Mr. Lif

Latest Articles

[awesome video alert] Mr. Lif & Thievery Corporation - "Unified Tribes" (#Occupy Anthem)

[awesome video alert] Mr. Lif & Thievery Corporation - "Unified Tribes" (#Occupy Anthem)

I rarely hear Mr. Lif listed among the most, as they say, "political rappers." He's not mentioned alongside the more aggressive likes of Immortal Technique,...
By Chris Faraone  |  January 03, 2012
11 Hometown Hip-Hop Theme Songs for #OccupyBoston

11 Hometown Hip-Hop Theme Songs for #OccupyBoston

More Occupy Boston Pics Here Every revolution needs fresh theme music. Especially one organized by contemporary counter-culture warriors, who tend to have eclectic tastes. I'm...
By Chris Faraone  |  September 29, 2011

Akrobatik: down but not out

It's hard to evaluate life-threatening illnesses if you skipped med school to kick rhymes.
The beat goes on
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  June 10, 2011

All in the Fam

Halfway through my interview with the Allston-based alt-hop collective Fameless Fam about their upcoming showcase at Wonder Bar this Tuesday, Will from the posse's glitch-minded duo Time Crisis mentions that he went to high school in Pittsburgh with risi
The Fameless crew spice up the underground
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  July 02, 2010

Boston Hip-Hop Unity Fest 2010

An optimist would say that, despite some serious disappointments, last year’s Third Annual Boston Hip-Hop Unity Fest demonstrated just how peaceful the Bean rap scene really is.
For Unity Fest, the show must go on (for real this time)
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  May 14, 2010

Shaking through

High-powered indie-punk at AS220
Off the Couch


Focus group: Labeless Illtelligence

It's NBA All-Star Saturday and Labeless Illtelligence representatives Chris Andrews and Tyler Edwards, better known as CasUno and ESH the Monolith, settle in for one last marathon studio session at Edwards's East Providence apartment (dubbed FrESH Ear St
CasUno and ESH the Monolith streamline the cipher
By CHRIS CONTI  |  February 19, 2010
Year-End Boston Rap Round-Up, Plus 5 Local Hip-Hop Happenings that we Stupidly Missed in 2009

Year-End Boston Rap Round-Up, Plus 5 Local Hip-Hop Happenings that we Stupidly Missed in 2009

  It’s amazing how much hate mail I receive accusing me of ignoring local artists. Most hilarious is this ass on Facebook who recently bitched...
By Chris Faraone  |  December 17, 2009

How a soul sample evolves from a Mr. Lif banger to a hit Jay-Z record and beyond...

It all started with a sweet old soul grab from The Moments' "Love on a Two Way Street." It was a mere kernel, but man...
By Chris Faraone  |  November 12, 2009

Earth tones

Last year, I went to a landfill. It was awful. Our trash-filled van was briskly waved past a row of methane vents (each perma-farting blue flames into the sky) and toward a road that coiled up around the main hill — which wasn't so much a hill as it wa
The 2009 Boston Green Fest cleans up nice
By MICHAEL BRODEUR  |  August 21, 2009

Things fall apart

As hipster, electronic, indie-rock, and rap cultures converge, MCs are taking cues from their other-genre contemporaries who rely on everything from stage props and antics to self-mutilation in the quest to entertain.
Hip-hop finds room to move at South-By.
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  March 25, 2009


Get sprung

Between the packages that turn up on my Jamaica Plain doorstep and the envelopes that stuff my Phoenix mailbox, I have enough music to start a mixtape spot in Downtown Crossing.
A bumpin' crop of spring hip-hop
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  March 18, 2009

What rhymes with Barack?

The story of underground hip-hop these days often seems like the inverse of Barack Obama’s story.  
Mr. Lif takes on the headlines
By FRANKLIN SOULTS  |  October 27, 2008

Food for thought

The Edgewood section of Cranston may not be known as a hip-hop hotbed, but that neighborhood raised a razor-sharp emcee named Romen Rok.
Romen Rok stays hungry
By CHRIS CONTI  |  September 10, 2008

That’ll learn ya

In eighth grade, I decided that school and hip-hop should exist separately.
Kabir schools other MCs, little kids
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  August 26, 2008

Reks in effect

Since jumping skills-first onto Boston’s rap scene seven years ago, Lawrence-born MC Reks has earned a variety of reputations.
Lawtown MC bounces back
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  July 28, 2008


Fakts One

Fakts never built a repertoire deep enough to secure his own specific sound, but on Long Range he proves he can dip into a variety of styles and cater tracks around any MC’s individual tastes.
Long Range | Greenstreets
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  July 22, 2008

Going on sale: April 25, 2008

Feist, Rooney, the Black Angels, and more.

Breaking news from the concert ticket trade

By GOING ON SALE  |  April 24, 2008


One of the hallmarks of Akrobatik’s style has always been his sincerity.
Absolute Value | Fat Beats
By ANDREW GRAHAM  |  February 26, 2008

Going on sale: February 8, 2008

Mike Doughty, the Aggrolites, Colin Meloy, and more.
Breaking news from the concert ticket trade
By GOING ON SALE  |  February 05, 2008

Portland scene report: January 4, 2008

Woitasek has pulled in a number of impressive acts this year and it will be a shame to see that end.
Sibilance starts now


The live rap album

December is the time of year when the new album well dries up and gives way to a deluge of novelty releases.
There are a few, and Mr. Lif has one of the best
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  December 05, 2007

Day by Day by Day

Two years ago, the Phoenix asked me to write a weekly column about Boston’s growing electronic music and DJ scene.
A column ends
By DAVID DAY  |  September 18, 2007

Going on sale: August 17, 2007

The Good Life, Mr. Lif, Steven Wright, and more.
Breaking news from the concert ticket trade
By GOING ON SALE  |  August 14, 2007


This Wednesday, May 30, a hip-hop bill comes to the Paradise Lounge that boggles the mind.
Rap legend Edo G. heads a huge bill; Faint DJs
By DAVID DAY  |  May 22, 2007

Surviving and thriving

“Approximately 40 miles outside San Diego the tour bus with Mr. Lif, the Coup, DJ Big Wiz, Metro, and other friends of theirs flipped over and burst into flames,” wrote Def Jux capitán El-P via e-mail. Our heart skipped a beat. Mr. Lif, "The Fries (Ab
Mr. Lif’s brush with disaster + Keith Kenniff’s classical fix
By DAVID DAY  |  December 12, 2006


The Bladerunners

Freestyle music is an overlooked chapter of dance music. The Bladerunners, "Work It, Shake It (remix edit)" (mp3)
7L brings back the Razor; Lif hits the road
By DAVID DAY  |  November 09, 2006

Home boys

Don’t count out 7L & Esoteric just yet. 7L & Esoteric, "3 Minute Classic" (mp3)
7L & Esoteric discover A New Dope
By MATTHEW M. BURKE  |  August 17, 2006

Top ten Boston CDs: August 13, 2006

Coming in IIIs.
As reported by Newbury Comics
By TOP 10 BOSTON CDS  |  August 15, 2006

Top 10 local CDs: August 6

Dane Cook, Harmful If Swallowed [Comedy Central]
As reported by Newbury Comics
By TOP 10 LOCAL CDS  |  August 08, 2006