Mr. Lif, ‘I Heard It Today’ (Bloodbot Tactical)
Chuck D famously called rap the CNN of black America, but Mr. Lif wants to remake it as CNBC. The Boston rapper’s latest is a quasi concept album dedicated to the current financial crisis — think It Takes a Nation of Bankers to Hold Us Back. Over harried beats and synth stabs that do a fair job of approximating the public’s panicked mood, Lif delivers a populist, paranoid dissertation on the TARP bailout, fluctuating interest rates, and the gold standard. If that sounds about as much fun as, say, watching CNBC, rest assured, dude’s got a tighter flow than Larry Kudlow.