When it comes to keepin’ the funk in hip hop, Lyrics Born is the undisputed champion. But his love for funk is just tip of the proverbial iceberg--he’s one of the most consistent rappers in the game today.
Lyrics Born maybe best known for his deep and melodic voice, but this Bay Area artist is an all-around entertainer. Aside from his decade-long LP list, he also hosts his very own Web TV show, tours the globe, and entertains his fans with his hilarious Bay Area-centric social commentary via Twitter. Tweets like the following are LOLs all around:
• Stray Pit Bulls running thru the streets like deer? Yes, Bay Area.
• White dude, Black chick, Asian baby? Yes, Bay Area.
• Chick w/ purple eyeshadow, purple nails, purple velour sweatsuit, & matching purple BlackBerry? Yes, Bay Area.
When he’s not typing away, he’s either rollin’ through the ‘hood in his top-down Cadillac or making more classic albums like the upcoming ‘As U Were,’ which drops October 26. I caught up with LB during his judging stint at Red Bull EmSee, which wraps up with the National Finals in Detroit on August 26.
Let me just say that I love your work, and I don’t mean that in a nut ridin’ kind of way because I’m interviewing you. ‘Callin’ Out’ and ‘I Changed My Mind’ is one my favorite all-time tracks. The ‘I Changed My Mind’ video was definitely original. If you had to choose, which videos from your own catalog do you love?
My top three favorite videos have to be ‘I Like It, I Love It,’ ‘Whispers,’ and ‘I Changed My Mind.’ ‘I Like It, I Love It’ was funny. It was the first time I did a video with a lot of costume changes.
‘Whispers’ was good because it wasn’t about budgets. It was about the honesty and the message.
‘I Changed My Mind’ was so different at the time because there wasn’t a lot of animated videos back then. People really didn’t do much animation. Plus, my LB characters originated from that video.
What are other artists are you listening to? Who do you think people are sleepin’ on?
I’m currently listening to Big Boi and Outkast. Besides myself, Big Boi is one of the few who keep hip hop funky. I love his ‘Shutterbug’ song.
I know your ethnicity isn’t what should define you as an artist, but you are one of the few Asian Americans in the game. Can you tell me what it’s like to be a super minority in hip hop?
You know, I think it’s just not in hip hop. It’s the music industry, the entertainment industry in general. In fact, there are more Asians in the hip hop industry than any other entertainment genre out there.
But really, I look it as a challenge that I’m willing to take it on no matter what.
These kids at the Red Bull EmSee events all want to be like you. What are some of the advice you can give them?
Focus and be yourself. Be persistent.
How about to those who are competing in the event? What were you looking for as a judge?
I was looking for identity. I love looking at the young talent. To me, it’s inspiring to see them put it all down and everything. As a judge, I tried to provide more constructive criticism. I wanted to help them be better.
Your new album is dropping soon. Can you talk more about the new LP?
‘As U Were’ drops October 26, 2010 on Decon Records. ‘Lies X 3’ will be my first single, which can be downloaded on my Web site. For anyone who just wants more information, I updated lyricsborn.com a lot along with my Twitter so feel free to visit.