Whenever I hear J-Live, I have to check myself for always forgetting to include him in my mental list of upper-eschelon MC's.
I first heard "The Lyricist" on Ritchy Pitch's Live At Home EP (2002). The production isn't mind blowing by any means but catchy nonetheless. I feel like I should go on and on about J-Live's lyrical virtuosity on this track but all I can really say is that his flow is flawless. Style, content, delivery...it's all there.
J-Live: "The Lyricist"
Then there's "The Epilogue", the closing track from his excellent 2001 debut The Best Part. The solemn, echoeing guitar loop is nice but, again, J-Live shines all the way through.
"When it's all said and done it should be heard and seen
'Til this cold-hearted game forces us to change teams
While the lust for the loot spreads out like gangrene
So the haves chase their tails while the nots chase their dreams
As the years chase the days, past the futures, meet fate
Like your firstborn, waiting for pop's release date
Postpone, meanwhile, I accumulate means
To revise and renew what was just heard and seen"