February 18th, 2008
THE PERCEPTIONISTS @ THE HIGHLINE BALLROOM: 2/19/8 @ 9PM.by John Coakley
A lot of people who grew up loving the music of RUN DMC, Public Enemy, and De la Soul have since given up on hip hop. They miss the feeling of possibility, of a potential for change both musical and cultural, that the music was once able to provide. Most of these folks were turned off by the crass commercialism of Diddy etc. and the empty thuggery of Dr. Dre etc. and started to ignore the rap side of their musical menu.
But you can’t eat the same food every day and you can’t consistently skip one of the major musical food groups. Go to the Highline Ballroom tonight and check out The Perceptionists, aka Akrobatik and Mr. Lif. Lif is from Boston and his album, Mo’ Mega, is one of the best hip hop albums out there right now. The music is sharp and compelling, the flow is impressive, and the lyrics tackle family and politics with admirable clarity and candor. The lack of fathers, or at least father figures, is one of the top 10 800 pound gorillas sitting in hip hop’s living room, but how many MC’s actually take the time to discuss it, let alone think about how that lack may have affected them? Mr. Lif has done both and the resulting song, Looking In…, will get you choked up. He also has a great song about going down on one’s ladyfriend, so clearly the man has some serious range. This is not a show to miss, folks.