December 24, 2021

J‐Live - The Best Part (2001)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
Label Number: TTP001

© 2001 Triple Threat Productions
The Best Part is, simply put, classic New York hip-hop, or, as J-Live himself labels it, "true school" that can trace its roots in a direct line back to such icons as KRS-One and Big Daddy Kane. Granted, J-Live didn't reach that level of name recognition with this debut album, and even if it doesn't quite attain the heights of the landmark recordings from those artists, it does threaten to scale them. It is a truly cataclysmic tour de force, especially when you consider the hoops through which the music was forced to jump before it finally appeared, long overdue, in 2001. The Best Part was near completion as early as 1997, and was once set for official release in 1999 (most of the songs were written between 1995 and 1998). Unfortunately, the album, according to J-Live's own liner notes, was "built, robbed, destroyed, rebuilt, held up, postponed, cancelled, shelved, bootlegged, analyzed, exploited, slept on, supported, patiently awaited, and appreciated" long before it ultimately came to commercial fruition for everyone else to appreciate. No wonder, then, that it is such a confident, assured record. No wonder also that the music is very reminiscent of the sounds that were coming out of the alternative New York scene of the fertile early '90s (Pete RockDJ Premier, and Prince Paul all lent a hand in the production booth), although, reworked as it frequently was, it sounded just as timely at the outset of the 21st century. So uniformly excellent are the songs that it plays almost like a best-of compilation, but particular highlights include the brilliant call-and-response anthem "YES!," the cool-cat jazz of "Them That's Not," a cerebral stream-of-consciousness head trip, the classic old-school pastiche "Kick It to the Beat" (featuring labelmates Asheru & Blue Black, with whom J-Live shares an artistic sensibility), the new wave groove of "Get the Third," and the autobiographical title track. This is one of the sine qua non hip-hop joints of the year.

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tags: j live, the best part, 2001, flac,