Boston rapper Mr. Lif has made a name for himself as a thoughtful, often incendiary lyricist. On the Emergency Rations EP, Lif plays the latter part of that equation to the hilt. This is a concept album, the premise being that Mr. Lif has been kidnapped -- in the middle of a live performance -- by unidentified (read: government) agents and is now missing. What made the diminutive MC so dangerous? The eight tracks quickly set out to answer that question, showcasing Lif's direct, uncompromising attacks on civil rights, censorship, and especially -- in the wake of September 11, 2001 -- U.S. foreign policy. El-P and Akrobatik contribute haunting, dissonant production that helps set the mood with strong undercurrents of alienation and paranoia and the rest is left in Mr. Lif's capable hands. The lyrics are as thoughtful as they are confrontational, and Emergency Rations is a provocative, well-crafted album that proves hard to ignore.
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AllMusic Review by Martin Woodside