I shall proceed to add to the cipher/Drop a trail of jewels/That lead to a time where conscious is cool.” It doesn’t matter if he’s rapping about perseverance or getting personal about his broken marriage–J-Live remains a voice that deserves to be heard.

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