Artist: Mr. Lif
Album: Mo €™ Mega
Label: Def Jux
Rating : 6.5 / 10
Reviewer: Nick D
It is no secret that Mr. Lif, the man who derived his name from a song that he heard at a Phish concert, appreciates many different types of music. Luckily, Lif often puts his extensive musical tastes to work as his albums are usually diverse and interesting while rarely being stale. Lif albums also rarely include any filler tracks which, unfortunately for the rap-specific music fan seems to be more and more indicative of the present-day rock scene.
Lif €™s latest, €œMo €™ Mega, € is certainly no different as it continues the trend almost to a fault. The production, for instance, is fitting and intense while remaining distinct enough to be exciting to Lif veterans. Lyrically, Lif comes with the same intelligent, spontaneous-sounding, political, anti-McDonald €™s themes that have been his bread and butter for years. This is all well and good as Lif once again uses the equation that has led to several entertaining albums. By the end of €œMo €™ Mega, € however, even the most avid Mr. Lif fan will be looking for something more from this talented MC.
On most of the tracks on €œMo €™ Mega, € Mr. Lif spits intensely over rock heavy, less-El-P sounding beats that blend so seamlessly from track to track that the first two thirds of the album can easily be confused for one extended song. The first time through the album, this is an interesting effect. The listener inevitably feels as though Lif believes in his message to such a degree that he is willing to spend a good deal of €œMo €™ Mega € pounding his points home. While this is indeed an engaging strategy, the constant repetition of the previously mentioned themes wares a little thin by the end of each semi-rant. Take, for example, the third track €˜Brothaz €™:
€œFact One: America don’t give a fuck about you so get off it
I’m not a prophet they just want the profit
They make you want it so you cop it, soon you can’t stop it
But low on dough so you get evicted
Fact Two: Darfur’s in a state of emergency
Code red classified
If this was Kosovo it’d be over, bro
But it’s brothers so it equals no coverage,
People drawn and quartered
Castrated, slaughtered, burned, disgraced
Gang raped, displaced
While the rest of the world just turn face to chase
Some economic goals
Balance the lost souls
But live it up
We ’bout to burn in hell ’cause god knows €
Again, while the verses are nice in a vacuum, they become a little tired when looking at the entire body of work.
On a few of the tracks, Lif deviates from his normal form in order to experiment with other flows and subject matter. €œWashitup, € the sub-par-yet-still-better-than-Sean-Paul reggae track, is a rare Lif throwaway. The love anthem €œLong Distance, € which is pretty good but somewhat out of place when viewed as part of €œMo €™ Mega., € certainly shows the vastness of Lif €™s lyrical pallet.
Don €™t get me wrong, €œMo €™ Mega € is a good album worthy of a listen. Whether or not one decides to buy it, on the other hand, depends solely on their feelings regarding Lif as an MC. If a person is already tired of Lif €™s themes, he or she should pass on this LP. If, though, the listener is new to Lif or is a huge fan, he or she may want to shell out the money. Either way, don €™t expect €œMo €™ Mega € to be of the same quality as €œEmergency Rations € or €œI Phantom. €