words by Jbutters. photos by Eric Massof
Finally with a proper release J-Live has been getting the respect he deserves. His album All Of The Above has received critical acclaim and the former teacher has been covered on MTV and just about every music magazine out there. Now a full time MC, I caught up with J on his first full U.S tour.

Jbutters: This is the first tour since you decided to become a full time musician how do you feel about making that decision and choosing between two things that you love?

J-Live: It's ill because I've been rhyming since I was twelve years old and I didn't realize I wanted to teach until I became a Five Percenter when I was nineteen. So by the time I got out of school the album was supposed to drop and it didn't. That was the whole reason my mom made me get my degree so I would have something to fall back on. To have choices in terms of being able to do what you love is very important not just for teachers and emcees, but for everybody in life to do something that they love to do to have a profession so that they can have longevity in it so that they don't hate themselves for not doing what they really want. So when the opportunity arose to really do this full time I had to take it because I can teach when I'm sixty-five I can't necessarily rock crowds like this. When your teaching you don't want to miss a day for your kids, when I don't come in its because I'm sick or there is some type of emergency, but for me to teach and do this I'd only be able to rhyme on the weekends and holidays and in the summer so I had to do this full time. Its like serving two masters as they say because the time I spent in classroom I could have spent promoting and the time I spent promoting I could've spent preparing better lesson plans so I had to choose. I chose hiphop because now is the time to be able to teach through music and when that's all said and done I can go back into the classroom more heavily armed with experience.