It’s hubris and surefire skill that allow Mr. Lif and L’Orange to boil hubris itself down in song-form, and they succeed wildly. Boston rapper Mr. Lif is no stranger to swinging big. He’s repeatedly questioned President Obama’s policies both solo and with Thievery Corporation, with whom he still frequently tours. On The Life & Death Of Scenery, he teams up with Nashville producer L’Orange, whose shadowy, shapeshifting sounds fit perfectly with Mr. Lif’s metaphor-heavy themes.
“A Palace In The Sky” is built vertically, constantly zooming out to reveal how power and control trickle down. A ruler sits on a throne of clouds, but as Mr. Lif puts it, “he got lost in the mirage of his reprieve,” like a fatalistic M.C. Escher. Like all good myths, the song works on two levels: something as old as time and perfectly in-step with a shadowy present.
“A Palace In The Sky” appears on The Life & Death Of Scenery, out now via Mello Music.
–Art Levy // host, Sunday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., producer, My KUTX