In a time when dissent is key in America, Mr. Lif says whatever the fuck he desires. I Phantom conveys his greatest collective to date, creating what most are referring to as a ‘concept album.’
Lif has boldly challenged the post 9/11 political climate, crafting such non-album classics as “Home of the Brave,” with timely courage and wisdom unforeseen in today’s hip hop.
The major themes on this album are not entirely unrelated. Media control, social inequality and ethical issues are all dealt with beginning with a dream sequence, which ends when Lif wakes up to find that he is late for his day job.
In “Live From the Plantation,” Lif is a brotha trying to make it, working a job that cheats him out of money and precious time that he could otherwise be using to pursue his passions. Delivered craftily by Lif, Edan assembles arguably the snappiest beat on the album.
Soon the fourth theme of ‘success’ emerges, and Lif confidently tells the world hip hop is his passion in “New Man Theme.” Excellent production and guest emceeing from Insight on tracks “Status” and “Iron Helix” compliment Lif’s flows quite well. Famed Def Jukie El-P creates almost half the beats, particularly those for the final phase – an apocalypse.
“I Phantom” is a complete work of thoughts and viewpoints to be appreciated for Lif’s sheer honesty and steadfastness alone. I doubt Lif will ever sell out. He’s too smart to do so.
[Mr. Bell and Mr. Lif are similar in that they both start with Mr.]