Music » CD Reviews

Lyrics Born

Same [email protected]#$ Different Day (Quannum/Epitaph)


With the distribution help of new corporate partner Epitaph, Bay Area hip-hop perfectionist Lyrics Born loosens up, orders the backpacks burned, and razes the roof of the rap underground. Fans might claim that he did the same on his wide-ranging and meticulously self-produced 2003 solo debut, Later That Day . . . , but LB goes further on this remix set by surrendering production reins to various experts, who bolster his '70s funk with shots of the new century's club styles.

So the spare and trippy "Hello," which closed Later That Day . . . , now opens Same [email protected]#$ Different Day in a horn-plastered reinvention by Jumbo that hones the rhymes to an instantly infectious uptempo groove. The track's vocals warble a bit as they're warped to match the beat, but as LB writes in his winning liner notes, "Now that's some 'fuck it, this is hip-hop' shit."

And so it goes through five more Later That Day . . . revisions as well as 10 remixes from various sources in this Japanese-American MC's decade-long career. Though the mood settles two-thirds of the way through, most tracks explode like Kanye West gone back to college to get a double degree in linguistics and political science. Different Day, no shit.

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