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I Phantom

Mr. Lif Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 17.05 & 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


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
1.0 out of 5 stars Mr. Lif's Wackness shocks his old fans June 23 2003
Format:Audio CD
"Wow a new Mr. Lif disc!" came out of my mouth when I saw I phantom sitting on the shelf amoungst all the independant labels. Obviously I bought it and rushed to the car to play it on the way home, thats when the trouble started... not only was I not feeling one track on the whole disc... but it all sounded like terrible old school. I have heard better beats put together from local artist who dont have a dime to spend... what was mr. lif thinking? I shoke my head as I took it out of the player "Hard to Imagine that Jedi Mind Tricks had this cat on their Cd" . Where is the cd now? probably disapointing another old fan that bought it from me via- online.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Presumtuous June 5 2003
Format:Audio CD
Mr. Lif has struck out in just about every area with this album. This first strike against him is that he is overbearingly presumptuous from the first words of the liner notes. I take a dim view of an artist who calls his own work "vivid," "challenging," and "intricate." Furthermore, I take a dim view of an artist who at the same time makes one of his tracks (#6, "Status") sound awful on purpose, whatever that purpose may be.
Some good beats or good ideas might justify Lif's presumptuousness, but this album has none of those. There is nothing original about any of the sounds on this album. It wouldn't have sounded fresh five years ago. I will grant that Lif can rhyme. But his ideas are confused and arguable, at best. And since there's nothing danceable or original, musically, on this entire LP, the listener is forced to pass judgment on the ideas. This album, according to the liner notes, tells a story: it starts with a dream about returning from the dead to save hip-hop culture and ends with a nuclear holocaust. That's alot of ground to cover, and Lif doesn't do a very good job at developing any of it. Even if he did, I don't think it would make good listening. Moreover, Lif spends a few tracks showing how corporate generated "social ills" result in the misfortune of one family. I sincerely hope I'm wrong in my interpretation of Lif's main theme, that "social ills" result in human suffering with absolutely no responsibility placed on the actual perpetrators of evil, but that seems to be Lif's main conclusion. This is nonsense, and it doesn't make good listening.
That's my take on this album: bad music, bad ideas, just bad. The only reason that it gets two starts instead of one is that a bad idea is better than bubble-gum pop vacancy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I Phantom July 5 2004
Format:Audio CD
When I first heard this cd i thought nothing of it. After three more listins I realized that Mr. Lif had something for everybody. I cant think of a single person who couldnt relate to something Mr. Lif has to say. He's the kinda guy you would think "Thats exactly how I feel!" every time he goes through another verse. In short, if your a Public Enemy fan or just a hip hop fan who hasn't heard of Lif, I Phantom is the perfect introduction to Boston's finest.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Intense concept June 23 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 Real Life Music. May 18 2004
Format:Audio CD
Today there are few artist whose words you can relate to.
Mr.Lif speaks of day to day struggles. Live from the plantation
is the anthem for anybody who has had a job that they hated.
I got out the military in August 2003. Everyday before I went
to work I played this song, It helped me keep things in perspective.
Earthcrusher is my second favorite from this album. It is a chilling look at the world and current events. Not many artists
make you feel like reading more books. But Mr. Lif is one
of them.
This CD is solid all the way through.
It is a must buy for hip-hop fans who are well read.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Who's you it's just I all opposition must DIE!
Those words, The defining point of I-Phantom in my opinion. An angry scream from a dark proletariat/oppressed intelligentia. Read more
Published on April 23 2004 by cacophonous_A
5.0 out of 5 stars Mr. Lif is deserve to be a 5 mic Emcee!
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... Read more
Published on April 17 2004 by TKitO
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 5 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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