Way the hell back in 2005, El-P’s then-thriving Definitive Jux label released Black Dialogue, the debut album from longtime Boston underground rap fixtures Mr. Lif and Akrobatik. Calling themselves the Perceptionists (and, at the time, also featuring DJ Fakts One as a member), Lif and Ak showed the sort of giddy, fun energy that they’d been bringing to live shows for years. Both of them were serious, gifted rappers with political tendencies and sharp ideals, but both of them were also clearly having a whole lot of fun rapping with one another. El-P produced some of the beats. Phonte, the late Guru, and Shock G (in his Humpty Hump guise) made guest appearances. And up until now, it was the last that we heard from the Perceptionists as a group.
Next month, Mr. Lif and Akrobatik will return with Resolution, their first album as a group in 12 years. Both of them have been through some things. Lif, now a member of Thievery Corporation, survived a perilous tour-bus crash, and Akrobatik made it through an aortic rupture and open-heart surgery. Last year, Lif released the solo LP Don’t Look Down and teamed up with producer L’Orange for the album The Life & Death Of Scenery, and both of them served as proof, if you needed it, that he is still plenty sharp. And on Resolution’s first single “Hose Down,” the two of them draw parallels between today and the Civil Rights era, ride a hard and piano-laced beat, and show that their chemistry remains ferocious. Below, listen to “Hose Down,” watch a short mini-doc on the Perceptionists, and read quotes about the album from Lif and Akrobatik.
Sometimes in life, you just have to cut the bullshit and focus on the things that matter the most. This is a point in time in which both me and my brother Akrobatik realize that we are lucky to be alive. The fact that we are not only alive but also highly inspired is too much of a gift to take for granted.
Writing meaningful songs together in hopes of connecting with our listeners in positive and powerful ways is of great importance to us and we are honored to have this opportunity to share our music with the world once again.
It’s an honor to rock another full-length album with my brother Lif, who happens to be one of my all-time favorite emcees. I hope you’ll all come out to share this experience with us live on tour!