Forget Asher Roth. Mr. Lif is the Real Face of Hip-Hop

A suburban kid does not rise to the top. But here's somebody who might.

By Brian McManus
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 5 | Posted May. 12, 2009

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“I think that’s a little strong,” Lif tells me from his hotel room in Portland, Ore., where he’s out on tour promoting Today. (He brings the show to Johnny Brenda’s this week.) “I’m not willing to just throw Obama under the bus in that way. But at the same time, how naive is it to think that something on that level of power is not completely calculated? He was definitely selected as the best option to guide America through a new era where we have to reflect a little more humbleness than we have in the past. That’s why on the song ‘Obama’ I say, ‘If the flick was Pulp Fic I think he’d be the cleaner.’ You got a massacre in the backseat and you need someone to come in and make everyone forget that there was any bloodshed at all.”

If someone had to create a time capsule, to be dug up in 50 years, to explain to future generations just how bad things became in ’09, a copy of Today would definitely need to be put in right next to a few articles about the AIG bailout, video of angry mobs tearing apart the CEOs of top banks limb from bloody limb (coming soon) and Dick Cheney’s suicide note (that too). It’s that vivid and sobering a snapshot.

“I really wanted to capture the powerfully dynamic era we’re living through, where all the shit seems to be hitting the fan at the same time.”

Today does that. As such, it’s an at times depressing listen. But it also seems vital.

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1. Amy said... on May 13, 2009 at 09:14AM

“So basically you're retracting your Asher Roth hype as soon as it started. How could you NOT see through that bullshit the first time? The first time I heard "I Love College," I threw up in the back of my mouth a little bit. I'll be booing the hell out of him when that asshole plays the Roots picnic.

Mr. Lif has been around forever - but good to see you give him props.

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2. Rick said... on May 13, 2009 at 11:53AM

“Hahaha. Trueeee... Asher is waaaaack. That is not and never will be hip hop!”

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3. Hater said... on May 13, 2009 at 12:29PM

“Here's an Idea, "PUT MR LIF ON THE COVER!"”

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4. Cole said... on May 14, 2009 at 12:37PM

“Asher roth has no one to blame except himself for being a hip hop fabrication, a fantasy of greasy old white record exec's who only see dollar signs and not talent or creativity when looking for the 'next big thing'. not to mention hes just shitty at rapping, i don't think I'm particularly good but I think I could out battle that hack.”

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5. Steady said... on Nov 18, 2010 at 11:51PM

“Nice post. Boo to Rosh, props to LIf, what I like to hear.

But "Philly's own?" I thought Lif was from Boston.”

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