MR. LIF – MO’MEGA – Definitive Jux
As Mr. Lif’s shrill voice booms over the opening power chords of Mo’Mega’s first track, “Collapse,” one thought becomes crystal clear: this is definitely a Def Jux release. Near every track on the relatively short Mo’ Mega is a showcase for that particular Def Jux sound – a mixture of heavy, choppy drums over that certain sub-sonic, electric hum. And if that specific sound is what you’re looking for, look no farther. Yet for those who value a different sound, Mo’Mega offers up the same semi-unapproachable hip-hop Definitive Jux has been pumping out for years.
This idea can be no better showcased then on “Murs Is My Manager”. With a speedy up-tempo break beat and a punchy bass line, the song literally pops out of the other more Def Jux-formulaic cuts. Lif and Murs breathlessly trade verses as Murs takes the role of Lif’s commercialized manager. The song jarringly stands out as a taste of what the album could have been: a platform for Lif to spread his vast lyrical talent over a more diverse selection of beats.
Even though the album doesn’t expound on the potential Mr. Lif always brings to the table, it is still a solid entry into the Def Jux/Mr. Lif canon. Songs like “Take, Hold, Fire” (featuring Def Jux godfathers Aesop Rock and El-P) exemplifies the Def Jukie sound more then any other, but with these three uber-talented emcees killing a track it’s pure gold. The aforementioned “Collapse” is one hell of an opener, the hard rock guitars grabbing you by the face and forcing you to head-nod as Lif obliterates the track.
Mr. Lif is a constant. An emcee so uniquely talented that any album released is a must buy. It’s a reviewer’s only wish that the quirky emcee take a step outside his established sound and show the world his fully realized arsenal. -Noah Sanders