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Saturday, June 17, 2017

Mr. Lif & Akrobatik (THE PERCEPTIONISTS)

Back in 2000/2003 I was big on Def Jux, the label, they released several quality releases that mixed true school hip-hop with really heavyhitting, distorted beats and banging lyrics that ranged from political discourse to fine storytelling and metaphor street raps. My favorite was always Cannibal Ox's "The Cold Vein" (still one of the best albums of the 2000s decade). A perfect marrige of mindblowing, agressive El-P sonic attacks underlining the hard knock life of Vordul Mega and Vast Aire - but not in no ordinary way, the verses were full of metaphors and riddles. Another favorite released shortly after was Mr. Lif's first full-lenght LP on the label, "I Phantom". A deep, and very slept-on concept album which proved that Lif and El-P was not far from the fantastic trio that Can' Ox was with El-Producto. Both LP:s was released in 2002, along with very solid projects like Aesop Rock's "Labor Days" (technically 2001), RJD2 mostly instrumental storytelling project "Deadringers", El-P's balls-to-the-walls aggressive "Fant´´´´astic Damage" and MURS' "The End of the Beginning". Speaking of the latter make sure you get the vinyl version as for some reason the perhaps two best song on the album was decided by some bright heat at the label to serve best as vinyl bonus track..

[Above is a 2005 single from the album a which proes how long this Percepionists been in gestaltion]
Now Def Jux is no more, El-P is putting his energy on other ventures like Run The Jewels, Zack De La Rocha (fucking sick), The Veils. But as I already established above, Def Jux was a lot more than El-P or Company Flow and between 2000 and 2003 they had a really talented roster of artists major labels wouldn't touch with a stick. Another one of those like Mr. Lif was the highly lyrically skilled Akrobatik who dropped People like El Da Sensei, Camu Tao, Akrobatik, Jean Grae, and many more. So there you go - a brief history lesson for those of my readers who might be a little younger. The big news here is that the two emcees buid off each other like they've been a team for years, keeping the guests to a mnimum (Syne on the single "Hose Down" and "Free at Last" as well as "When Push Comes to Shove" featuring Dutch Rebelle). Visit their BandCamp for tracklist, production info, release date (about a month left) and keep checking back because I have a feeling more singles will appear ASAP). Take a listen to the debut single "Hose Down" featuring Syne below.

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