The Perceptionists, Black Dialogue (2005)
Indie hip-hop, like most established music genres, has its own formalist traditions. The Perceptionists, a supergroup comprised of MCs Mr. Lif and Akrobatik and DJ/producer Fakts One, stick to those rules on Black Dialogue, reliably churning out a love song (“Love Letters”), the reg’lar people/work sucks track (“5 O’Clock”), et cetera. Thankfully, Mr. Lif and Akrobatik are slick and charismatic vocalists who make lemonade out of these boilerplate topics. “Memorial Day,” a memorably strong accusation lodged from the point of view of a U.S. soldier in Iraq (“Where are the weapons of mass destruction?” goes the chorus), livens up this professionally executed but nevertheless predictable affair. Producers include Fakts One, El-P, and Willie Evans, Jr. Definitive Jux.