I Phantom

Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 12 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. It fleshes out its cohesive narrative and cogent ideas with beats that respect the spare antipop ethos without abjuring such wayward rhythm elements as femme chorus, bass-drum-whoop jam, and $20 synth loop.
  2. Make no mistake about it, I Phantom is a fantastic record.
  3. Lif has managed to transcend the gimmicks and wankery that generally mar this kind of grand opus, and emerge with his strongest offering yet.
  4. Blender
    80
    With innovative, funk-influenced beats and engaging rhymes, Lif brilliantly avoids the pitfalls of vacuous bling-drones and 'real hip-hop" whiners alike. [#10, p.124]
  5. The guest appearances on the mic by Akrobatik, a fellow fledgling Bostonion, Edan, Aesop Rock, El-P, and Jean Grae make all the tracks quality and seal the deal on Lif's breakthrough set.
  6. With I Phantom, Lif creates a funny, sad, profound world, populates it with memorable characters, destroys it, and ponders the meaning of it all.
  7. Uncut
    80
    An album of flashing wit and giddy ambition. [Oct 2002, p.110]
  8. The Wire
    80
    I Phantom could prove to be one of the most consistently rewarding HipHop records to land in 2002. [#223, p.52]
  9. Alternative Press
    70
    The tone grows shrill by album's end, but occasional bursts of accessible production help alleviate that shortcoming. [Oct 2002, p.84]
  10. Urb
    70
    Lif's strengths as an MC make his tight narrative focus on the protagonist's plights palpable. [Sep 2002, p.104]
  11. A narrative-driven, graceful debut album.
  12. A fractional disappointment after 'Emergency Rations', perhaps. But still, Def Jux's reputation as the most consistent hip-hop label in the world circa now remains unsullied.

Awards & Rankings

User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 9 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. LiamO
    Feb 1, 2007
    10
    A refreshing take on hip hop that deserves all the credit it can get
  2. LawrenceP
    Apr 13, 2005
    9
    The best hip-hop record of the year! Many highlights in this concept LP.
  3. nickm
    Mar 6, 2005
    10
    Without a doubt one of the, if not the, most thoughtful, intelligent and articluate rappers out there... His lyrics are astounding and his Without a doubt one of the, if not the, most thoughtful, intelligent and articluate rappers out there... His lyrics are astounding and his timing and delivery of them are flawless. Home of the Brave for example is a great track, expressing his controversial (but truthful) views on the US' terrorist policy, ecompassing all that is good about Mr Lif. the mainstream needs to take a queue from this guy. Full Review »