Critic's Choice

Def Jux Records now delivers what Rawkus did in the late '90s: daring, experimental, raw hip-hop. Anchored by label founder El-P's futuristic vision of symphonic paranoia, Def Jux has introduced rap audiences to an impressive crew of East Coast-based artists, including Aesop Rock and Cannibal Ox. Four-time Boston Music Awards winner Mr. Lif is the most recent label signee to drop lyrical bombs on the hip-hop establishment; his seven-song EP, Emergency Rations, released last June, provides a scathing critique on the "War on Terrorism" and addresses the conditions of life in post-9/11 America. In September, Mr. Lif unveiled the critically acclaimed full-length I, Phantom, a semi-autobiographical, concept-driven subterranean opus of B-boy blues. Catch the Def Jux road show on Wednesday, January 29, when El-P and Mr. Lif take the stage at the Boulder Theater.


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