Remember the old adage "Those who can do, and those who can't teach"? J-Live does, and he is ready to challenge it with All of the Above.
Remember the old adage "Those who can do, and those who can't teach"? J-Live does, and he is ready to challenge it with All of the Above. The former English teacher from Bushwick, Brooklyn, N.Y., teaches his fellow MCs how it's done on his official full-length debut. Underground hip-hop fans first caught wind of the rapper via such classic indie singles as "Braggin' Writes" and "Can I Get It." On All of the Above, J gives listeners a valuable commodity that's all too rare in hip-hop—thought-provoking lyrics. For example, J breaks down the state of current affairs on "Satisfied?" For additional education, check out "Interlude 1 (I'm a Rapper)," a hilarious play on words. Versatile rhymes flow on "All in Together Now," while necks will snap to "Do That $#!%." The 18-track set is a) a tutorial in what a hip-hop album should be; b) a stellar debut by one of hip-hop's underrated MCs; or c) All of the Above.—RH