The Best Part was recorded from 1995 to 1998 and featured production by Prince Paul, DJ Premier, and Pete Rock. It was set for a 1999 release, but due to problems with his record label, Raw Shack Records, J-Live left the label and the album was shelved. J-Live moved to Payday Records, but when Payday's parent company London Records was bought from Universal Music Group by WEA, the album was again shelved. In 2001, copies surfaced as bootlegs and several were of such high quality it was rumored that J-Live himself was behind them. By the fall of 2001, after five years of label problems, The Best Part was finally officially released on Triple Threat Productions.