“We’re all supposed to start trusting the government again ‘cause it has a friendlier face now, right?” - Mr. Lif: Welcome To The World
This wonderful piece of work throws away all the usual conceptions of what a Hip Hop album should be and instead brings Lif’s own idea of what Hip Hop should be and do into the limelight.
To start with, the beats on this album just sound amazing. Everything flows perfectly. From the simplest inclusions of drumming and horns to the more complicated scratching and ambient noises that get incorporated into each song, there is not one moment where any of these things feel out of place. It really surprised me that Lif could combine all these different things into cohesive tunes that easily surpass any of his previous work.
I Heard It Today delivers a special blend of Lif’s lyrics that really get your mind thinking about the condition of our country on many different levels (all to do with unjustness). Tracks like PNN and Gun Fight create dialogues with the listener about the abuse of power in our police forces while I Heard it Today and What About Us? raise points that challenge the belief that capitalism equals happiness. Lif’s lyrical efforts on this album astound me in their ability to not only sound natural but retain their message all the while.
This excerpt from I Heard It Today heralds these points perfectly.
They were willing to give people with bad credit loans
‘Cause they knew within a few years, we’re out of our homes
And they could buy up all the same properties they sold us
For the wealthy and maniacal, the s*** was a gold rush
They told us rates could fluctuate, but they didn’t say they could spike
Now our credit is like How we gonna get another place
Overall, this album has instant classic written all over it. Every track leads into the next with such an intense fluidity that listening to I Heard It Today does not even feel like an effort at all. I can only hope that other MCs follow Lif’s example and try to live up to the new standard of excellence set by this album. In summation, I dare you, the reader, to go get this album NOW and try not to enjoy it.