Kool Keith & J-Live Make An Unlikely Pair. But They Are Great Travel Companions (Audio)

Mello Music Group’s L’Orange is a quiet threat. The French producer chops down samples and breathes new life into dusty grooves. Pensive MCs, whether Blu or Gift Of Gab, thrive on his sonic textures.

“The Traveler” extends L’Orange’s collaborative history with Kool Keith, and welcomes J-Live to the fold. Two Handsome Boy Modeling School affiliates have very different styles. Keith has is experimental, if not odd-ball in his imagery and advanced deliveries. Justice plays the more personal card, making technically-conventional Hip-Hop, on the mic, the turntables, and the MPC. Somehow, on “The Traveler,” it all comes together seamlessly.

Keith hits a machine-like flow, giving Heads a thoughtful verse that as always, feels effortless for the Ultramagnetic MCs front man. “The Triple Threat” J-Live uses clever wordplay, hitting the mic with an especially sharp Mos Def homage and follow-up bars. Both of these New Yorkers move through the track packed properly, showing that collaborations that may sound jarring on paper, are often butter-soft in action.

This is from July 24’s Time? Astonishing! on Mello.

Related: J-Live Heads West for Some Sun and FUNK…and He Pays It Forward (Video)