Album: Lyrics Born – Real People

Premiered by SFWeekly, Lyrics Born Releases Real People Album Recorded Entirely in New Orleans



Critical praise for Lyrics Born:

“Far-reaching flows over throwback electro soul, or street-wise synth-pop for the 20-10… whatever labels you need to apply to it – at day’s end, it’s just good fucking music.”  Okayplayer

“…if Lyrics Born has one defining strength it’s his ability to get structurally and rhythmically adventurous in his flow while still remaining perfectly simple to follow linguistically.” – Pitchfork

“God bless Lyrics Born.” – PopMatters

The Second Album is life-affirming, with a force few artists in any genre can match.”NPR

The Album:

Bay Area hip-hop legend Lyrics Born released his triumphant eighth album, Real People, via his Mobile Home Recordings label today. The album was premiered by SFWeekly, who raved “Real People is nothing like we’ve heard from him before… his funkiest, most soulful — and perhaps most ambitious — effort to date.” The Tokyo-born, Berkeley-bred rapper/producer set to New Orleans for two weeks to record the project, recruiting the city’s most talented musicians including Trombone Shorty, Ivan Neville, Galactic, Corey Henry, The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Corey Glover (Living Colour), David Shaw (The Revivalists), Billy Martin (Medeski, Martin & Wood), and more.

Produced by Robert Mercurio and Ben Ellman of NOLA jazz-funk band Galactic, the album explores a diverse set of themes with Lyrics Born following the ethos he has maintained for over 20 years: doing things that neither he nor anyone else has done yet. “I think it’s the most honest I’ve ever been on album about who we are as people,” he explains. “I talk about emigrating to America as kid and how that affected me… I celebrate adulthood and excitement I have for living the rest of my life despite the victories and losses I may have had up until this point. I talk a lot of foolish shit and cuss my ass off and explore my darker side on certain songs.”

Speaking on the New Orleans music scene, Lyrics Born said “It might be the last true ‘music town’ in America, maybe in the world… As an artist and a person, I identify with the culture, the sensibilities, the lifestyle, and the people. I wanted to do something really soulful, organic, earthy, and with an honest, unpretentious funk feel. That’s basically New Orleans.” Taking influence from The Big Easy and fusing it with his Bay Area roots, Lyrics Born has arrived at a well-rounded sound that is classic and yet futuristic. He hasn’t forgotten his humble beginnings, but he’s never been afraid to look to the future, either. “The fact that I’ve been able to do this for so long as an independent artist and still maintain my vision and standard of quality and have that continue to connect with and help people is a blessing. Maybe 1 in a billion can say that. I don’t take a minute of it for granted. I’m very thankful.”

Listen to Real People

Check out the SFWeekly premiere:

Buy Real People on iTunes:

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Please contact Michelle or Rory if interested in talking with Lyrics Born.

Lyrics Born’s Background:

The first words of Lyrics Born‘s eighth album speak volumes about where the legendary MC stands these days: “Real people do real things. Yes we do.” The Bay Area resident born Tom Shimura has stood at the peak of high-minded underground rap, explored the far reaches of interstellar synth-hop, and blazed trails galore. The Tokyo-born, Berkeley-based artist has owned his career each step of the way, ever since a radio gig at UC Davis’ KDVS put him in the same room as Shadow, the mighty Blackalicious, and his Latyrx partner Lateef the Truthspeaker. As co-founder of the Solesides and Quannum Projects labels, LB was vital in pushing independent hip-hop music into the limelight, dropping a minted classic, The Album, with his duo in 1997. The Same !@#$ Different Day set followed in 2005, rounding up the likes of KRS-One, Dan the Automator, Cut Chemist, E-40, and Morcheeba for a series of radical remixes.

He expanded his palette again with 2008’s Everywhere at Once on historic punk label Epitaph Records. The instrument-heavy LP spawned a Jimmy Kimmel Live! appearance with “I Like It, I Love It.” Now, Lyrics Born is proud to officially launch his very own Mobile Home Records with Real People. The new album’s strong focus is a compliment to the wild range of Latyrx’s 2013 return, The Second Album, which featured collaborations with folks from tUnE-yArDs, Decemberists, and Anticon, among others. As always, Lyrics Born remains committed to delivering the unexpected and outdoing himself with ease.

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Real People


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