Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s featured selection, chosen by Morning Show host John Richards, is “What About Us?” by Mr. Lif from his 2009 album I Heard It Today on Bloodbot Tactical Enterprises.
Mic Check one two; Mr Lif (aka Jeffrey Haynes) is a Boston-area (now Philly) hip-hop artist who’s not afraid to mix some potentially volatile political lyrics into his rhymes. A gifted lyricist, Lif is one of the few rappers who openly discusses recent events like the economy and the housing crisis in his songs; the relevance of his latest album is amazingly on point. Despite only releasing two solo albums, Mr. Lif may be best known for his work in Def Jux collective The Perceptionists (with Akrobatik and DJ Fakts One). Comparatively, his solo work seems to be much more grounded on lyrical content than the beats that dominate his other project. Not content to simply spit out the latest “look at me” lyrics of his predecessors, Lif does his best to dismiss the standard formula and march to his own controversial beat. Today’s Song of the Day,
What About Us? is less “F- The Police” than it is “F- The Man”, but it’s no less in your face with its delivery. A quick reminder of his overall message may just be in the lyrics to this song: “enough is enough”!
Mr. Lif just wrapped up a tour and currently has no new announced tour dates. You can find out more about what he’s up to and listen to additional tracks on his MySpace page. For now, here he is performing an acapella version of the title track, “I Heard It Today,” live at Webster Hall in NYC this past April: