Mr. Lif & Akrobatik Are Reuniting As The Perceptionists. A Short Film Shows Their Journey (Video)
El-P’s Definitive Jux Records introduced a number of talented MCs and producers. While Mr. Lif had been on wax dating back to the mid-1990s, the Boston, Massachusetts-based MC released Def Jux’s first expanded project, care of 2000’s Enters The Colossus EP. Lif would remain a Jukie for much of the 2000s, releasing a number of celebrated singles and albums, often centered around concept. El would go on to say that Lif was the best live performer he had seen.
In the early 2000s, Lif would partner with longtime Beantown friends Akrobatik and DJ Facts One to form The Perceptionists. Following a mixtape (2004’s The Razor), the trio’s lone album, Black Dialogue included Gang Starr’s Guru (a Mass Rap pioneer), Digital Underground’s Humpty Hump, and an early Phonte appearance. While the group remained collaborative on solo projects, it seemed to be a one-and-done, like so many releases of that era in the Underground.
Mello Music Group, a label now distributing underground artists, pairing acclaimed artists and producers, and building a community of MCs as Jux did, released a mini-documentary on The Perceptionists. Lif and Ak’ comment on the many challenges the group suffered, from very real health concerns, serious tour road accidents, and Fakts One’s exit.
Now, it appears Lif and Akrobatik are poised to make new music together, under the Mello umbrella. “I think this is just a point of resolution,” says Lif. “It’s like ‘OK, let’s just do what we started talking about in ’99, which is to be a group. Akrobatik continues,”There’s people [that have] been waiting over a decade for this, including me, so I’m ready.”
In recent years, other Def Jux acts such as Cannibal Ox and Murs & 9th Wonder have released projects beyond the label’s activity.
#BonusBeat: Stream/purchase Black Dialogue:
Production was divided by Fakts One, El-P, the late Camu Tao, Willie Evans Jr., and others.