MVRemix: What song made you fall in love with hip-hop?
Lyrics Born: It was definitely 'Rapper's Delight' by The Sugarhill Gang. I didn't even hear the song. I head the people singing it on the street. I was probably like in kindergarten and I just moved to the Bay Area. I didn't even hear the song. I just heard people going 'Hip hop to the hippy...' By the time I heard the record, I already knew the words because it was so popular when we were kids.
MVRemix: How did you get the name Lyrics Born? Did you make it up or did someone give it to you?
Lyrics Born: I think it came up by accident in a freestyle and then, it just stuck. There's not really a deep meaning behind it. My name used to be Asia Born and for some reason, I was free styling by accident and said 'Lyrics Born is on the mic' and it was an accident. It just kind of stuck and everyone started calling me Lyrics Born as a nickname.
MVRemix: In 'Calling Out' (one of my favorites on the LP), you rhyme so hard and for so long that your breath control is amazing. How did you perfect your breath control? Did that song take you a long time to do?
Lyrics Born: That's just from doing a lot of shows and touring for the past several years. Having to play live really strengthens your voice. It really hones your craft when you are on the road. Also, Joyo Velarde, who is on my album, is a singer. She vocalizes. She really taught me how to breathe correctly as a vocalist. It's important to use your diaphragm. A lot of rappers don't do that. It makes a difference and it really has helped me.
MVRemix: What artist would you like to collaborate with in the future?
Lyrics Born: I want to work with Sade.
MVRemix: I could imagine Sade on a remix of 'Love You So Bad'.
Lyrics Born: That would be so hot!
MVRemix: What producer would you like to collaborate with in the future?
Lyrics Born: I want to work with Dr. Dre, Scott Storch, 45 King, Bobby Digital, not Rza but the real reggae Bobby Digital.
MVRemix: You do much of your own production. Do you have a favorite sampler and drum machine?
Lyrics Born: The MPC 3000.
MVRemix: What are the 3 best things about living in California?
Lyrics Born: The weather, the diversity, and the food.
MVRemix: What was the last incident of racism you experienced?
Lyrics Born: Ah, man. It's daily really. It happens daily in subtle ways. It could be as easy as walking into a store and having people all over me. I was also on the road one time and this guy was yelling racist sh*t in the crowd. You feel it daily. It doesn't go away. Sometimes, it is more overt than other times.
MVRemix: Where were you on Sept. 11th (The World Trade Center Terrorist Attack)? How did you deal with it? How do you think it has affected music?
Lyrics Born: I was in California. I don't think it affected hip-hop enough, to be honest with you. I only heard about 4 or 5 rappers talk about it. It's acknowledged but it is not explored. I don't think it has affected hip-hop enough, not the way it would have 15 years ago.
MVRemix: You did an incredible collaboration with Cut Chemist on "Do That There" from your solo debut LP. How did you hook up with him and what was that collaboration like?
Lyrics Born: I consider Cut Chemist, Nu-Mark, and Jurassic 5 to be an extension of Quannum, to be honest with you. We all came up at the same time, doing shows and putting out independent records at the same time. I've known Cut Chemist for a long time, almost 10 years. We understand music. He understands what I am trying to do. We understand each other. He likes to do sh*t that pushes the boundaries too. The thing about Cut Chemist that is dope is that he likes to do that in a way that is still fun. The DJ in him is very strong. A lot of the sh*t that Cut likes to do is still DJ friendly. It will be different and dope but it will also be danceable because the DJ in him is very strong. He's easy. He's probably the easiest person to work with that I know. He's like 'Here's the beat. Go ahead, rap.' Then, I'll do something to it. It's done.'
MVRemix: What collaboration are you most proud of?
Lyrics Born: I'm really proud of everything. I am excited about working with Joyo Velarde. She has come so far and she is such a great talent and a great singer. I'm working on her album right now. I'm producing most of her LP. It's been 100% pleasure because I get to stretch. I'm learning new things everyday. It's something I have never done before. She's receptive, willing to try stuff and versatile. She's naturally gifted and has a beautiful voice. In my opinion, there aren't many singers out here that are as good as she is.
MVRemix: Are you doing production work for other people too?
Lyrics Born: Yeah, I just did a remix for Blues Legend. I did a track with Morcheeba. I did a track with Tommy Guerrero. I'm also working on a 'Later That Day' remix album. Shadow is doing a remix. Young Einstein from Ugly Duckling is doing a remix along with Automator and Evidence of Dilated Peoples too. Morcheeba is doing something too. It's going to be hot.
Lâ€™Orange and Stik Figa â€“ The City Under The City album review
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MVRemix Urban | Online Hip Hop Magazine | US and
Canadian Underground Hip Hop - exclusive interviews, reviews, articles
MVRemix Urban | Online Hip Hop Magazine | US and Canadian Underground Hip Hop - exclusive interviews, reviews, articles