Music » Livewire

Mr. Lif and Cage

With Camu Tao, Yak Ballz, and Iyan Anomolie. Thursday, June 22, at the Grog Shop.


A former drug thug and mental patient, Cage realized that he had a knack for turning past aggressions into rap introspection while spending 18 months at Stony Lodge Psychiatric Hospital in New York. His first full-length album, 2002's Movies for the Blind and its chilling A Clockwork Orange homage "Agent Orange," cemented the rapper's rep as a storytelling mad scientist, recreating his warped childhood memories in hip-hop homilies. His latest album, Hell's Winter, was one of the best of 2005, produced by El-P with the help of heavyweights like DJ Shadow, Yo La Tengo's James McNew, and Daryl Palumbo (Glassjaw, Head Automatica).

Onstage, Cage will join labelmate Mr. Lif, whose just-released Mo' Mega is El-P's latest hip-hop production. Backed by spacey breakbeats, the talented Mr. Lif can weave rhymes as phat as his long, thick dreads, but it's Cage's caustic rap narratives (sounding like Buck 65 covering Eminem) that make this Def Jux showcase so appealing.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.