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Mr. Lif 

Mo' Mega (Definitive Jux)

Mr. Lif's 2002 album, I Phantom, impressively cultivated an urgent, paranoid feel, but its slow plot and heavy-handed messages made it difficult to handle. Fortunately, the fantastic Mo' Mega plays like a tightened-up Phantom, maintaining that disc's dystopic aesthetic but swapping the narratives for ambiguous poetry about (among other things) his career ("Collapse") and his unborn ("For You"). El-P provides Lif with lo-fi soundscapes pushed by dusty, mechanical breaks and treble-free guitar samples. Mega lightens up for a few tracks (the faux-Jamaican "Washitup!"), but Lif shines most when he narrates the insanity around him.

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More by Andrew Friedman

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