Hands down J-Live is one of Hip Hop’s most complete emcees. With “ The Best Part” and the classic “All Of The Above”, J-Live proved he was no longer raps best kept secret but rather the undergrounds best emcee and a force to be reckoned with. What J-Live represents is Hip Hop at its purest form. He makes universal music that speaks to every individual, no matter who you are. Live is not only an emcee, he is a producer and a DJ, who can certainly do it all. He definitely embodies the triple threat position that only a few emcees can even claim in today’s industry. “Always Will Be” is a 8 track EP that features a variety of unreleased material from the veteran emcee, which manages to continue the streak of excellent J-Live releases.
As with any J-Live album, a vast amount of variety and originality can be found throughout. And while “Always Will Be” may not feature the standout tracks that his previous two full length albums did, the album still manages to be entertaining from beginning to end. The lead title “Always Will Be” features a funky, authentic Hip Hop vibe, in a way only J-Live can produce. “Deal Widit” is another one of those universal tracks with a strong message that Live always manages to produce. In the track Live asks the listeners, “what do you do when you got twenty two minute tasks and ten minutes to deal with it”? While simple, it is something all of us can relate to.
Conceptually J-Live once again provides shining moments on “Always Will Be” , as seen through “Car Trouble” and “Walkman Music”. “Car Trouble” is definitely one of the album’s highlights, as J-Live spits an amazing metaphoric tale between car trouble and the Hip Hop industry. With Wordsworth playing the passenger in the taxi cab J-Live is driving, Live runs through his life in the industry in a fashion only he could pull off. The song is even more proof of why Live is one of the games best emcees and based on sheer conceptual ability, not many emcees can even measure up to him. “Walkman Music” is another great effort, as Live spits a standout second verse about an individual and their interaction with a walkman. With another funky, up tempo production effort behind the boards, J steals the show on every level.
The remaining portion of “Always Will Be” is just as satisfying as the previously mentioned tracks. The live show influenced “Add-A-Cipher” features yet another lyrical gem from J-Live. With sick wordplay that is unparalleled by most in today’s industry, Live makes mince meat of the tracks simplistic production with lines like, “50 people in a 5 man elevator, free falling from the fifth thousand floor. With 500 degrees Fahrenheit, to a 5 minute song, feeling like they can’t go wrong”. For a more hardcore feel, “Get Live” will certainly satisfy your needs, as J-Live proves he can bring you all types of flavors. And if you desire that deep and insightful vibe of J-Live, “9000 Miles” is the track you definitely need to hear. The track features a silky smooth beat that glides over Live’s rhymes. Most listeners won’t even comprehend the beauty of J-Live’s lyrics on songs like this. It’s deep lyricism like the type featured on “9000 Miles” that pulls Live ahead of the pack.
No matter what type of Hip Hop you are into, J-Live has something for everyone on “Always Will Be”. Lyrically Live is unmatched and conceptually is so far ahead of everyone else it’s not even funny. And while he maybe one of the undergrounds best emcees, he deserves to be mentioned with all the current greats in Hip Hop. “Always Will Be” is a wonderful EP that will certainly hold fans over until Live’s next full length album and is an album every Hip Hop fan should have in their collection. “I been here for a few, I’ll be here for a few more, for keeping it true. By the time I’m through so many rhyme styles I outgrew there won’t be nobody left to compare me to”.