producers: j-live, usef dinero (joe money), dj spinna, p smoova, richy pitch
guest: asheru, el da sensai
year of release: 2002
website: j-live.net
rating
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tracklisting
1. First Things First
2. How Real It Is
3. Satisfied?
4. Interlude 1 (I'm A Rapper)
5. MCee
6. Like This Anna
7. One For The Griot
8. Stir Of Echoes
9. Interlude 2 (For The Babies)
10. Do That Shit
11. All In Together Now
12. Nights Like This
13. The 4th 3rd
14. Travelling Music
15. A Charmed Life
16. All Of The Above
17. Interlude 3 (Whatever)
18. Happy Belated
19. Satisfied (Dub Version)
20. 3 Out Of 7 feat. Asheru & El Da Sensai
21. The Lyricist

 

All Of The Above

It's a wonderful thing when talent is used to its full potential. When it's taken advantage of by an emcee who possesses plenty of it, to not only bring forth tight lyrics, wordplay, an entertaining tight flow and delivery, but to also be able to create fine music by accompanying the aforementioned with song structures and hot beats. With that said, J-Live brings forth his first official second album entitled "All Of The Above."

For those of us who are already hip to "The Best Part" which was 'officially' released not long before this album on cd (although the vinyl "bootleg" had been floating around long before), then one might wonder what exactly J will be bringing on his new album, and if we are in for a nice surprise, more of the same (just expounded upon), or a dissapointment. I'm here to quell any notion of sophmore slump, because this album is hot.

The first thing that immediately jumped out on this album to me was how consistent the album sounded as far as vibe and intended sound is concerned. The album sounds very complete and thorough, with J spitting his immaculate flow and intricate lyrics upon sonic landscapes supplied by the trio of DJ Spinna (7 tracks), Usef Dinero (4 tracks), A touch of Jazz (1 track), Ritchy Pitch (1 track), and even J-Live himself! who lends his hand to 5 tracks on this album.

Now I could go on about how this lyric or this verse really had me going, but to be honest, if you need this review to tell you J is a gifted emcee, then your beyond my help. I had already been exposed to J's witty rhyme styles, but this go round, I was just as impressed by his work on the beatside. "MCee" is complemented with a bubbly bassline and nasty guitar lick, complete with cuts on the chorus to seal the deal. "The 4th 3rd" takes my nod as of right now as the best track on the album, as conceptually, lyrically, and musically, this track comes together to create musical euphoria.

This is not to go and say the other tracks by the other producers are chopped liver either. One of my favorite producers in the past 5 years, DJ Spinna, drops in to add his magic touch to J's mystic brew of lyricism, most notably displayed in a harmonic blend on "Do That Shit." Matter of fact, i felt every track on this album except maybe "Stir Of Echoes" which may have a nice concept, and sounds like a cool idea for a minute, wore thin afer just that. So minus "Stir Of Echoes", and the messed up track listing on the cover ("Music" lacks mention and production credits), this album is worth every $19.42 you spend on it, if you're paying Wherehouse Music's outrageously inflated prices. Do yourself a favor and pick up both J-Live releases and go home a happy camper. Slugger.

review: mcktwo

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