Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Monday, August 8

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Concert Thu Apr 12 2007

Let Me Take You Mo' Higher

Beantown emcee Mr. Lif is completely on some Noam Chomsky type ish — not just with how he kicks the linguistics, but also with how he flexes on socio-political issues when he's on the mic. His 2002 cut "Home of the Brave" was the first song I heard that fully (and scathingly) addressed post-9/11 American paranoia and foreign policy. As a socially-minded emcee, Lif manages to make such lyrical content work in a manner that other "conscious" hip-hop usually doesn't. His p.o.v. is more off-handedly observational than preachy, more by-the-way than bombastic. Delivery-wise, he's savvy with switching up the meter, doubling-back on the verse with compressed or internalized rhymes. Lif readily admits that his lyrics are as fueled by what he sees in the world that pisses him off as they are by his passion for hip-hop and making music. And it's paid off well for him, judging from how he frequently attracts and collaborates with some of the most respected emcess and producers in the indie rap scene.

Unwilling to be pigeonholed as a strictly political rapper, Lif has spent the past few years proving that there's more to his game than battle rhymes and agitprop. His recent LP Mo' Mega, released this past summer, reveals him finally at ease to branch out and speak his mind on a broader range of topics, resulting in material that was more deeply personal than fans would've previously expected. On "For You," Lif expresses his misgivings about parenthood to an unborn child, wondering if the world as it is today is one he wants to bring another life into. On "Long Distance," he plunges into full-throttle sex-rhyme mode. Narrating the reunion of himself and a lover after a long seperation, he offers a move-by-move account: "Made her wiggle till she almost broke my finger / So I figure lemme see if she can handle what I give her when within her." And then there's "The Fries," in which he returns to tried-and-true form, stepping to Fast Food Nation with an envelope-nudging conspiracy theory that's as killingly hilarious as it is paranoid.

Mr. Lif will be taking the stage at The Abbey this Saturday night, resuming a tour that ended prematurely some months ago when the tour bus that he and The Coup were sharing met with a fiery crash. The tour coincides with the release of Sleepyheads II, a mixtape that compiles tracks of some of Lif's recent collaborations and guest appearances. Stepping up on the supporting bill will be homegrown indie emcees Cap D (of All Natural) and Pugslee Atoms. Kinghellbastard and DJ Intel will also be performing. 3420 W. Grace at Elston. 18 and over show. Doors at 8pm, show at 9pm. Tickets $15 in advance and at the door.

[mp3]: Mr. Lif - "Mo' Mega promo mix"
[mp3]: Edan w/ Mr. Lif - "Making Planets"

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

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