J-Live has two classic underground albums with The Best Part and All Of The Above. As one of the most well rounded emcees in the game - period - J-Live has captivated fans with his brilliant lyricism, creative wordplay and conceptual material. On his third album, The Hear After, J continues to impress, however, the album fails to rekindle the essence of his previous work due to inconsistent production.
While All Of The Above didn't feature any flashy beats, the album was cohesive and the production fit the mood of the album. With The Hear After, we get uncharacteristic production that lacks any depth, creativity or direction. The quirky West Coast production on "Do My Thing," the Spanish influenced "Whoever" and the bland keys on "Brooklyn Public Part 1" are all lusterless efforts behind the boards that unfortunately overshadow J's lyricism. However, J-Live does rebound and provide some vintage cuts, such as "Harder," which features a nice arrangement of hard drums, gritty guitar riffs and smooth keys. "Audio Visual" is another superb effort due to Floyd The Locsmif's spacey keys.
J-Live is still the most talented emcee in the underground and even though The Hear After is his biggest disappointment of his career, with better production another classic album is just waiting to be made.