I've been enjoying J5's brand of conscious hip hop for quite a few years now.
In 1993, the group formed, weirdly, at LA health food store The Good Life, which was the host to a sort of hip hop renaissance in the city. Sadly, they broke up in 2007 because they "weren't seeing eye-to-eye."
I've always enjoyed the flow and the old school production on J5's records. Some things I particularly like about this song: the piano hits, the mix of rap bravado and humility, and, most obviously, the FLUTE.
If You Only Knew.mp3
Yo, how many times I got to hear
Some fanatic in my ear
Tellin' me I got to keep it real
When they ain't payin' my bills
Or feedin' my kids, judgin' me on how I live
If my crib in the hood or if its up in the hills?