Mr. Lif, the hardworking Bostonian MC, drops a debut LP that playfully discloses in lyrical fashion his inner battle of whether or not to return to his nine-to-five job, but the long-overdue record practically guarantees he'll no longer need the day job. One of the working-class heroes signed to hip-hop indie Definitive Jux, Liffy enjoyed a busy 2002, releasing the Emergency Rations EP and appearing on several releases from the Jux camp. I Phantom is slightly less politically aggressive than the EP in overall aesthetic, with blue-collar rhymes over hype, funky tracks with great production by Fakts One, DJ Hype, Edan, and Lif himself. The guest appearances on the mic by Akrobatik, a fellow fledgling Bostonion, Edan, Aesop Rock, El-P, and Jean Grae make all the tracks quality and seal the deal on Lif's breakthrough set.
AllMusic Review by Nic Kincaid