The Here After
After his perennially delayed debut finally dropped (The Best Part), J commanded the attention of the underground. The sophomore joint (All of The Above), only solidified his standing as a premier talent. Despite a couple EP's to tide us over, The Hear After comes highly anticipated and it's hard to imagine J-Live disappointing.
Sadly, you'd be wrong. It's not that J-Live the emcee didn't come correct, because he slayed it as always. Look no further than the incredible "Fire Water" (also the LP's best piece of production), the vintage J "Audio Visual" and the Oddisee banger "Aww Yeah." "The Sidewalks" is more of the goods you expect, linear, introspective lyricism. Unfortunately, the area that lacks is the beats, something that J has never struggled with in the past. Not even close.
But tracks like "Do My Thing," "Harder," "Coming Home," and "Weather The Storm" all really lack in the head-nodding department. Often times incredible emcees are held to a higher standard when it comes to beat selection, and J-Live is really no exception. But in this case, I'd criticize the production for an average emcee. I still think the album is worth copping, if only for J's linguistics.