J Live kinda reminds me of the best of both worlds. He’s underground, yet everyone knows his name. He’s an ill mc, but he’s also just as ill behind the technics 1200 or the boards. He’s been around the world, but he’s still NYC to heart. So, when I check my inbox and find out I’m reviewing J Live’s new EP “Undivided Attention’ guess what I’m expecting? Yup, the best of both worlds. Something that’s underground and gonna make me think but also something to get me hype with some ill wordplay. And that’s exactly what you get with “Undivided Attention”.
“Home or Away” sets the EP off lovely over a nice laid back jawn as J explains how “his life is like a 12 on a tech 12”. “The Way That I Rhyme” for some reason reminds me of Tribe’s “Get A Hold”, probably cause of the way the sample is chopped up but regardless the jawn is sick and my fav cut on the EP. And the way Rob Base is scratched for the chorus had me wondering “who spins for J Live?” Right…my bad…J Live. Both of these are produced by Koredo and money’s got some heat…be on the look out for dude. Nicolay steps in to lay the groundwork for the cool out “How I Feel” and “Calculations” produced by J himself gives me the “thinking music” I was talking about earlier. Lines like “no shit, we got robbed on Wall street, a million people laid off like it’s all sweet” and “can’t afford the car that you brought last July” let you know that this is where J becomes your hood newscaster for PETV like Lyte was back in the day on “Night of the Living Baseheads”. But even though “The Way that I Rhyme” is my fav cut, it’s something about “Finess” produced by Locsmif with hip hop’s favorite son Homeboy Sandman that’s a close second. The energy in this song is just bananas and the way J and Homeboy go back and forth like a young Erick and Parrish, an EP might be in the works for these two in the future. Not really feeling the title cut “Undivided Attention” but on a whole, this is a solid release from J Live and cats should mos def be looking forward to his full length “S.P.T.A.”(Pronounced Spitta) dropping next year.