The Perceptionists / Mr. Lif / Akrobatik


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Mr. Lif and Akrobatik, two of Boston's most acclaimed MCs, formed the Perceptionists with DJ Fakts One in the early 2000s, eventually landing on leading underground hip-hop label Definitive Jux for the release of the 2005 full-length Black Dialogue. The group members drifted apart due to personal differences, and both Lif and Akrobatik lived through near-fatal tragedies -- Lif survived a bus crash while on tour with the Coup in 2006, and Akro underwent emergency surgery after suffering a ruptured heart valve in 2011. Both of these experiences, as well as the death of Phife Dawg, helped put things into perspective -- Lif stated that if Phife and Q-Tip could put aside their differences for the good of hip-hop and record one final Tribe album, a second Perceptionists album could see the light of day. The trio appeared on Lif's 2016 album Don't Look Down, and Akro guested on The Life & Death of Scenery, Lif's dystopian concept album with L'Orange, but Resolution was recorded by Lif and Akro without Fakts One. Like the first Perceptionists album, Resolution maintains a heavy focus on socially conscious lyrics, calling out injustice and lamenting the disappointing state of the world. Opener "Early Mourning" illustrates its point by sampling riot footage. However, the duo offsets the seriousness with more playful tracks such as "Let's Battle" and "Dirty Drumz," which are more about proving doubters and wack MCs wrong than politics. They also tackle romantic relationships with the seductive "When Push Comes to Shove," featuring a slinky accordion loop and a guest verse from Dutch Rebelle. Several of the tracks reflect on both rappers' personal struggles, directly referencing the bus crash, the surgery, and drama related to family, friends, and relationships. Lif and Akro remain as concerned about society as ever, but after going through life-changing experiences, they've been forced to consider their own mortality, and place more of an importance on personal matters and strengthening connections with others, and with themselves. Ultimately, their message is positive and optimistic, stating that there's "nothing left to do but bounce back" on "A Different Light."

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