This year, joining forces with Penalty/Rykodisc, J-Live prepares to drop what may be his most sophisticated, conceptual album so far, 'The Hear After'.
Recorded mostly at J's own Triple Threat Studios in Philadelphia (J recently relocated to Philly from New York), 'The Hear After' actually seems to have taken on a life of its own. Guest vocalists on the album include the soulful sounds of Virgin recording artist Dwele and up and coming artist, Kola Rock, Cvees. The album features production by Soulive, James Poyser (Philly), Floyd the Locksmif (Atl), Hezekiah, Probe DMF, Oddisee (DC), and J-Live himself. "The title is a play on words. People think of the here after as the after life or somewhere you go when you die. Like heaven or hell. Personally, I see heaven as being at peace with yourself while you're alive. I see hell as the path you choose in life as opposed to a place you go after death. The album is called The Hear After because I'm at peace with myself musically, and I've been through hell to get that way. This is what you "hear after" all that has transpired so far. This is what I've been working to accomplish since the last album."
Like J's last two full length records, 'The Best Part' and' All of the Above', 'The Hear After' covers a wide range of thoughts and emotions both musically and with its subject matter. "If you were to look at the whole thing, you would see a story line about an artist trying to maintain and expand his career and still be there for his family. That was the biggest struggle while making the record, and it's no coincidence that it's a consistent theme on The Hear After. But there are songs about almost every aspect of my life from growing up in the city, to raising kids, touring heavily, building and teaching, politics, party and bullshit. I can't just spit about one thing for a whole record. That's not my style."
J-Live has produced a sonically sophisticated, mature album, fit for Escalades as well as I-Pods. "I feel like I represent hip hop's middle class. Seems like everybody's either crying broke or screaming rich or both. I try to speak to the people in between. The everyday hard working fun loving hip hop heads."
Do My Thing (featuring Cvees)
Brooklyn Public Part 1
Coming Home (featuring Dwele)
"A 12 track course in what hip-hop is supposed to be...bling free." — Getunderground.com
"A triple threat on any level of hip-hop...true school dean" — Elemental