Pressure busts pipes and shapes diamonds so if anybody has jewels to drop it’s J-Live.
Three years after his last project, The Here After, multi-talented triple threat is back with a vengeance on his new CD, Then What Happened?
“The cover is me knocked out with my glasses broken,” says the NY native who now resides in Atlanta, GA. “Musically this is me getting off the ground.”
After the lukewarm reception to the production on his last project J-Live enlisted a who’s who of hip-hop producers and talented off-the-radar beatsmiths.
“I didn’t do any beats on this one,” says J who is famously known for being able to scratch records and rhyme at the same time. “I’m not trying to have a beat on the album for the sake of having a beat. I got Jazzy Jeff, Evil Dee, Oddisee, Floyd The Locsmif, DJ Spinna, Nicolay and DJ Numark from Jurassic Five.” Also featured are Joe Money, (who produced “Like This Anna,” “One For The Griot,” and “Nights Like This” on All of The Above ) Yalzee and Spymusic’s Probe DMS.
“I’ve been working on this for about a year and a half,” he says. “Every time I get into it something happens in my life, my whole world flips around. The separation from my wife was big, that’s a very serious life altering occurrence and having three kids makes it more complicated. That’s a whole other animal. My kids are in Atlanta now, that’s why I’m down here. I’ve been doing some tutoring of Language Arts and Math to middle schoolers. Just keeping that side of the blade sharp.”
While he stands by his work on The Here After, he does have an explanation for why it sounded so different from his previous work.
“The thing that people don’t realize is that [on] The Here After we only sampled from Rykor’s catalogue cuz they said they couldn’t afford any sample issues,” he reveals. “It was an interesting experiment, very worth the effort, but at the end of the day it doesn’t go back to 70s soul or Jazz and Funk so every producer on the record had their hands tied behind their back, including myself. It was apparent in the end product.”
J hasn’t done much production as of late but his MPC work on “Traveling Music,” “Stir of Echoes,” and “The 4th 3rd” should leave little doubt as to what he can do with the right resources. After touring in the U.S., Europe and South Africa he’ll begin working on an instrumental album.
“I’ll let people talk their shit because my rep speaks for itself on the beats. It’s not like the evidence ain’t there. Lately it’s just been ‘focus on the rhymes’ but the beats are coming.”
J-Live’s, Then What Happened? will be in stores May 27th