Mr. Lif might just be my favorite rapper in the game right now. There aren't many, if any, MCs with lyrics as thought provoking or as geniunely interesting as Mr. Lif. His EP 'Emergency Rations' and first LP 'I Phantom' are both easily 9-10/10 albums, which obviously creates very high expectations for any Lif release. While 'Mo'Mega' is a great album, and would be considered an extraordinary release from most other artists, it doesn't succeed in improving upon, or matching, Lif's prior albums.
The production on 'Mo'Mega' is largely handled by Def Jux founder El-P, who has also provided a good amount of production for Lif in the past. El-P's production style is pretty unorthodox, and many hip hop fans find his production just too "out there". While his production here is a bit more "normal" than what you might expect from him, people who aren't fans of El-Producto might be turned off by the production here. The 3 tracks that aren't produced by El-P have somewhat more conventional production, and they're handled by Edan (Murs Iz My Manager), Nick Toth (For You) and Mr. Lif himself (Washtup!). Overall, I feel that the production is great, although not as good as the production on Lif's past material.
Lyrically, Lif excells as always. Subject matter is great, flow is on point, and Lif executes extremely well. But once again, as shown by past material, Lif can do better. On I Phantom, for example, Lif showed his storytelling ability as well as numerous concept songs (considering it was a concept album). Lif strays away from storytelling and concept songs on 'Mo'Mega', which is pretty disapointing considering how great they were on I Phantom.
Overall, this really is a great album, and by far one of the best of 2006. But if you're a Lif fan lookings for another 'I Phantom', you might be disapointed on the first listen. But it definately grows on you.
Top 5 Songs (In Order):
1. Murs Iz My Manager (Featuring Murs) - Murs (another one of my favorite rappers) and Lif show great chemistry on this track, going back and forth over maybe the best beat on the album.
2. Brothaz - Sounds like a track straight off of 'Emergency Rations'; politically charged, and extremely dope.
3. For You - Great beat provided by Nick Toth (never heard of him before), and shows a more personal side of Lif (along with 'Looking In...') that was rarely seen on prior albums.
4. The Fries - 2 dope beats from El-P, accompanied with social commentary on fast food and other topics make this a definate standout.
5. Take, Hold, Fire (Featuring Aesop Rock & El-P) - Great overall track featuring 2 nice verses from labelmates Aesop Rock & El-P.
Long Distance - Not a bad track, but not as good lyrically, nor beat-wise as the rest of the album. Just overall the least enjoyable track.
Lyrics/Substance/Subject Matter - 9/10
Flow/Delivery - 8.5/10
Production - 8/10
Overall Feel - 8/10
Guest Apperances - Aesop Rock, El-P, Murs, Akrobatik & Blueprint - 9.5/10 - Every one of the guests makes a memorable apperance. Definately a high point of the album.
Overall Rating - 8.5/10 - Pick this up if youre a fan of political hip hop that makes you think...but if you haven't heard any Mr. Lif before, you might want to pick up 'Emergency Rations' or 'I Phantom' first.