Published Jun 01, 2006Having taken a break from his solo work for the last few years in order to work with rapper Akrobatik and producer/DJ Fakts One as the Perceptionists, Mr Lif returns to form with a new solo album, MoMega. As fans have come to expect from the dreadlocked rapper, Lif continues to mix his battle raps with political and social commentary, love ballads and a sense of humour. Theres the fantastical "Murs Is My Manager, guest starring Living Legend Murs as the man capable of taking Lif to the next level, the light-hearted lessons of "Washitup! and the long distance love song and phone sex of "Long Distance. As well, there is a healthy dose of criticism peppered throughout, taking aim at fast food giants ("The Fries) and the government ("Take, Hold, Fire with Aesop Rock and El-P). El-P provides his chunky funk productions that are one part New York boom-bap and another part sci-fi mechanics, serving as a perfect compliment to Lifs bouncy, energetic flow and partially apocalyptic lyrics. Together, Mr Lif and El-P have created Lif's best work to date with MoMega.
Why the name Mr Lif? I plucked my name out of a bass line at a Phish concert. They were rockin at this outdoor venue called Great Woods back in 1994, and that bass line inspired the creation of a character called "The Liftedly Man. It was meant to just be a song at the time, but I ended up adopting the persona. Basically, "The Liftedly Man was just a guy who lived everyday to the fullest.
How did you progress from battle raps to message-oriented music? I feel that my music always had a message. I was just leaning more toward the battle style, because I had to make it clear to the competition that Id be here to stay. Making thought-provoking music has always been my main passion.
Is your music a weapon for political and social change? Is it effective? If I can present perspectives that make people think and talk, I feel that my music is effective. My music is first and foremost a way for me to make sense of my thoughts. It keeps me from losing my mind. If Wolverines weapons are his claws, well mine are my rhymes. (Definitive Jux)