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Perceptionists: Black Dialogue

Perceptionists: Black Dialogue

Label:Definitive Jux
Release Date:2005
Genre:Hip Hop/Rap

By Craig Smith | Posted 6/8/2005

While the war in Iraq drags into a third year, it’s prime time for politically charged rap discs. The Perceptionists are among only a handful of acts kicking political thoughts and concoct a compelling debut with funky and incisive jams that thankfully avoid depressive rants.

DJ/producer Fakts One, Akrobatik, and Mr. Lif make up the forward-thinking clique and introduce their exuberant bash on Bush with “People 4 Prez,” with Mr. Lif hastily rapping about the commander in chief’s trick wordplay: “The shit is absurd/ Don’t trust a motherfucking word.”

There’s recurring talk of the Iraq conflict, most ferociously with “Memorial Day,” as Akrobatik ingeniously unleashes a verse from a vexed soldier’s perspective. “I never thought of this the day that I enlisted/ That I’d be dodging bullets/ Seeking weapons that never even existed.”

“Black Dialogue” delves into the endlessly imitated African-American lexicon over a track teeming with soothing looped strings: “You see it everywhere you look/ Speech, music, fashion, and style.” The tune also includes Mr. Lif’s infectiously nasal, blunt social analysis, admitting, “We’d rather teach each other how to fire chrome than buy a home.”

The crew’s most striking skill is matching wisecracks with weighty topics. “Career Finders” is a fictional job-placement service specializing in alternative professions for gun-toting MCs. For one gangster rapper addicted to his Tec-9’s bullet spray, job counselor Mr. Lif offers the consummate gig: “Pull up the plane and get this kid to Iraq.”

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