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Mo' Mega

Mr. Lif

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Album Review

Like 2002's I Phantom, Mo' Mega has a concept behind it, but unlike I Phantom, there's no board-game-style liner notes to follow along as Mr. Lif excavates the musings of his mind on culture and politics. What Mo' Mega does have is Lif's brief statement that the album concerns the intersection of lower-class culture with an increasingly modernizing world, and how the latter is adversely affecting the former. Lif scores hits on dozens of targets, both specific (the President, the FCC, the United Nations, McDonald's) and non-specific (the Feds in general, the global community as a whole, materialism, TV, and, it seems, anyone in a position of authority). Laden with caustic commentary, his tracks are lyrically obtuse but rhythmically effective, and with the weight of eight hard-hitting El-P productions behind him, listeners won't mind taking a couple of spins to digest everything he says. And Lif's own productions, for a pair of comedy tracks ("Murs Iz My Manager," "Washitup!") that appear halfway through the program, are just the icebreakers needed to leaven the funky gloom and doom earlier in the record. At the close of Mo' Mega, Lif looks inward. First he questions his father's abandonment of him ("It's pain like this that makes a grown man crawl"), then he wraps up the record, ironically, with a tribute to his child that was written on the road ("I'm on the highway in Montana and it's 7:42/And Daddy wrote a rhyme just for you"). With political tracks and comedy and confessionals, Lif easily covers more ground than virtually any other rapper on record, and he makes his tracks entertaining, but he occasionally falls prey to a common trap — educating the listeners but not enlightening them.

Biography

Born: Boston, MA

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '00s

When he began releasing singles in the late '90s, party rap and gangsta rap were the dominant styles most MCs favored, but Mr. Lif's lyrical agenda was a political and socially conscious one that recalled the rap stars of the late '80s and early '90s — Public Enemy, Gang Starr, and Boogie Down Productions. Born Jeffrey Haynes, Mr. Lif grew up in the Boston, MA, suburb of Brighton, attending college for two years before...
Full Bio
Mo' Mega, Mr. Lif
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