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 CDs (Ghostface Killa Hidden Darts, Nas Finest and Rakim Legends, to name a few), hes also produced tracks for the likes of Jay Z (Stop), 50 Cent (Gangsta S###) 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, its 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 youre an old school head youre going to want to check for Slick Ricks Trouble and Masta Aces N.F.L. If youre more into the newer school wielders, Mobb Deep & 50 Cents Clap Them Thangs and Cuban Link & Jadakisss Talk about It will be right up your alley. The album is stacked with a murders 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 90s. Gritty tracks made for ghetto ballads or battle raps with equal aplomb. While J-Loves 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 youre looking for good beats, rhymes, and something different from your average mainstream mixtape, you need to holla at J-Love.