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DJ Jazzy Jeff - The Magnificent

Album Facts

Original Release Date: August 13, 2002


For Da Love of Da Game
How I Do
Break it Down
My People
In Time
Rock Wit U

Music Videos

Rock Wit U


  • Da Ntro feat. Pauly Yamz & Baby Blak
  • Shake It Off feat. Chef Word
  • For Da Love of Da Game feat. Baby Blak & Pauly Yamz
  • Break It Down feat. J-Live
  • How I Do feat. Shawn Stockman & Cy Young
  • Worldwide feat. Baby Blak & Pauly Yamz
  • Musik Lounge feat. Oddisee
  • Rock Wit U feat. Erro
  • Travelz feat Baby Blak & Crushall
  • Scram feat. Freddie Foxxx
  • My Peoples feat. Raheem
  • Know Ur Hood feat. Chef Word & Pauly Yamz
  • Love Saviour feat. Flo Brown & Raheem
  • Mystery Man feat. The Last Emperor
  • We Are feat. Cy Young & Raheem
  • Charmed Life feat. J-Live
  • We Live In Philly feat. Jill Scott

DJ Jazzy Jeff's first solo album featured a variety of artists from A Touch of Jazz with music ranging from jazz, hip-hop, RnB to House, and of course featuring Jeff's trademark scratches.

Album Reviews

Producer-driven albums can go both ways in terms of overall quality but they almost always have good beats. "The Magnificent" is not only a diverse album featuring underground hip hop along with house music, R&B and spoken word poetry, but it is his way to step out of the shadow of Will Smith. Will Smith is nowhere to be found on "The Magnificent" and to me, that's a plus. Jeff's production company A Touch Of Jazz produces the whole album. As every track is produced very well, the guest vocalists not only add diversity to themes and styles but affect the variety of quality.
Diversity is the key element to this album. The majority of the tracks are hip hop songs with underground emcees and sung hooks. The only somewhat well-known guests on this project are Freddie Foxxx, Jill Scott, Last Emperor, Shawn Stockmen (from Boyz II Men), and the incredible J-Live. A majority of the guests are unknown underground artists like Pauly Yamz, Baby Blak and Raheim. The hunger is evident and their styles and lyrics do prevail on most songs.

Since it is a Jazzy Jeff record, do not expect topics of gun-toting, weed smoking, or jewelry. The title track featuring Pauly Yamz & Baby Blak is an ode to the DJ. Using the same melodic loop from "Butta" by A Tribe Called Quest. The track is basically a theme song for Jeff. Of course, the turntable wizardry is impeccable! Pauly Yamz and Baby Blak have 2 more songs together. The first single "For The Love Of The Game" is a very radio-friendly feel-good track with a sung hook that has some dope scratching in the background. It's basically a song about the love for hip hop that uses a very cool jazzy guitar sample. It's one of the strongest cuts with the unknown emcees besides the title track. Other themes include black pride, the love of music, romance, Philadelphia, and stress.

The underground emcees make up a large part of the album. "Shake It Off" featuring Chef is a somewhat silly but very catchy tune. The two romantic tracks use music to inspire and delight. "Rock With You" featuring Eric Robertson and "Love Savior" featuring Flo Brown and Rahiem are decent tracks that have strong romantic themes. "Know Your Hood" featuring Pauly Yamz & Chef uses a cool piano sample and paints a vivid picture of ghetto lifestyles. The rhymes are hardcore and so is the half-sung/half-chanted hook. "Musik Lounge" featuring Odyssey is a nice, mellow track about the power of music and relaxation. It creates a very chilled out atmosphere.

J-Live is the shining star emcee on the LP. "A Charmed Life" is also on J-Live's album "All Of The Above." It's an excellent auto-biographical track which has upright bass lines, jazzy symbol rhythms and nice jazzy vibed melodies. The true gem is "Break It Down." J-Live is incredible on this track. Every verse demands your attention as his energy and delivery is superb. The up-tempo beat bounces along with a wise and somewhat cartoon-like melody as Jeff adds some incredible scratching. It truly is the best track on the LP.

Other more not-so-well-known (but well respected) emcees stand out the most on the album. Freddie Foxx gives a hungry performance on "Scram," and The Last Emperor gives his usually great performance on "Mystery Man."

The R&B aspects drag the album down. "My People" featuring Raheim is an interesting listen since it deals with the power and strength that black people have endured generation after generation. Other songs like "We Are" featuring Cy Young and Raheim are filler tracks. Even though they're produced well, they do not command the attention like the other tracks.

There are a couple of odd but cool standout tracks that add to the albums diversity. "We Live In Philly" featuring Jill Scott is a remake of Roy Ayers' "We Live In Brooklyn." Here, Jill Scott does a spoken word (somewhat freestyled) dream sequence of famous and not-so famous Philadelphia trademarks. Places and people are dropped into the mix. Julius Irving, Miss Jackie, Steady B, Patty LaBelle, Schooly D, and Allen Iverson are only a few of the many names mentioned. How can you not like a song where Joe Frazier pops out of a closet and kicks Rocky's ass? The beat has cool handclaps in the rhythm along with funked out orchestra-melodies and organs. If you are only familiar with Jill Scott's singing, you may not even recognize her. It is an enjoyable song for people who have lived in or visited Philadelphia. "In Time" featuring V is a very inspirational and uplifting deep house track. Here is where the singing truly works. The singing and the music is very uplifting and so are the sentiments of the song.

Overall, DJ Jazzy Jeff's album is a fun summertime album. The production rules the LP. Every single song is produced with intensity and a love for music. The rhythms are diverse and complicated. While most tracks have that "Jazzy feel," the beats are hard enough to please hardcore hip hop lovers but they are not rough. There is a glossy feel to the beats which give this album a more commercial vibe. The underground emcees do bring a lyrical credibility to the album in many ways. There is not one bad beat on the album, Jeff's performances on the turntables are incredible too. He is not only a great producer but a turntable wizard. Unfortunately, an album is not just production, scratching and beats. While the diversity gives the LP a smooth flow, the abundant amount of singing drags it down in some parts. Even though the singing is supposed to give a balance to the hardcore emcees, it does not work on some songs. One thing I love about this album is the love and appreciation for the hip-hop DJ. If you like light but intelligent hip hop with jazz-influences and some genre-exploring songs, this is for you. As DJ Jazzy Jeff said, "This is for people who love good music."

- NewJeruPoet

"The trademark ATOJ sound is there, but instead of just being applied to R&B, it is also top-notch underground Hip Hop" - The Source

"The fresh King is back" - Blues and Soul


The Fader
The record tracks an arc from the kind of hip-hop that will go down well at Fat Beats -- intellectual rather than clubby, with MCs like J-Live and Last Emperor -- to soul, with a touch of the jazzy house that all soul DJs seem to have a secret passion for. In particular, there's a remake of Roy Ayers' "We Live in Brooklyn, Baby," voiced by Jill Scott and of course called "We Live in Philly." Ishmail Sadiq


DJ Jazzy Jeff "The Magnificent" - BBE / Beat Generation @@@@
East Coast; Producer Compilation; Progressive

By now most of you would have been aware of The Beat Generation Series, with already released albums by producers such as Pete Rock (Petestrumentals), Jay Dee (Welcome 2 Detroit), Marley Marl (Re-Entry), Will.I.Am (Lost Change) and others. Up next, DJ Jazzy Jeff, the Philly-bred turntablist and producer that the world has grown to more associate with Will "The Fresh Prince" Smith from back in the day. Seldom ever seen, Jazzy Jeff and his production team, A Touch of Jazz handle this LP with their vibrant Philly-Soul throughout. The amalgamation of mostly hip hop, touches of R&B, spoken-word poetry and even a deep house track, "In Time" featuring V at the album's closing, unquestionably all make this an urban masterpiece. America's present hotbed of urban finesse is Philadelphia if you hadn't witnessed, and as Jazzy Jeff ropes in Jill Scott, ?uestlove, The Last Emperor, Shawn Stockman (from Boyz II Men), J-Live, Freddie Foxx and a host of really talented locals from his camp, the evidence from this homegrown LP is of pure excellence.
There's too many excellent cuts here - approximately ALL - to magnify with my pen. Forget about looking at Jazzy Jeff or pre-judging this album slightly. It kicks off with a familiar jazzy, East Coast melody (the same one A Tribe Called Quest used on "Butter") in the title track (“ The Magnificent”) featuring rappers Pauly Yamz & Baby Blak who in their lyrics, big up Jeff's long-lasting career. Jeff's scratching snippets offer vinyl cuts of Fresh Prince, Biz Markie and Special Ed classics which all collide in unison, introducing you to a post-summer, street-savvy soundtrack of quality productions and fresh undiscovered talent. Take for instance the lead single, " For Da Love Of Da Game", again by Pauly Yamz & Baby Blak who ride and tear this smooth soul fusion of addictive guitar licks and Rhodes keys. It simply melts into your ears with pure, sweet easiness. Many of these tracks tend to invoke the 'butter-smooth' factor into its recipe. For instance, even when " Worldwide" pushes a Pete Rock-type production style, Jeff leaves the chorus wide open for a hook with some seductive soul singing. More and more smoothness is thrown at your dome when Shawn Stockton of Boyz II Men is glad to demonstrate his singing power on "How I Do." When newcomer Raheim grabs a hold of the mic with his time-sensitive lyrics on "My People," the floating atmosphere he creates is ascension to heaven. This dreamy, mid-tempo groove seems destined to be an anthem for the oppressed from city to city: "MY PEOPLE was made to endure, MY PEOPLE'S all shapes and colors, MY PEOPLE'S got more people with them, that's more people - more sisters and brothers/MY PEOPLE stay strong as an OX, MY PEOPLE will never fail, MY PEOPLE will always remain, remain with a story to tell!"

As for spit-kicking lyrical emcees, it's J-Live's two tracks, " Break It Down" over the deadliest hip hop underground production here that takes you on a journey beyond the shine or floss of typical rap rotation. On his undeniably soothing next track, " A Charmed Life", we see this LP standing up to test anymore crazy enough to step into this ring. It's a shame that two excellent cuts as this only stand a chance of being heard, providing you are aware of this album. What's up with radio these days? Even when one wants to take a break from the head-nodding power of other quite danceable party starters such as " Musik Lounge" featuring Odyssey and "Rock with U" featuring Eric Roberson, there's still more to offer you relaxation. Chill out to the imaginative and pictorial memorabilia of Philadelphia's black history that is painted through the spoken-word poetry of Jill Scott on " We Live In Philly", and allow yourself to be drawn into a city that has always been rich in black culture. - Marlon Regis

The Magnificent ( BBE )

While Will Smith has gone on to Hollywood, his old partner in scratch DJ Jazzy Jeff has left the acting alone (save a couple of Fresh Prince episodes) and quietly gone about business. He started up A Touch of Jazz production company and scored a huge hit album for Jill Scott. Jeff comes back to the forefront with a mix CD, The Magnificent, that is the highlight of BBE's "Beat Generation" series. It's everything you love about Jazzy's production--silky beats, deft scratches and moody keys--narrated by some of hip-hop's best up-and-coming talents. Guests include Jill Scott, Odyssey, Freddie Fox, Raheem, Flo Brown, the Last Emperor, Baby Blak and Pauly Yamz. His collaborations with rapper J-Live on "Break It Down" and "A Charmed Life" are excellent examples of hip-hop's planets and stars aligning. The dynamic duo form a powerful backcourt. The only negative about The Magnificent is there's no "Jazzy Jeff on the Wheels of Steel" scratch track; it'd be nice to hear how his trademark transformer scratch has aged over the years. Hopefully, Will Smith will get off this Willennium trip and get back with Jeff and conquer the world, just as they did back in the mid-'80s. If not, cross your fingers for J-Live to fill in on a permanent basis.

By Todd Inoue




Dj Jazzy Jeff
The Magnificent

Ever wonder what happened to Will Smith’s former partner Dj Jazzy Jeff? You know, his flat top sidekick Uncle Phil would always throw out the front door on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air? Yea, I was disappointed as well that there wasn’t a spinoff starring Jeff, but he decided not to stay in the limelight of Hollywood, and instead return to the underground of his hometown of Philadelphia, and get back to what he does best: music.

In the past few years, Jazzy Jeff has been making his presence felt in the hip hop/ soul music scene of Philadelphia, by staying behind the scenes. He opened his own studios named “a touch of jazz” studios, where he has produced tracks for and worked with such up-and-coming philly artists as Musiq, Bilal, Glenn Lewis, Jill Scott and Jaguar Wright. But beyond producing tracks in his studio, he has continued to remind people that the letters “D” and “J” still belong at the front of his name, by strutting his stuff at weekly DJ sessions in local philly clubs. Somewhere along the way, Jeff was approached by the London-based record label BBE to do the fifth album of their “Beat Generation” series, which in the past

has included albums by legendary hip hop producers Pete Rock, Jay Dee, and Will.i.am of the hip hop group Black Eyed Peas. The Magnificent is that fifth album, and Jeff is very greatful for the opportunity BBE gave to him. “Making this record waz a breath of fresh air 4 me… being able to make a record with no limitation but your creativity iz very rare n the major music industry 2day… is all about business so we loose a lot of the true artists we have,” Jeff says on the experience. The liberation Jeff was given on the album, and his creativity certainly show throughout the album. Like he said himself, maybe if more of today’s top artists weren’t worried about a hit single or the business aspect of music, more albums would be like The Magnificent, in the sense that creativity is the only limit.

After listening to The Magnificent, Jeff’s limit of creativity seems endless. It’s obvious he set out to make an album to represent philly, and it’s fusion of sounds. The Magnificent is a hip hop album, but along with the hiphop comes the rest of the Philadelphia experience: the soul-crooner hooks and the touch of jazz. One of these “fusion” songs, is “How I Do” a collaboration between Jeff and Shawn Stockman of Boyz II Men. The constant hiphop beat is in the background, but layered on top of that is jazz-styled bass and piano. All of this music serves as a great backing to Stockman’s wavering voice on the chorus, and new-comer MC Cy Young’s rap verses. The use of new-coming mcs, such as Cy Young, is another element that makes The Magnificent a great album. Rather than calling up all of his high-profile celebrity friends, Jeff decided to keep this album a philly affair (for the most part). Appearing on five of the eighteen tracks are underground MCs Pauly Yamz and Baby Blak. Both sound hungry and ready to break out for the rest of the world to hear them. Another new name that appears on much of the album is Raheem. He provides most of the afore mentioned “soul crooning” on the hooks, and sounds much like the other male philly soul singers like Musiq and Bilal. One of Jeff’s other talents, aside from finding fresh, new talent, is his amazing DJ skills. Unfortunately, he doesn’t show them off nearly as much as his anticipating fans wished he would, but they do have one track where Jeff goes all out. On the track “Break it Down,” a straight-forward rap song featuring rapper J-Live, Jeff provides the cuts behind J, and throws in an extra bonus at the end. He recruited such legendary DJs as Qbert, Babu, Spinbad, and Xcel, and each take a turn showing off their skills, making a great collaborative ending that any aspiring DJ, or hiphop fan can marvel at.

The Magnificent is an overall solid album. Jazzy Jeff took the opportunity to freely use his creativity to the max, and made a great blend of an album, and a great representation of what Philly is today. The fusion of hiphop, rnb, soul, and jazz soaks through this record like a philly cheesesteak through a paper plate. Will Smith’s one time cohort is only at the beginning of a great solo career.



DJ Jazzy Jeff
The Magnificent

You know him from his days supplying the beats to the Fresh Prince, but DJ Jazzy Jeff has finally stepped into the spotlight with this solo debut. Vocals are supplied by a variety of guests, including Jill Scott, Raheim, ?uestlove and J-Live.

All scores given by critics have been converted to a 10-point scale. When a critic does not provide a score in his/her review, we have assigned one based on the general impression given by the review.

9 PopMatters
Like the best mixtape, The Magnificent glides from songs that are destined to be underground classics, party tracks, songs to get our swerve on to, and the straight head nodders.
8 Vibe
Recalls the early '90s work of A Tribe Called Quest. [Sep 2002, p.244]
8 The Onion (AV Club)
DJ Jazzy Jeff still makes music that matters, which can't be said of his former partner.
8 All Music Guide
The Magnificent has an incredible range; Jeff does it all well, even when moving from soulful R&B ("Rock Wit U" with Eric Roberson) to basement hip-hop on the very next track ("Scram" with Freddie Foxxx).
8 Entertainment Weekly
These sublimely fluid grooves have heart. [16 Aug 2002, p.72]
7 Mixer
The album straddles old-school R&B, hip-hop, adeep house and anything else that illuminates Jeff's mad production skills. [Aug 2002, p.79]
7 Playlouder
'The Magnificent' largely sidelines Jeff's considerable turntablist skills preferring to showcase the talents of his A Touch Of Jazz production company.
5 Dot Music
It's just hard to find much of Jeff himself in these amiable, head-nod-friendly, immaculately crafted but ever so slightly sterile tracks.
4 Blender
The album's fine pedigree might have worked in a more conservative era. [#9, p.144]

August 26, 2002

Jazzy Jeff's first solo album, The Magnificent, is the fifth installment in London-based BBE Recordings' Beat Generation series -- a producer-driven project that honors some of hip-hop's most superb beat catalysts. A Chex-mix of jazz, soul, and funk, the album honors one of Philadelphia's best-known DJs with a seasoning of native Philly MCs (Flo Brown, Pauly Yamz, Baby Blak, Last Emperor) and vocalists (Raheim and Jill Scott).
What's particularly impressive about Magnificent, in addition to the lush, intimate production, is that the MCs' deal with a variety of subject matter in ways opposed to being banal -- avoiding overused hip-hop clichés. Flo Brown teaches that love "makes you walk the air/ crawl on stairs and call on prayers" on "Love Saviour," while Pauly Yamz hips a materialistic that "there's more to life than a Polo sweater." J-Live is brilliant on "A Charmed Life" -- getting autobiographical over a straight jazz track of piano, acoustic bass, and a drum brush. Then Jill's spoken word "We Live in Philly" is a Philacentric shout to local genius (athletes, artists, etc) over the string sample from Roy Ayers' classic "We Live in Brooklyn.

The album's only missteps are "How I Do" and "Rock Wit U," where the benign songwriting and vocal techniques of Shawn Stockman and Eric Robinson make them sound like disposable, microwave-able R&B fodder. Critics will find that Jeff's skills as DJ and producer are subdued in place of showcasing his partners at the Touch of Jazz production firm. Still this solo excursion is a future classic and one of the best of the Beat Generation series so far.

Hamida Kinge

CDNOW Contributing Writer

DJ Jazzy Jeff - The Magnificent (BBE/Creative Vibes)

rating: 4 (jazzy/hiphop/soul)

Since going their separate ways in the mid-nineties, the careers of Jazzy Jeff and his long time partner The Fresh Prince Will Smith could not have been more divergent. While Smith became a Hollywood rap star releasing album after album of sonic turds, Jazzy Jeff Townes went underground, back to his native Philadelphia and established his A Touch Of Jazz studio and label, working with credible artists such as Jill Scott and Masters At Work, getting in on the ground floor of the nascent neo-soul scene centered around Philly. Townes now gets the chance to showcase his current sound from London label BBE through their acclaimed Beat Generation series and he doesn’t disappoint, cramming many of the rich cultural influences of his city including soul, jazz, hip-hop, poetry and even house into a superb collection of well-crafted tracks.

Living up to his name, jazz is the overriding influence throughout most of the hip-hop tracks here, the very antithesis of the pop fluff and thuggish melodramatics found further north in New York. Jeff provides lots of room for up and coming Philly rhymesters such as Baby Blak and Pauly Yamz to shine on smooth, classy, highly instrumental tracks although it is the more established MC’s who tend to steal the limelight. Rawkus wordsmith The Last Emperor brings a grimy street-authority; the angriest man in hip-hop Freddie Foxxx conjures up a hardcore moment that takes a leaf out of Pharoahe Monchs’ book of catchy hooks; Cy Young marks himself as definitely one to watch while J-Live cements his place as one of the best around with the complexly rocking Break It Down and the superb, autobiographical A Charmed Life.
It ain’t just hip-hop though as Raheim does a superb Whats Goin’ On Marvin Gaye-like performance on My People, Jill Scott flips Roys Ayres’ We Live in Brooklyn Baby with some seriously sassy, bugged-out spoken word and the shockingly good New Jersey-style soulful house workout of In Time featuring V is a wonderful surprise in closing. If there was any justice in this world.....



hybrid magazine

I must admit, everytime I saw those old episodes of Fresh Prince where Jazzy Jeff made his little appearances, I wondered what we was up to nowadays. I wondered if he was jealous of Will’s fame, or went off to pursue something else. Perhaps I just wasn’t very well connected but I’m sure I’m not the only one out there that wondered the same. Well, everything was brought to light this month! BBE Records and Rapster are releasing the debut full-length “The Magnificent” from DJ Jazzy Jeff in August. Apparently, if you didn’t have a clue like I didn’t, Jeff stared A Touch of Jazz, which is a large musical production facility with a number of producers and have been more then busy writing TV theme songs, producing Will Smith’s solo albums, and working with artists like MC Lyte, Kenny Latimore, Michael Jackson, and um.....Darius Rucker of um....Hootie and the Blowfish. Yes, while I’m sure this sounds like a great biz venture, it does make you wonder what on earth this album is going to sound like. I don’t like Hootie, most TV themes, Willenium or whatever, and especially not Michael J’s new material!! Never fear, the album, it actually pretty damn good and reminds me of the golden 93’ era. The production isn’t ground-breaking but wicked regardless and my god, the guest line-up is simply amazing. Everyone from Jill Scott, ?uestlove, J-Live, Freddie Foxx, Raheim, Shawn Stockman of Boyz II Men, Pauly Yamz, Baby Blak, and plenty more. The finest element is Jazzy Jeff pulling together a lot of urban styles aside from hip-hop like soul, r’n’b, spoken word and deep house! Jazzy Jeff should of done this a long time ago but it does sound like he’s been a bit busy.


A new-school architect, Jeff suffuses his album with a throwback vibe that recalls the early '90s work of A Tribe Called Quest, building beats from fluid guitar melodies, muted piano chords, and viscous bass lines. Oliver Wang

Whilst his work with Will Smith is well known it's Jeff's recent success with his A Touch of Jazz label that has served to remind the listening public that there's a whole lot more to this dude than a pop-rap partnership. In a list of the most influential and successful hip hop deejays, Jeffrey Allen Townes aka Jazzy Jeff, ranks right up there with the likes of DJ Premier, Eric B, Marley Marl and Grandmaster Flash. The New School pioneer enjoys continued fame, in particular thanks to the stir caused by his production company, A Touch of Jazz (Michael Jackson, Jill Scott, Musiq Soulchild).
'The Magnificent' album is Jeff off the leash; a production project that calls in a good deal of guests that he helped on the way up as well as forum for Jeff's own spinning skills. Those featured include Jill Scott, Shaun Stockman from Boyz II Men, Freddie Foxxx, J-Live, The Last Emperor & ?uestlove from the Roots as well as a whole lot more from the Touch of Jazz imprint whose stars are definitely in the ascendancy. Swinging from hip hop to R'n'B, through nu-soul and back again, 'The Magnificent' is a rich quilt woven with skills, grooves, slamming vocal performances and smooth production values.

The long awaited debut solo album from the legendary turntablist and producer. Having worked behind the scenes on a number of projects over the years, DJ Jazzy Jeff is now stepping out of the shadows of his production company (A Touch of Jazz) to bring you a ground breaking new album reflecting the rich musical heritage of Philadelphia.
The album features guest appearances from Jill Scott, Shawn Stockman from Boyz II Men, Freddie Foxxx, J-Live, Eric Roberson, MAW, The Last Emperor, Oddisee, Raheem & ?uestlove from the Roots as well as showcasing the many talented artists at A Touch Of Jazz. It is an album that takes you on a musical journey through all genres of urban music; from old skool hip hop, smooth R'n'B and rap through to soulful spoken word and deep house.

The album starts off with "THE MAGNIFICENT." The track opens with a voice sample of the Fresh Prince from 1987's "The Magnificent Jazzy Jeff" and then mid-tempo Hip-Hop beat takes over. Pauly Yamz and Baby Blak trade off verses giving props (kinda like Will always dose). Of course Jazzy finishes off the song with the "Jazzy Jazzy-his name is Jeff" bit. A bunch of scratches finish off the song.

"Shake It Off" is a track featuring Chef who deleivers an up-tempo Hip-Hop joint about forgetting about stress and negative things. The production has these insane keyboards over a traditionally dope Hip-Hop beat. Jeff also scratches alot during the chanted hook and at the end.

Next up is my favorite (which most of u have heard)..."FOR DA LOVE OF DA GAME." Philly emcees Pauly Yamz and Baby Blak spit lyrics that any emcee can relate 2. It's just about writing and rapping and not worrying about money and all the gimicks in rap music. Jazzy Jeff hits u with an incredibly summery, laid back track with a sampled R-N-B hook. Without a doubt one of the best Hip-Hop songs in YEARS. Sadly this promo has the edit which is only over 3 minutes compared 2 the full 5 minute version.

Next up is "WORLDWIDE," another track featuring Baby Blak -n- Pauly Yamz. The beat is mid-tempoed and has a kinda raw street vibe. The r-n-b sung chorus is nice 2...just raw. The subject matter is kinda schetchy 2 me. It just has the 2 emcees talking about themselves.

"HOW I DO" is a slightly raw, Hip-Hop influenced mid-up-tempo R-N-B joint. It features the smooth, silky-voiced Shawn Stockman of Boyz II Men. The song has Shawn singing 2 a female that he is just meeting. Good song. The track also has some nice sounds buried in the mix.

"BREAK IT DOWN" starts off with a funny Brady Bunch sample that has Peter talking about his new tape recorded to Greg and Marsha but tells them not 2 hit play cuz he has stuff recorded on it. Then the music stops and the agree 2 listen 2 it. The the music starts back it. It's really funny. J-Live drops a verse, then DJ Jazzy Jeff gets busy on the wheels 4 a bit. J-Live's lyrics are nice and get kinda playful. The song finishes off with a Spin Bad, Exel, Sat One, DJ Revoluction and Q-Bert (and more DJs) scratching like crazy. U kinda wish the song waz at least 10 minutes long tho' so each DJ had more than a few seconds 2 represent.

Next up is the laid-back, chilled "MUSIK LOUNGE." This is probably my 2nd favorite track. It has a summery, laid back vibe but it's not like "...Love of Da Game." The chorus has these great whistel samples under the chanted chorus. Odyssey has a nice crisp and comfortable flow that fits on the soulful groove perfectly.

"ROCK WIT U" is a mad soulful R-N-B song but it's mid-tempoed. Be beat has sythesizers all over the place over a steady tempo u may expect on a Jill Scott album. The song is basically just about anticipating kicking back with someone special.

"SCRAM" featuring Freddi Foxx is next up. Jeff starts scratching from the begininng of this gritty Hip-Hop joint. Freddie Foxx dose one of his finest performances over Jeff's beat. Bumpy Knuckles threatens all fake gangstas and thugs on this song.

Raheim shows up on "MY PEOPLE." The production is soulful with a bit of funk. This R-N-B song has that soulful A Touch of Jazz tag all over it. Some really creative samples are entwined all in this beat. Raheim sings passionatly about black pride and the politics of race. His vocals are layered nicely in the background.

"KNOW UR HOOD" may be my 3rd favorite track. It opens with a humorous conversation between Pauly Yams and Chef about "their friend" who just dosn't act right...ha ha. Jazzy Jeff plays the part of the guy they are talking about. Both emcees just talk about Jeff's character as being their friend but that he dosn't need 2 show up on on the street cuz his selfish, flossing ways are bound 2 find him some trouble.

"LOVE SAVIOUR" features up-and-coming female emcee Flo Brown with Raheim handeling the hook. She raps about this guy she's fallen 4 in a reality-based way. Another mid-tempoed soulful Hip-Hop joint.

Back 2 straight Hip-Hop on "MYSERY MAN." The Last Emperor" raps on this track which also has Jazzy Jeff scratching under the hook.

"WE ARE" is nice Hip-Hop/R-N-B song featuring Cy Young and Raheim. Cy Young holds down the rap and Raheim handels the R-N-B chorus.

Some of u have already heard "A CHARMED LIFE." This track features J-Live rapping over an incredibly jazzy, live instrument track featuing lots of cymbols and vibes. J-Live's verse are fast paced and could stand on their own over the music which seems 2 accompany his verse rather than him rapping over it. The piano is also a nice touch.

"WE LIVE IN PHILLY" is the only track i expected more from. As a life-long Jazzy Jeff fan and a HUGE fan of Jill Scott, i waz expecting this song 2 be my favorite...but it isn't...ha ha. The beat is influence by "We Live In Brooklyn." I love Jill Scotts spoken word stuff but this is more of a monologe. She kinda just runs her mouth over the retro beat in this character voice that is quickly gets on my nerves. The lyrics sound as if she's just on the street talking 2 a friend and most of it's contents reflect on Philly and the people from there.

Last is "IN TIME" featuring V. While the idea isn't unheard of, i personally did not expect it...this a dance track. Co-produced by Masters At Work. Since dance music's influence has not been felt on Hip-Hop or R-N-B albums other than in remixes, this is a very nice touch. The track isn't the pop kinda dance track tho'...more of an R-N-B/disco vibe. V's layered vocals during the chorus are also a nice touch.

Overall, this album is great. Keep in mind that i havn't even had this album for a week so i havn't gotten really really deep in2 it yet (tho' it is the only album listened 2 since i got it). This is also the promo tho' there is a possibility so there is a chance that certain things could be different compared 2 the album when it's released. A few of the trax that i thought were just above-average have grown on me even more. While mainstream Hip-Hop and mainstream R-N-B fans may not totally be feeling this, all REAL Hip-Hop and R-N-B fans should automatically fall in love with it. The album is so good tho' that i'm sure it's audience will grow and branch out in all directions. I really missed not having the Fresh Prince on this album, but DJ Jazzy Jeff needed 2 let the non-believers know what time it waz...and he is going 2 when people hear this album.

-JumpinJack AJ


To most casual fans, the name Jazzy Jeff conjures up images of Fresh Prince's bubblegum raps -- and it's true, Jeff Townes was the man behind both the turntables and the beats on most of Fresh Prince's early work (save the classic "Summertime," produced by Hula and Finger). But Jazzy Jeff is far more than the guy who produced "I Think I Can Beat Mike Tyson."
Making his name in the early 1980s, Jazzy Jeff popularized the transform scratch, which placed emphasis on cutting the sound in and out of the mix using the crossfader or line switches of a mixer. Originally invented by fellow Philadelphia DJ Cash Money, the transform revolutionized scratching, which had previously placed more emphasis on manipulating the record with one's wrist movement. This, alone, is enough to place Jeff in the hip-hop history books, but his impact on the art doesn't stop there. After parting ways with Will Smith, Jeff continued to be a major player on the Philly scene. Since forming his production team, A Touch of Jazz, in 1990, Jeff has produced beats for artists like City High, Lil' Kim and his former partner, Will Smith. Still, it was his contribution to the Roots' 1999 LP Things Fall Apart that brought Jazzy Jeff back into the limelight.
His first solo album, The Magnificent, is far from solo. The tracks are produced by Townes, but feature a host of guest vocalists, ranging from superstars like Jill Scott and Boyz II Men crooner Shawn Stockman to unknowns like Pauly Yamz and Baby Blak. While the beats are impeccable, most of the vocals fall short.
The only true successes are "Break It Down" and "A Charmed Life," both featuring the unfuckwithable J-Live. While the former is exclusive to this compilation, "A Charmed Life" is taken from J-Live's latest, All of the Above, which is a much smarter purchase. Freddie Foxx (a.k.a. Bumpy Knuckles) also excites with his rough and rugged "Scram." Sadly, Jill Scott's interpolation of Roy Ayers' "We Live in Brooklyn, Baby" (titled "We Live in Philly") fails miserably, and is only a reminder of how incredible Digable Planets' 1994 cover truly was. Like its predecessors, this current installment of BBE's Beat Generation delivers nothing more than half-baked sketches.


Philly Hip Hop
For Da Love of Da Game

THIS is the best song out of Philadelphia this year. There, I said it. Strong words for a strong song. Love Of The Game is a masterpiece. I don't think I've ever referred to any cut as a masterpiece at PhillyHipHop.com but in this case it's appropriate so I'm going for it.
Our legendary DJ & producer Jazzy Jeff and major league all star emcees Baby Blak and Paul Yamz represent Philly so hard it literally brings tears to my eyes. If this is any indication of what Jazzy Jeff's upcoming album The Magificent is going to be about (and it is), the Hip Hop world is about to be turned on its ears. BBE Records has a no doubt winner on it's hands. This song is pure butta, from the silky smoov vocals of Baby Blak and Paul Yamz to the superifficly soulful, Philly Neo-Soul instrumentation courtesy of The Magnificent Jazzy Jeff. All of this is neatly wrapped around an outstanding hook consisting of delicious R&B vocals from Valvin Marteen advising to " love what you do and do what you love" intertwined with a scratched in sample that tells us these three "represent for Hip Hop and not for rap y'all."
The realness of this song adds to its allure. Strip away their careers, fame, hectic schedules and fans and you'd still find these brothers in the gritty streets of Philly pouring out their hearts simply for the Love Of The Game.

Jazzy Jeff: The Magnificent Seven EP on BBE Records

JJ comes clean after the fresh Prince. Finally indulging in what he loves, some pure musical hip hop grooves with some of his friends and lyrics that still ring true.
Big on the SP12 beats that will shudder your system, but with some clean instrumental lines and vocal help from Pauly Yams and Baby Blak on tracks like "For da love of the game", it steers clear of hip hop clichés. The b-lines always drop well with funk appeal and the snare has that characteristic rasp.
Slum Village make an appearance on "Are you Ready" and CY Young on the "Rebirth". Cruising stuff indeed and the forthcoming LP will feature Jill Scott, Questlove, Sean Stockton from Boys II Men and more. Aiiight!...9/10

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