Pillbox

The Perceptionists

These days, it seems most rap music all too often deteriorates into pointless and redundant rhymes about guns, women, and drugs. When hip-hop group the Perceptionists paid a visit to CMU?s Rangos Ballroom last Sunday, however, the topic of discussion was much different.

The Perceptionists, a Boston-based hip-hop group, have built a large fan base around their politically charged, socially conscious raps. With infectious flows and sincerity in their message, the Perceptionists were able to reach out to both the politically active and the more simplistic music lovers. With rhymes like ?Where are the weapons of mass destruction/We?ve been looking for months and we ain?t found nothin?/Please Mr. President tell us somethin?/We?re beginning to begin that you?ve been bluffin?,? Mr. Lif and Akrobatik gained immediate acceptance from the politically active, anti-Bush crowd, including CMU?s Matt Merewitz, a fifth-year senior in H&SS, who found the group?s lyrics and political message ?insightful.?

The Perceptionists? raps promotes nonviolent solutions to our world?s problems: ?What?s the reason for the war? I?m shooting at these people that I got no animosity for.?

Make no mistake about it, the Perceptionists are not your average rap group. In ?Breathe in the Sun,? Akrobatik
spoke out against the stereotypical lifestyles of many rappers: ?I?m tired of being surrounded by the drugs and gunplay.?

Although they have had extensive solo careers, Mr. Lif, Akrobatik, and DJ Fakts One ? who was absent at Sunday?s show and was replaced by an MC from the hip-hop group Asimov ? have only recently come together to form the Perceptionists. Signed to independent label Definitive Jux, the group recently released their first CD, Black Dialogue. Says the group?s website: ?Black Dialogue is a naturally flowing, mind-engaging genius album, the culmination of a hell of a lot of work apart, but just as much together ... it was the right time to summon the good demons of rap and forge the magic onto [CD].?

By the end of the show, the Perceptionists had reeled in an impressive number of CMU students and local hip-hop enthusiasts. Unlike previous concerts at Rangos, AB Tech closed off half of the ballroom to create a more intimate setting. This also created tighter, clearer acoustics. The rappers? vocals were crisp and the music was powerful in its delivery. The crowd was enthusiastic, excited, and interested by such a unique breed of rap music. Often singing along with catchy choruses and sharp political hooks, the crowd welcomed the Perceptionists with open arms.year senior in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, who found the group's lyrics and political message "insightful."

Like Remedy, who performed on campus two weeks ago, The Perceptionists' raps promoted nonviolent solutions to our world's problems: "What's the reason for the war? I'm shooting at these people that I got no animosity for."

Make no mistake about it, The Perceptionists are not your average rap group. In "Breathe in the Sun," Akrobatik spoke out against the stereotypical lifestyles of many rappers: "I'm tired of being surrounded by the drugs and gunplay." Akrobatik's flow often outshined that of Mr. Lif. Akrobatik was easier to understand and was more fluid in his raps. However, Mr. Lif ? whose hair was braided in to two massive dreads ? was still a force to be reckoned with, singing, "The purpose of this jam is to be lovin' your life? everybody's got a life to live, and this is life music." Says Merewitz, "Akrobatik was much more clear in his flow; Mr. Lif had a certain nuance in his voice that made him more difficult to understand."

Although with previously extensive solo careers, Mr. Lif, Akrobatik, and DJ Fakts One ? who was absent at Sunday's show and was replaced by an MC from the hip-hop group Asimov ? have only recently come together to form The Perceptionists. Signed to independent label Definitive Jux, the group recently released their first CD, [ITAL]Black Dialogue[ITAL]. Says the group's website: "Black Dialogue, is a naturally-flowing, mind-engaging genius album, the culmination of a hell of a lot of work apart, but just as much together ... it was the right time to summon the good demons of rap and forge the magic onto [CD]."

By the end of the show, The Perceptionists had reeled in an impressive amount of CMU students and local hip-hop enthusiasts. Unlike previous concerts at Rangos, AB Tech closed off half of the ballroom to create a more intimate setting. This also created tighter, clearer acoustics. The rappers' vocals were crisp and the music was powerful in its delivery. The crowd was enthusiastic, excited, and interested by such a unique breed of rap music. Often singing along with catchy choruses and sharp political hooks, the crowd welcomed The Perceptionists with open arms.