Mr. Lif 

Mo Mega

Boston-, then Berkeley-, now-Philly-based rapper Mr. Lif performs on the respected Def Jux label, and he knows a lot about long-distance relationships. "Text sex, phone sex — of course. As much as possible," he tells the Express. "You gotta give them something to keep the motivation level high." The man knows. Touring bankrupted his West Coast relationship, sending him packing to Philly in March, as he prepared to drop Mo' Mega, his second release, last month. Most of the album is Lif in classic political mode. Fast food bad; major labels bad. But we also see his decade-long career lighten up on the more personal songs "Washitup" (a genital hygiene rap), and the naughty, cunnilingual standout hit "Long-Distance." "I have this castrating image as a sociopolitical rapper," he says. "Those songs are just a result of my growth as a human being." Indeed, Grindin'/and soon enough I feel your pussy tight'n/You're comin'/moan and slap the counter and yer strugglin' on "Long Distance" shocks and titillates in visceral ways Ken Lay's faked death just can't. So does Lif have a new lady keeping his texting thumbs busy on tour this summer? "Hell, yeah!" he says.

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