So what do you get when you match one of the industry’s dopest, most respected indie rappers with one of the industry’s unsung production talents? That would be the latest offering from Def Jux and Mr. Lif himself, Mo’ Mega. Produced almost entirely by Def’s head honcho, El-P, the album sports an industrial griminess that suits Mr. Lif’s personal and political takes on modern day Americana.
“Brothaz,” with distorted guitars and driving drums, mounts an urgency that compliments the refrain “brothers is taught to bust shots.” While “Collapse” sounds like a wrecking crew mash-up as Lif spits some of his most personal verses about life in and outside of the industry. And “Ultra Mega” encapsulates both sonically and lyrically the spirit of the album, which Lif describes as “the juxtaposition of the slave and the elite with no common ground between the two.”
For slightly different fair, there’s “Take, Hold, Fire” which features rhymes by both Aesop Rock and El-P, and the uptempo, old-school sounding Mr. Lif produced “Murs Iz My Manager,” a fun ditty that features the prolific talents of California’s Living Legend Murs. Mr. Lif also produced the raga inspired “Washitup” which is dedicated to those ladies out there that might forget to douche. The Nick Toth crafted “For You” is a song dedicated to Lif’s daughter and also happens to be one of the best tracks on the album. The hard driving title track teams Lif up with his Percecptionists co-hort Akrobatik.
After the critical success and sonic beauty of last years Perceptionists album (which also happened to be one of Rolling Stones’ Top 50 Albums of 2005), Lif had set the bar pretty high for himself. With this collaborative solo effort, he does not disappoint his fans. But mostly, if you’re a fan of Def Jux, you’ll find yourself a fan of this record, too.