Release Date: Apr 22, 2008
Record label: Epitaph
Since redefining lyricism in 1996 on Latyrx with Lateef the Truth Speaker on DJ Shadow’s Quannum Records, Lyrics Born has been secretly slaying small minds worldwide. He’s four solo albums deep already. He joins Chali 2na to scorch the disco-riffic collabo Hott To Deff, while Everywhere At Once tries to be just that. These 18 selections feel like the intersection where Del tha Funky Homosapien meets Parliament, while Lyrics offers life-affirming couplets in his comedic drawl.
Lyrics Born :: Everywhere at OnceAnti/QuannumAuthor: Patrick TaylorTom Shimura, aka Lyrics Born, makes the kind of hip hop that even people who don't like hip hop like. His music is fun, rooted in 70s and 80s funk, and free of the thuggery and misogyny that is so prevalent in the genre. He is a very "musical" rapper, incorporating singing with his raps, and making tracks that sound like songs rather than just dudes talking over a beat.
Bay Area rapper Lyrics Born has never followed -- or tried to follow -- the typical musical route, first with his work with Lateef as Latyrx and continuing though his decision to back himself with a funk band during his shows, even releasing a live album (a rare thing in hip-hop) in 2006. Not content, apparently, to rest on the platform he made for himself, the Anti-issued Everywhere at Once moves even further away from the idea of the producer/MC team, using a band and plenty of background vocals to create something that ends up sounding a lot more like Gnarls Barkley's latest proclamation than anything rap related. Melody's of utmost importance here, so much so that Lyrics Born's already-singsongy rapping becomes nearly undistinguishable from the sung parts, to which he, his wife Joyo Velarde, and a cadre of others perform.
For the last 10 years, Lyrics Born has been an all-around consistent rapper. Aside from having one of the more recognizable vocal timbres around, his albums were always well produced. His debut with Lateef the Truth Speaker, Latyrx (1997), influenced the sound of left-coast independent hip-hop and 2006’s live recording, Overnite Encore captured Born’s live presence and crowd-moving abilities.
A founding member of Quannum Projects, Lyrics Born first found success with 2004's "Callin' Out," a celebration of syncopated rhymes and funkified basslines. Four years later, the Bay Area rapper's still on the same dance floor. Truly hyph-lite, LP four, Everywhere at Once, drops more fizzle than pop over a rote canvas of 1980s B-boy stance and "Hott 2 Deff" breaks.