By Chris Clark
There are certain Emcees who reach across boundaries, genres, and demographics, touching those from rural Kansas to NYC. Their message is gripping; their style and flow, unmatched. Mr. Lif is one of today's lyricists who can capture a crowd or an ear and school you with each verse.
Coming hot off a year that thrust him and The Perceptionists into the public eye (ranked as one of Rolling Stone's Top 50 Albums of 2005), Lif returns with Mo' Mega, his sharpest recording yet. After bursting onto the scene with his debut Definitive Jux effort, Enters the Colossus EP, Lif has broken new ground with each verse spit. In no time he's developed a cerebral style second to none. Witty, intelligent, and not afraid to touch upon any subject, he has broken down gender, income, and sound barriers with a razor-sharp delivery that will slice through the toughest of barricades.
"Brothaz" immediately demands attention. Its lyrics (most notably, "Fact one, America doesn't give a fuck about you, so get off it.") cuts through the mic with fierce tension. Lif is known for his forward-thinking, politically charged lyrics, and Mo' Mega is no departure. "MURS is My Manager" enlists the assistance of fellow Def Jukie MURS to capture one of the funkiest tracks on the album. El-P's slick instrumentation and sheer production lay the groundwork for the tag team of Lif and MURS to burst open a complementary duet of sorts where MURS proclaims to Lif, "Got a call from George Bush, says he knows about your trap. How you put Kanye up to saying all that." Get the reference? After all the political fire, Lif hits more introspective, rather touching territory, especially in "Looking In" and "For You."
Clearly, Mr. Lif made an album to be felt deep below the surface. As in his recordings in the past, Mo' Mega conveys a man true to his words and his beliefs. There are no frills, none of the excessiveness of mainstream hip hop. Mo' Mega is an album filled with reality, both good and bad. It's an album for the purists.
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