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I Phantom

Mr. Lif Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 16.44 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Product Details


1. Bad Card
2. Glimpse of the Struggle
3. Return of the B-Boy (parts 1 & 2)
4. Live From the Plantation
5. New Man Theme
6. Hand Outs
7. Status
8. Success
9. Daddy Dearest
10. The Now
11. Friends and Neighbors
12. Iron Helix
13. Earth Crusher
14. Post Mortem

Product Description

Amazon.ca

Concerned as it is with the weighty topic of creativity versus society, Mr. Lif's eagerly anticipated full-length studio debut tackles more American sociological issues than a senior thesis. Label mates Vast Aire, El-P, and Aesop Rock, along with extended-family members Insight, Jean Grae, and Akrobatic, each add their own flavor to the narrative mix. Grounding their collective sound in a revamped, circa-1993 style, El-P, Insight, Fakts One, and Edan offer beats and scratches that perfectly match each song's varied level of intensity. I Phantom is an ambitious project that combines elements previously mined aurally in Prince Paul's proletarian hip-hopera A Prince Among Thieves and to an extent via cinema in Paul Thomas Anderson's epic, Magnolia. Considering the intricate nature of Phantom's sequencing, it'd be hard to pinpoint any one song as the "best," but the Fakts One-produced "New Man Theme" should be required listening for all hip-hop nerds and intellectual thugs, worldwide. --Rebecca Levine

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Intense concept June 22 2004
Format:Audio CD
Don't tell Mr. Lif the idea that the hip-hop concept album is supposedly dead and gone, because he has gone and created one of the best of the genre with "I Phantom". Sure it seems a tired concept: the oppressiveness of society and the government, mindless under-paying employment, and the threat of worldwide destruction. Who doesn't ever experience the fear of one or the other? Who isn't right now stuck in a rut? We can all relate to these ideas.
What makes this concept sounds fresh is the panache and gusto with which Lif puts it onto plastic. The Definitive Jux label has been long regarded as the producers of some of the most forward-looking, genre-imploding hip-hop of the last five years (three masterpieces alone cement this fact), and Mr. Lif makes a huge impact with "I Phantom". The production on this album is stunningly retro: "New Man Theme" and "The Now" especially are reminiscent of the early Nineties hip-hop movement. The actual quality is sometimes eschewed by the concept - "Status" is atrociously mixed to keep in the storyline of Lif not being able to afford a proper beat from producer Insight. The seven-minute dream sequence of "Return of the B-Boy", where Lif is resurrected by hip-hop and battles his clone in a stunning double-speed rap is simply the highlight of not only the album, but of their entire output of the Def Jux label.
Although Lif deviates from his concept (or loses it altogether, depending on who you ask) with the final three songs that end in a shocking nuclear apocalypse, the album's integrity and message aren't lost. Modern society bears down on people that live in it, and they must seek to find some healthy escape before society self-destructs. Or whatever you say it is. Long live Def Jux!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Who's you it's just I all opposition must DIE! April 23 2004
Format:Audio CD
Those words, The defining point of I-Phantom in my opinion. An angry scream from a dark proletariat/oppressed intelligentia.I-Phantom a tight package of storytelling with dark twists, alternative beats and and the flexibility and simplicity of Mr Lif. Mr Lif, its like his vocabulary was created by the english language founder so that he could put it together so intricately and yet so downright easily. He raps like he breathes. He brings the downward spiral of humanity in a 45 minute 14 song long album like you blink. This is the first album of Mr lif's i have bought because i was told it was the best. Evidently it must be, although i do not think the beats by EL-p are what i would call immaculate.His best work in my opinion was Cold Vein but he still manages to pull of some good beats, like Status, Friends and Neighbours and return of the B-BOy, which define HIP HOP. Insight drops an alright beat which was deliberatly made for the storyline (which i leave you to find out about) but he manages to pick up the production on Iron Helix which without a doubt is one of the best rap songs ever made. Phat beat and thoughtful IMMACULATE lyrics. It is about a "native" who basks in mother natures beauty and flawed processes through life (played by Insight) and a corporate executive of some sort ( played by Lif)converts insight to a replica of himself. I believe it is called Iron Helix because of the society we are living in where the helpless naive public are being brainwashed into believing anything and are willing to die for materialistic desires by a bullet and grenade. We are being breeded into false shadows of our former self, robots in fact hence Iron Helix. Ill? i think so. And there is so much more ill music in this album. Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars Mr. Lif is deserve to be a 5 mic Emcee! April 17 2004
By TKitO
Format:Audio CD
One word to describe Mr. Lif, Fabulous!
One word to describe I Phantom, Marvelous!
Mr. Lif is an incredible emcee,
I find some best lyrics I ever heard from this album,
I guess, he got some fresh theme,
He not dull like those so-call gangsta rapper keep rappin' killin' people,
Not those platinum rapper keep talking about money sex hoes and cars all day!
Like in "Status" featuring Insight,
in the first verse Mr. Lif act a big money heavyweight,
walk in the club and everyone crowd him,
in the 2nd verse, Insight talk that Mr. Lif used to be broke,
and live like a bum, everybody hate him!
Describe the end of the world at "Post Mortem"
"Live from Plantation" Talk about people work is hard, and even got an A$$hole Boss.
"Success" Mr. Lif talk about a Hard Working Father/Husband,
Who is overly working to earn some to afford his family live,
He think it's the best way to be a Father,
but Finally he understand that this cause he neglect his family,
and His Wife and Children start to think that the ydon't need him,
So fianlly He got Divorce!
Mr. Lif is Bright like the Sun in I Phantom!
and This is a Definitive Jux release,
(...)
Yup! It's El-P!
This album mostly produce by El-P, Fakts One and Insight!
All beats in this album is A+++ Grade,
ain't no Dull moment!
A Glimpse At The Struggle - 5/5
Return of The B-Boy - 4/5
Live From The Plantation - 5/5
New Man Theme - 4.5/5
Status - 5/5 [Got The Best Beats]
Success - 5/5
The Now - 4/5
Friends and Neighbors - 4/5
Iron Helix - 4.5/5
Earthcrusher - 4/5
Post Mortem - 4.5/5
So GET this cd now!!!
It's one of the Definitive Jux Classic!!!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I Phantom
When I first heard this cd i thought nothing of it. After three more listins I realized that Mr. Lif had something for everybody. Read more
Published on July 4 2004 by M. C. Peixoto
5.0 out of 5 stars Real Life Music.
Today there are few artist whose words you can relate to.
Mr.Lif speaks of day to day struggles. Read more
Published on May 18 2004 by Kevin G. Pitchford
5.0 out of 5 stars OK.Let's Get Started!!
It's been out for awhile, now go buy it like i did!This is one of the best albums of 2003!Get your hands on it. Read more
Published on March 15 2004 by Aesop_Rock
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best of its year
simply, this was one of the best of the crop (02 or 03, which it is escapes me). His voice is infectious; el=p reigns it in for the massappeal flow of lif, and, no disrespect, for... Read more
Published on March 4 2004 by equinoise
5.0 out of 5 stars The New Conscience MC
Mr.Lif is the new KRS-One. All his songs just kick knowledge, and the beats and scratches are banging. I wish that more MC's would be like Mr. Read more
Published on Jan. 30 2004 by Bijan Shamloo
5.0 out of 5 stars Mr. Lif, one of my favorite emcees
Rolling Stone-"Definitive Jux rolls over contemporary pop and rap like a bulldozer."-ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY- "The most galvanizing new hip hop label since Def... Read more
Published on Jan. 10 2004 by dj cypher
5.0 out of 5 stars DefJukies spread the word
Mr. Lif has presented us with a concept album that truly defines the times we live in today. The idea of portraying the rise and fall of man in American society is a suject that... Read more
Published on Nov. 27 2003 by "palepoet"
5.0 out of 5 stars fools
If you think this new classic is anything less than four stars, you're a moron. If you can't handle the beats or rhymes, I think LL is coming out with something new pretty soon.
Published on Nov. 17 2003 by reference777
5.0 out of 5 stars As good as hip-hop gets
"Mr. Lif's Wackness shocks his old fans, June 23, 2003
Reviewer: deadlytruthz (see more about me) from United States
"Wow a new Mr. Lif disc! Read more
Published on Oct. 23 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars dropping knowledge like bombs
What sets Mr. Lif most apart from other underground MC's is not his unique, slightly nasal voice or his old-school-influenced style of flows. Read more
Published on Aug. 24 2003
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