Monday, 4 January 2010

Random Nineties 12" number 6-J Live - Longevity 12"

When J-Live's debut 12", the original Longevity/Braggin' Writes 12" dropped in 1995 on Raw Shack (RSP-001, another nineties indie label that seems to have disappeared) I totalled missed it and by the time I heard Braggin' writes I couldn't find a copy anywhere. That is why when the remix 12" (Groove Attack GAP 00211) dropped in 1996 I made sure I got two copies and if I remember correctly this may have been one of the first records I bought off an internet site, Sandbox I think.
Obviously the original Longevity/Braggin' Writes 12" is an amazing debut 12" which really shot J-Live onto the indie hip hop scene. The dope A-Side Longevity had a mellow beat with a crisp drum and the B-Side has a killer guitar sample with some sick scratches and both of them featured J-Live's intricate lyrics therefore to make the remix 12" something special they needed the remixes to be dope but significantly different to the originals.

The Longevity remix is handled by Roe Beardie, who had a track record mainly in European Hip Hop although he had worked with Walkin' Large (if anyone remembers him). The beat however is pretty dope; nice crisp drums, cool strings sample in the background and good vocal sample scratches throughout the chorus, intro and outro. A nice mellow take on the original.
The Braggin' Writes remix is handled by Dj Spinna who was just starting to rise to prominence by the time this came out but had worked magic withe Jigmastas on the Beyond Real 12" and would go on to work with a whole range of indie hip hop lyricists throughout the mid to late nineties. On the Braggin Writes Dome Cracker remix Spinna develops a lovely mellow piano loop based track features snappy drums and ambient sounds that come in and go out intermittently. Its a major departure from the barn storming beat of the original but the more mellow beat allows you to savour J-Live's sick lyrics, check the example below which is the second and third verses from Braggin Writes;

Cause yo, I got the hairsplittin, self-written unbitten style
that leaves the competition running scared and shakin in their pants
You best to set it off cause black it aint no second chance
once I'm open, all you doin is hopin that the Live one
will put the mic down, but son don't try to snatch it after
The laughter won't cease from the comparison, how dare you son
Step around the booth when I'm on
The microphone magician says poof, you're gone with the wind
There's no trace of your friends cause you don't know where the
beginning ends or where the end begins
But you see that's the difference, you get sold, I get paid
Black I told you, get paid
If you're broke I'll have to rain on your parade
You belong in Special Ed if you think you Got It Made
J-Live with the mic is like the chef with the blade
Cause suckers get sliced and sauteed
Yeah, you thought your joint was fly but the flight was delayed
because everybody's rappin, and only few can flow
So why the hell they tryin to deal with Live I don't know
I handle true MC's on their block or at their show
So if you come with bull kid, keep it on the low

Cause yo, I take the grey matter of pretenders
through my mental blender, and then return to sender
My pen don't pretend to offend
I intend to render MC's, hangin loose like a fender bender
I recommend regardless of your gender
That you strike messin with J-Live from your agenda
And remember that whoever lends a helpin hand to defend ya
Will get burned to a cinder
As I end the, reign of wack MC's with their suicidal tendencies
Renderin me sick, with the thoughts of killin enemies
But then I return to reality
Metaphorically murderin MC's when they battle me
You can't rattle me
I'm not your average snake slitherin through the grass
I surpass the serpent as I head to class
You consider me crass as I wax that ass; style's no joke
but you best belive I gets the last laugh

Although I don't think J-Live has ever made a better tune than the original Braggin' Writes he has made some majorly dope music throughout his career. Its also worth remembering that this guy not only raps but also produces and DJ's too. Check the link below for the 12" rip including the remixes, originals, instrumentals and acapellas. Next week maybe a little Jigmastas.

You belong in Special Ed' if you think you got it made

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