All of the Above (Coup D'Etat)

If Ja Rule's theory that cranking out an album every year is the only way to stay atop the rap charts, it's no wonder J-Live is still strictly an underground sensation. The much-hyped Brooklynite lost his entire first album, The Best Part, to record-label consolidation, and he hasn't officially released anything since bursting onto the hip-hop scene with his "Braggin' Writes" and "Can I Get It" singles in 1996.

Sadly, All of the Above stands little chance of catapulting Live back into the spotlight. Everything about Live screams "true school," and his tendency to favor lyrical narratives over flashy one-liners and amped-up hooks won't endear him to most fans of fast-paced commercial rap. Live combines the aggressive, cocky presence of Pharoahe Monch with the nerdy linguistic experimentation of Blackalicious's Gift of Gab while covering a full range of subjects. The beats, supplied chiefly by J-Live, DJ Spinna, and Jazzy Jeff, range from dubbed-out funk numbers to spellbinding celestial jazziness. It all leaves us hoping we don't have to wait another six years for Live's next album.

More by Steve Boughton


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


Staff Pick Events

  • Laurie Kilmartin @ Pickwick & Frolic/Hilarities East 4th

    • Fri., Nov. 23
  • Open Turntable Tuesday @ The Winchester

    • Tuesdays
  • Keith Alberstadt @ Pickwick & Frolic/Hilarities East 4th

    • Wed., Nov. 28

© 2018 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation