Lyrics Born: founding member of the underground label/movement Quannum Collective, ½ of the legendary Latyrx, native of Tokyo, representing the Bay Area, California for more than fifteen years and hands-down the most distinct, deliberate and demonstrated emcee on this coast ; LB is truly a living legend .
LB is the emcee’s emcee. A tactician musician/lyricist with a buttery cool-caramel clever delivery; oftentimes thought-provoking and always substance-laden, LB also possesses crisp, fluid rapid-fire calibre abilities in his repertoire.
Fresh off the release of Tuesday’s Everywhere at Once, LB stepped onto a Van City stage (@ Plaza Club, Downtown Van) with a very clear and evident mandate: promote, reveal and evolve. LB took the stage unsheathed from his customary backing-blanket of a DJ on dual-decks to introduce a bassist, keyboardist and funk –skilled drummer (all behind him, taking the stage before and after he) as well as his über-talented and Japanese Doll-esque ravishing partner Joyo Velardé (directly beside him) to add proper complement with her trademark high-hooks, azure harmonies and periodic freestyles. For the entirety of the pre-encore show, “LB”, that being, the ensemble that now plays under the Legend’s moniker, performed mainly material from their new album. The encore brought most of the Vancouverites what they came to see, that being, old-school LB cuts fused with the in-person flair that would be expected from he and the complement of a live band to accompany as much.
In retrospect, I feel that the purist LB fan would argue that the good maestro had put his immeasurable talents as a gifted, technical wordsmith/emcee in the backseat in the name of nurturing a musical joint-venture with his life partner. To be frank, your humble narrator would find it a trying argument to disagree with.
On the other side of the coin, however, on a small-scale, this could represent the direction in-which the real-deal long term champions of to the mic and purveyors of grassroots hip hop aim to take the genre on a both a personal and collective level, that is, to grow the branches of the community tree in a direction in which we are both familiar/unfamiliar with.
At one time or another, we’ve all asked ourselves how our favourite artists would transition themselves into the future and in what grace they would do so. Most fade-away, buried under the ripcurl of the mainstream, others find a way to change the name of the game; to push the envelope and give us all reason to want more.
Lyrics Born chose funk. AND, at the Plaza in Van City, LB and his newfound frontmates, BROUGHT THE FUNK.
Much respect and many thanks, we deeply look forward to your next opus.