Mr. Lif, Mo’ Mega

Nate Patrin

By Nate Patrin

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
Political hip-hop with passion, bite, and laughs.

Mr. Lif's voice is a flat, nasal whirr — imagine Common imitating Bob Dylan — but his words are as passionate as his flow isn't. Political material dominates most of Mo 'Mega's first half: "Brothaz" is a series of scattershot yet stirring complaints of how the War on Poverty mutated into a war on people living in poverty, and "The Fries" posits the fast food industry as a conspiracy to cripple the poor with diabetic blackouts. But it's his personal ruminations on absentee fathers ("Lookin 'In"), parenthood ("For You") and an imaginary life of fame (the satirical "Murs Iz My Manager," where he trades hilarious banter with the titular L.A. MC) that prove he's funny, relatable and capable of being more than just a Chuck D-style firebrand. And while Definitive Jux capo El-P provides his usual bleak beats (the stoner metal boom-bap of "Collapse" being a particular highlight), it doesn't smother what, if you listen past the drone, are the words of a lyrical acrobat.