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J. L. J

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Representing Houston, Tx, Jeff Jefferson (alias J. L. J) is poised to put it down for not only the Lone Star State, but for Southern hip hop in general. As co-founder of E-LETE ARTIST RECORDS, he has seen his share of mix CD circulation, but Stay Focused marks his full length album debut. Riding atop bass lines lower than bucket seats, J. L. J takes on the haters through 18 tracks of hard rhymes interspersed with occasional inner city introspection. The circle of special guests is kept to a minimum, allowing for the artist to truly shine without distraction. In addition, the production team is lean and precise, with TRED80E handling most of the tracks with bounce to spare and club placement to follow.

Lyrically speaking, most of the album mirrors the gritty environment that raised J. L. J, its content both hard and combative in nature. “Droppin Hataz” finds him firing off lines like “It’s time to take a nap son (the kind you don’t come back from)”. TRED80E saves his darkest track for this song, incorporating a sinister piano line and bass thumps that creep up on you from behind. He even takes time to spit the second verse, the type of verbal pistol whipping that gangster dreams are made of. “Always Bumpin” continues the agressive assault on those that are all talk and no action while “We Got Da Heater” is equally as ominous in regards to vocal delivery.

However, life reflections are intertwined with these machismo moments. “Don’t Fall Short” is the voice of reason in the midst of real life drama.

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