photos by Chad Syme
Lyrics Born released his first EP, 1993’s Send Them, on San Francisco’s Soleside Records, back when he went under the moniker Asia Born. Three years later he changed his name to Lyrics Born for his collaborations with labelmate Lateef. Lyrics put out a 12″, “Balcony Beach” b/w “Burnt Pride,” in October of 1996 before teaming up with Lateef and DJ Shadow as Latyrx for The Album in 1997. The following year he began work on his first solo LP album, but it would take 5 years for him to complete his next album, Quannum as Later That Day… The success of his debut prompted LB to release a remixed version of the album, Same !@#$ Different Day. The album featured some new material as well as remixes of songs from the first LP. Lyrics embarked on a massive tour in 2006 and issued Overnite Encore: Lyrics Born Live! Most of the record featured live cuts from two 2005 performances in Australia, but also included new studio tracks. Releasing a live hip hop album is rare, but Lyrics Born went a step further often performing with his own backing funk band. Through consistent touring, Lyrics Born has become known as one of alternative hip-hop’s most critically lauded performers. In April 2008, Lyrics signed to the label Anti- and released Everywhere at Once, which featured members of his live funk band and collaborations with Jake One, among others. This album featured Lyrics’ distinctive singsongy rapping a more developed focus on melody, as well as backing vocals from his wife, Joy.