Nov 16, 2015

Review: How Much Is Water? - @RealJLive (Written By: @Natural_Nation)

It's another modern example of Hip-Hop. J-Live’s sound is the music we imagine when we think of New York and underground hip-hop. Which, at this point it’s safe to say is distinguishable from rap.

On J- Live’s Bandcamp alone we have access to thirteen different collections of music. This month J-Live presents us with a new arrangement called How Much Is Water? This is presented to us via his new label Mortier Music. J-Live gives us a self produced album with cover art credits given to Sean Fahie. I was going  to try and do something a little different this week. I wanted to do a live account of my album listening experience but I’ll leave that for another time. To be frank, his album is pretty deep and needed to be absorbed thoroughly.

I haven’t listened to an album similar to this in a while; a long while. Honestly I probably have not listened to something of this nature since I last listened to Q-Tip, and who knows how many eons ago that was (no shade.)  If you’re into underground hip hop, this is an album, off definition, alone you will not be disappointed in. It also doesn't hurt that it's an easy listen.  For the most part the album encompasses fairly simple boom bap style instrumentals. You can definitely pick up on the influence of jazz throughout the ten songs. The album started off with a very gradual ascension, more or less becoming more uptempo with every song. In my opinion, each song is a little bit better than the last. After the fifth song this pattern more or less disappears. But that brings me to a great segue into track number five, Microphone Stamina.

It’s clear J-Live is not short on words. Where other artists seem to struggle with lyrics it comes off as a light stroll in the park for this emcee. In one particular song Microphone Stamina (accurately named) J-Live makes a clear example of this. The song is lyrically full. Literally, there are a ton of words in this song. There is no other way to describe it. I know that sounds silly but every true lyricist has at least one of those songs where they are determined to blow back everyone’s wig with smooth transitions and clever brain scratching sentences. He brought it all for this track...and took no breaks. Another song that caught my ear was track number four Ya Momma So Black. It was the most relatable for me on the album. Indeed, my mother is also “So Black”.  The song gives an account of all the things we love and “hate” about growing up with a mother of color. and in turn it gives an accurate depiction of what it’s like to grow up as a minority in today’s society. I found myself laughing at a few things and frowning at others. It's perfect for the climate we're in during 2015.  Some other honorable mentions are Numbers & Letters feat. Rome Supreme, Kings Just Rule, and the title track. To check out J-Live and his album out you can visit his BandCamp page here. Check out the album stream below as well. Enjoy.

Rating: 3.8 out of 5


Multimedia Journalist, Founder and Chief Editor of WTM Host of A-Side B-Side Podcast and more. I like to talk about stuff and write it down. Sometimes to a microphone. Either way, I need you to feel this.

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