Perceptionists, Black Dialogue

Hua Hsu

By Hua Hsu

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Anyone with a passing interest in Boston's hip-hop legacy knows that it's a story with far too many lowlights. This collaboration between three of the city's favorite sons (Mr. Lif, Akrobatik and DJ/producer Fakts-One) is good enough to make even the most hardened Bostonian forget about Marky Mark, B.M.O.C. and the fact that Guru opted to move away. Lif's gravely, stained baritone has long been one of hip-hop's most interesting voices, and it meshes perfectly with Akrobatik's chest-thumping boom. The subject of their dialogue is largely political: the title track is a slick, string-driven gem poking fun at hip-hop minstrelsy, while "Memorial Day" might be the first time you bob your head to the question, "Where are the weapons of mass destruction?" Luckily, the trio knows how to have a good time, too — check the up-tempo funk of "Career Finders," a farce about guidance counseling that features a memorable cameo from Shock G (aka Humpty Hump) of Digital Underground.