Outdoorsmen Album Invasion

J-Love and Meyhem are both dropping albums over the coming weeks, so I thought I’d see what they have cooked-up for us on Egotistical Maniac and Self-Induced Illness. It’s worth noting that both records are double albums, which is always something I’m in two minds about. On the one hand, the amount of songs you’re getting is great value and it allows you the luxury of choosing the best songs to load onto your ipod or whatever, but the other side of that is there’s an art to creating to a cohesive album and do I really want to listen to 40+ tracks from anybody in a row?

Egotistical Maniac follows in the footsteps of J-Love’s other releases such as Acknowledge Greatness in that it delivers dope beats, top-notch guests and a whole lotta J-Love rapping. The quality of J’s rhyming can vary depending on the tempo and the subject matter – when he’s on a beat that suits his flow and he’s ragging on herbs in his trademark arrogant manner, it works. But he lacks the versatility to tackle faster or really slow tracks as effectively, revealing that despite his commitment to the mic he’s a DJ/producer first and a rapper second. You can hear the contrast between the quality of the heart-felt ‘Still Standing’, which is easily the best solo thing I’ve heard from him, and ‘Playaz & Dymez’, which falls flat as he attempts a party type joint.

The real show here, however, is the quality of the tracks with features. Joints like ‘Fuck That Man Up’ with Sean Price, Willie The Kid and LA The Darkman, ‘Whippin’ Out My Lasso’ with Sadat X and Grand Daddy I.U., ‘Suffocated’ with Ghostface and ’em and ‘Trust Fund Children’ with Large Pro are just a few of the many outstanding moments to be found on this project. If J had combined these dope features with his four strongest solo shots and refined this project to sixteen tracks, it would have presented a far stronger argument for his brand of East-Coast Elitist rap. As it stands though, 43 songs just feels like hard work.

Meyhem Lauren follows-up the recent mixtape with his official debut, which is also far longer than it should be but remains the more consistent of the two. Tracks like ‘Guidance’, ‘Steak With A Glass of Red’, ‘Got The Recipe’ and ‘Classic Material’ deliver the goods as Meyhem’s gruff delivery blends with sharp beats for a satisfying dose of Queens Rap, while cameos are kept to a tasteful minimum outside of the Outdoorsmen crew. With a varied selection of tracks from PF Cuttin’, J-Love, Thorotracks, Domingo and more, Self-Induced Illness serves up a platter of traditional rap like it should be done.

Once again though, the main issue is the refusal to trim back the fat from the main course. Many of the older and previously leaked songs don’t add much to the package, as the new material is what we really want to hear when we cop an album. As with the J-Love record, Self-Induced Illness would have been a lot more cohesive and focused if it was restricted to the sixteen best songs, despite the majority of them being pretty good. Sometimes it’s what you don’t say that speaks the loudest.

Self-Induced Illness drops February 15.

Egotistical Maniac is out March 1st.

J-Love feat. Kool G Rap, Cormega and Roc Marciano –
‘Tricks of the Streets’

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26 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Both gonna be wack.

Comment by Qwermoo 02.13.11 @

It’s just a fact that I would like J-Love a lot more if he didn’t look flagrant in every single picture. I like a lot of butt-ugly rappers, and many that fell into horrible clothing trends, but J-Love is just in another league.

Comment by B.O 02.13.11 @

Fat white guy tryin’ to impersonate Slick Rick – great idea, that cover made me laugh. J-Love always manages to look like a clown.

Comment by Chulee ManSun 02.13.11 @

I’ll cop that Meyhem album,will it b out on vinyl also? J-Love is too wack a rapper for me to spend dough on,dont care who co-sign him.

Comment by dj blendz 02.13.11 @

“Better Your Life” and “Unstoppable” both were DOPE!!! yeah, J-LOVE is wack on the mic, but his beats are always on point and the features are always bangin!!! looking forward to both releases… btw, what happend to that kid U THE EXQUIZITE??? he had two very dope 12″ singles back in 2002/2003 that were produced by J-LOVE and also a J-LOVE/U THE EXQUIZITE mixtape…

and yeah – J-LOVE always looking like a clown… especially in his videos!! LOL

Comment by DaGrimeyWay 02.13.11 @

J-Love’s ‘Fit’ straight outta the thrift store.

Comment by Anon 02.13.11 @

Seriously J-Love’s beats good? …so dull, so cliched, sped up soul vocal samples? c’mon they were always wac ….Hip Hop by numbers making NYC look wac & reinforcing all the worst rap stereotypes.

Comment by Mac Hustle 02.13.11 @

I’m leery of over-stuffed albums, too. Makes me think they’re never gonna see the light again, so an artist has to throw everything they have out there.

Comment by fosterkakhunter 02.14.11 @

I can’t take him serious while looking at him. J-Love looks like a spoof off of an In Living Color episode.

Comment by BIGSPICE 02.14.11 @

When did this site become a Jlove bashing forum? I can agree hes not the greatest on the mic but hes done a lot for hip hop. Fronting on his beats is insane, have any of you heard the joints hes done for Large pro, Cormega etc? Saying his outfit is out the thrift store is stupidity too. First off hes wearing new polo shit circa 2007-2011 second hes old enough to have had any oldschool lo items from the 90s when they dropped. Peace to you Jlove do your thing, not everybody on this site is Jlove hater.

Comment by FACTUAL 02.14.11 @

Much love to both for gettinitin on a commitment level, Im sure there will be some niceness amongst the mix, but that is way to much to compile in one release… what happened to droppin an LP where you get to APPRECIATE the 10 or so joints that were crafted to perfection? And having that crazy two or three drops off the LP in 12 form that you could sit on and appreciate for a minute… Its like too many heads wanna cater to the fast food flavaz of the net audience, yo, some of us still appreciate the goodness like a fine wine, Im with you here Robbie, 12 of the best on each would be a treat! For the record, may’s a beast widdit and Loves got the beats on lock, Im in, vinyl release?

Comment by D-BO 02.14.11 @

clearly j-love has no clue of the difference between a mixtape and an official album release as this dude is destined to stay selling out his trunk or more likely these days, slinging on bandcamp. i mean even the covers look like some shit this guy threw together in photoshop and didn’t outsource to someone who had a fucking clue. if these shits even get a physical release i put money on the fact they will come in slim jewel cases with artwork printed on a fucking inket.

Comment by A&Rarrrrr 02.14.11 @

J loves U Fagtual, but nevertheless Polo makes u look gay, no matter what. Stay off that whitey country club gear and get some pussy.

Comment by Chulee ManSun 02.14.11 @

Anyone who says polo makes you look gay is a clown. I havent collected polo in years but I respect the game. Once again I’m not a huge fan of Jloves raps but that outfit is hard and hes given me 50 plus dope mixtapes to listen to. Show the man some respect.

Comment by FACTUAL 02.14.11 @

outdoorsman meyhem lauren and jlove joints fire last of real hiphop none that fluff bullshit

Comment by ucantwin 02.14.11 @

Did J-Love rhyme last on “Tricks of the Streets?” I didn’t hate that.

Comment by A'peks 02.14.11 @

“Self Induced Illness” was always meant to be more like a collection of his previously released joints, so I can’t be mad at those older songs, because I need them all!
Another thing is why wasn’t it released like a year ago as originally planned – by now there was supposed to be his offial album out with legendary producers on the board…

Speaking of Outdoorsmen – where is that Killa Sha album !!??
According to Unkut (source : DJ Phantom ?) it was supposed to be out in January…

Comment by Blanco 02.15.11 @

J-Love works with great MC’s, and is a pretty good producer, but someone needs to tell him to SHUT THE FUCK UP!!! Jesus Christ, I hate when DJ’s shout over the goddamn songs, no one tunes in to hear you, this ain’t 2002, stop with the DJ Envy type shit!!!!

Comment by McNulty 02.15.11 @

You know I like to rock my carhartt and levi’s Jeans mostly. I been like that years. Owned some nautica and polo jeans too. Not trying to be a funny dude. But What kind of jeans he rocking? Is that polo by Ralph lauren? Cause I ain’t seen n*ggas in my area sport that look yet

Comment by DJ Green HORNET aka R@$#0D 02.15.11 @

J Love’s beats > J Love’s dress sense.

Comment by End Level Boss 02.16.11 @

This site has turned into a bunch of back packin faggots. J-love has payed his dues thrice over.

Sounding like a conga line of suckholes at the beauty salon. respect the oil spill slick.

I see you Jason

Comment by BRIX 02.16.11 @

Oh yeah, hot track too. I was a bit worried about 40+ joints on one full length like some people noted earlier but this shit holds water.

Comment by BRIX 02.16.11 @


Comment by QUITDABS 02.16.11 @


Comment by QUITDABS 02.16.11 @

as stated, these are both too long to have any long term appeal unless you plan on picking and choosing your fav tracks. Shouldve just picked the best 12-16 and made a thorough album. As for J-Love…i respect the hustle and what he did for the scene but he needs to stay off the mic. Not one solo track I can feel

Comment by S.Flamingo 02.17.11 @

I thought it would be full of filla but the majority of Meyhem’s album is bangin. Even if it’s more of an anthology than an album. One

Comment by jaypea 02.17.11 @

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