J-Carter is back with his 4th album, entitled “Hip-Hop Til I Die”. Set to drop at the end of July, this promises to be another whopping epic, containing something like 38 tracks of music. The album will proceed to shine a light on the many styles this artist is capable of bringing to the table – from Hip-hop, R&B, country, to pop, rock, and even the blues. J-Carter meticulous. Thanks to a bevy of thoughtfulness and remarkable craftsmanship, he has attracted a sizable audience with his previous releases. What he displayed as a lyricist and conceptual album constructor across all his long playing projects places the New Jersey wordsmith in the company of the genre’s brightest rising stars.
To observe J-Carter, is to view an artist who doesn’t dance to the industry’s tune. He takes his time crafting stunning gems of epic proportions. Rather than deliver a handful of throwaways, J-Carter serves up a fully flavored smorgasbord. “Hip-Hop Til I Die” is once again an exploration, but this time around, the journey is straight into the mind of J-Carter who observes the world from close-up and comments on its workings leaving no stone unturned, no matter how uneasy the topic.
In “Unborn Dead” he cuts straight through the controversial abortion issue. On “Own Your Skin Tone” he tackles the problems of self-appreciation, and accepting yourself for who you are. While in “No More Drinking”, he affronts the theme of alcoholism. Lyrically, J-Carter has elevated. He has also completely mastered the art of the memorable hook, and there isn’t a verse that isn’t filled with enthralling lyricism.
From the anthemic “World We Live In”, to the rockers “Real God’s Never Die” and “Keep Holding On”, to the soulful slow burner “Got Me Where U Want” and “Everything”, these songs are befitting of an album that doesn’t have the feel of compromised creativity.
“Hip-Hop Til I Die” is about the man, his thoughts, and what he chooses to share with the world. Honesty, the unapologetic kind, drives the project and can be heard on “I’m Spitting This”, “Modest Not The Hottest”, A Lyrical Addict” and “Get High For You”.
Setting a strong mood and creating a universe where wordy, layered lyricism can cut through the layers of melodic sound is a gift that few have. There are dynamic sounds, verses, and moments, while the album, keeps a consistent groove.
On an album where the tone is set by the rapper’s voice, the atmosphere often changes based on J-Carter’s approach. This is something he does on almost every track, as he moves from cinematic to dark and somber, and then to relentlessly urgent and upbeat to anthemic. He lets his thoughts and emotions take control of the album, as each song and feature seems well-placed and natural while the tracks flow seamlessly.
One of the best things about “Hip-Hop Til I Die”, is that J-Carter doesn’t seem to be chasing one specific sound. He seems to be creating what inspires him. It feels like he has reached a point in his life an artistry where he is in total control.
J-Carter delivers consistently strong rhymes on this album, while using the extended track list for a variety of beats. There’s an immediately gripping sound to “Ill Versus No Curses” while J-Carter brings a color out in his rhymes to keep the momentum on this track moving.
The rapper is rolling in a rhythmic heaven on “Bottom To The Top” through intoxicating percussion, driving guitars and a soaring hook. All the vintage hip hop pristine comes out on “Can’t Smile” as J-Carter delivers surprisingly appropriate and slowly blown out rhymes to ramp things up.
Across this album, the fluctuations of J-Carter’s voice provides an effect of multiple voices from different people that seem to match each and every featured artist on the tracklist. This album is an ambitious leap over J-Carter’s previous works, and encourages listeners to lose themselves within the artist’s thoughts.
Throughout “Hip-Hop Til I Die”, J-Carter’s effortlessly basks in both his poetic complexity and his rigorous rhyming stamina. The production is phenomenal, the songs themselves are memorable and wonderful in their own ways, and the project as a whole is the most bold and ambitious underground hip-hop album I’ve heard in a long time.