Better Your Life

Artist: J-LoveTitle: Better Your LifeRating: 3 1/2 StarsReviewed by: N. Context

J-Love, mixtape DJ and producer from Queens, NY, has been bubbling on the underground circuit for quite some time now. Mostly known for his “Best Of” series of CD’s (Ghostface Killa Hidden Darts, Nas’ Finest and Rakim Legends, to name a few), he’s also produced tracks for the likes of Jay Z (“Stop”), 50 Cent (“Gangsta Shit”) and Nas “You Know My Style Remix”). With mixtapes dating back to 96, his first record deal circa ’97, ‘98 and Mixtape Awards in 1998, 2002 and 2003, it’s a surprise is not better renowned, for now.

Keeping to his mantra of only playing what he feels, Better Your Life is a compilation of J-Love produce original tracks and remixes with various mainstream, old school and underground artists. If you’re an old school head you’re going to want to check for Slick Rick’s “Trouble” and Masta Ace’s “N.F.L.” If you’re more into the newer school wielders, Mobb Deep & 50 Cent’s “Clap Them Thangs” and Cuban Link & Jadakiss’s “Talk about It” will be right up your alley. The album is stacked with a murder’s row of top notch artists that make stellar appearances, including Raekwon, Kool G Rap, Cormega, Ghostface, Big Pun and Big L.

J-Love is an accomplished producer. His use of punchy drum patterns, emotive horns, sinister keys and sharp percussion as sonic accompaniment are reminiscent of NYC underground street tracks of the early to mid 90’s. Gritty tracks made for ghetto ballads or battle raps with equal aplomb. While J-Love’s production is on point, his flow and hooks can leave a lot to be desired. Good thing there are only there of these slip ups on this 25 track disc. If you’re looking for good beats, rhymes, and something different from your average mainstream mixtape, you need to holla at J-Love.

Related Stories