Album Review: Mr. Lif And L’Orange Confront Oppression In The Life And Death of Scenery

L’Orange and Mr. Lif have united forces with Adult Swim to create an album that is like an other-worldly tour through America. With rhymes that cut through society’s machinations like a surgeon, and beats that serve as a solid foundation for Mr. Lif’s lyrical philosophies, The Life And Death of Scenery feels like most epic, musical sociology class a person can be offered. 
Music is a powerful learning tool that can often be forgotten for its educational prowess, but no genre is more remindful of music’s power to educate then Hip Hop. L’Orange and Mr. Lif brilliantly use the genre as global lesson on oppression and the cultural violence that ensues when the world is divided by the many “have-nots” and the few “haves”. Despite infectious beats that enter your body like a dance sickness forcing you to move and Lif’s rap flow being so fluid you wonder if music is a river and your ears its ocean, this record is about consciousness. Its sole purpose is to awaken those that are in a societal slumber, which is why it is a courageous listen. Once you know something wrong, you cannot forget that it is not right, which means The Life And Death Of Scenery gives you the uncomfortable, but needed knowledge of society’s ills.

The Legendary Mr. Lif 
While many imagine the life of those whom they deem to have a “grass that is greener”, L’Orange and Mr. Lif have taken the compassionate task to show you, the listener, the lives of those whose grass has been dried from classism, racism, and other varied oppressions. Narrations by comic Wyatt Cenac (formerly of The Daily Show) are quietly terrifying as he proclaims the deaths of things like education or people’s access to upwards mobility and opportunity like an announcer from The Hunger Games. You can envision Cenac in a colorful suit in the Capitol as he numbingly announces that “the last book in the world has been burned”. He is so emotionally vacant to the point that you question how anybody could be apathetic to the socially constructed pains happening to others. It is then that you realize the genius of The Life And Death Of Scenery.


As you journey through the dystopia L’Orange and Mr. Lif have created, your horror begins to build as you can literally hear the social chains people are forced to wear when they are unwillingly placed as the “lower end” of society. The Life And Death Of Scenery is one of the most intelligent and insightful albums to come out recently because of how it breeds spiritual awakening and virtuous storytelling. By the end of this record, L’Orange and Mr. Lif have mastered a psychological trick. While you believe the world they speak on is distant, the deeper they go into the mental and emotional turmoil of things like hunger, imprisonment, and the crushing of artistic expression, you begin to see that this dystopia is our earthly present. Mr. Lif’s stunning lyricism and L’ Orange’s hypnotic yet spooked rhythms transform the album from a pleasure to a mindful warning.

I cannot choose a favorite track for this album because each song in as an important sociological lesson that bust be taught to listeners. We are all apart of society, but L’Orange and Mr. Lif push upon  listeners the responsibility that laces our social interconnections. As a human society, we are bonded, which means that we all move the joys and hurts that course through us each of us. Please get this album, your mind deserves to be expanded! “Shout-out” to Adult Swim for growing as an unexpected purveyor of good music, and Mello Music Group for arranging this powerful collaboration. To Buy The Life And Death Of Scenery Click Here.