J-Live Is Making Hip-Hop Great Again With A Song About Hate (Lyric Video)

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The triple threat MC/DJ/producer J-Live has demonstrated that he loves concept. The Atlanta, Georgia-based New Yorker’s last album, 2015’s How Much Water used H20 as a theme throughout, complemented by liquid lyricism and pitter-pattering beats.

Justice Allah’s biggest single of 2018, “Hating,” is both conceptual and topical. In the lyric video to the just-released song, J-Live plays on the “MAGA” hat and its most famous model with poetic messaging. “Two things I hate is haters and hypocrites / I hate contradictions, but right now, I could give a sh*t / I hate your Top 5 lists / If I made a list of hates, at the top it would say ‘lists like this’ / I hate the way hate is so overused / Love too / ‘Cause hate is just love spoiled, deferred, tainted, refused / Love of life in the face of abuse / Not a mere disagreement, hate is deeper than being obtuse / ‘If I don’t like it, I don’t like it, that don’t mean that I’m hating’ / I don’t bear witness to your god, that don’t mean that I’m Satan / A great debater, but I hate debating / Those that can’t teach but love to critique, that don’t mean you creatin’,” spits the MC who has also worked as an educator.

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In the second verse, J kicks, “I hate racists / I prefer the ones that hate me to my face just so I can shine and reflect the hatred / You think that I could write a whole song about hate / And not see race, ha ha ha ha, I laugh in your face / That would be running in place / The people running this place / Been on my people’s back, piggy backing, building a rat race / A mousetrap, now you wanna race? / Never paying back and with no financial backing? / Delayed gratification, ‘we’ll pay you on the back end’? / F*ck outta here, you get the back hand / What you defend miraculous we not attacking / Don’t give a f*ck who you date / Don’t got no venom, but Black men hating on Black women, and Black women hating on Black men, I call that self-hate / We are one, look in the mirror and get yourself straight / We are dying, black as coal, under pressure / We are diamonds in the rough, why you jaded? / Green with envy, jealous of your own oppressors / Get you a little taste and be like, ‘Mama, I made it’ / I hate the fact that we’re too busy trying to score to realize that the game is rigged / F*ck a scoring title / Your team is losing and them stats ain’t vital / Like burnin’ all your gas in the fast lane while you sittin’ idle.

The triple-threat who has worked with DJ Premier, Prince Paul, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Pete Rock, and 88-Keys shows that nearly 20 years after The Best Part, he plays an incredible role in Hip-Hop. The song is conceptual, political, topical, and relevant at a time when many perceive the white embroidered letters on red fabric as hate in of itself. In its potent lyrics, the song addresses race, religion, and a call for people to be careful with semantics.

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In the last verse, J-Live confronts the song’s inspiration head-on. “I seen a sign saying ‘love trumps hate’ / Trump got voted in ’cause hate loved Trump / I don’t love Trump’s hate / I hate Trump’s love / But the truth is, in America, hate trumps love / So much it seems like Trump hates love / He got no love / He gets no love / From signed all of the above / The petition would be long as f*ck, run out of paper / Trump lovers would call every single signee ‘a hater’ / Opinions are like assholes, and assholes have a predilection for opinions and predictions / Static, friction / But lack the facts to back, adding ‘non’ to their fiction / That sh*t is wack / Hate’s coming on strong, but love is fighting back / Jesus, Martin, and Radio Raheem was Black / Somewhere, somebody will hate when I say that.”

School’s still in for this MC who seemingly always has something to say when he drops songs. This demonstration is also one of the better-produced (yet simple) lyric videos in recent memory.

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This song is believed to belong to October 19’s Lose No Time EP.