Bay Area hip-hop legend Lyrics Born released his triumphant eighth album, ‘Real People‘, via his Mobile Home Recordings label. The Tokyo-born, Berkeley-bred rapper/producer set to New Orleans for two weeks to record the project, recruiting the city’s most talented musicians including Trombone Shorty, Ivan Neville, Galactic, Corey Henry, The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Corey Glover (Living Colour), David Shaw (The Revivalists), Billy Martin (Medeski, Martin, & Wood), and more.
Produced by Robert Mercurio and Ben Ellman of NOLA jazz-funk band Galactic, the album explores a diverse set of themes with Lyrics Born following the ethos he has maintained for over 20 years: doing things that neither he nor anyone else has done yet.
“I think it’s the most honest I’ve ever been on album about who we are as people. I talk about emigrating to America as kid and how that affected me… I celebrate adulthood and excitement I have for living the rest of my life despite the victories and losses I may have had up until this point. I talk a lot of foolish shit and cuss my ass off and explore my darker side on certain songs.”
Speaking on the New Orleans music scene, Lyrics Born said:
“It might be the last true ‘music town’ in America, maybe in the world… As an artist and a person, I identify with the culture, the sensibilities, the lifestyle, and the people. I wanted to do something really soulful, organic, earthy, and with an honest, unpretentious funk feel. That’s basically New Orleans.”
Taking influence from The Big Easy and fusing it with his Bay Area roots, Lyrics Born has arrived at a well-rounded sound that is classic and yet futuristic. He hasn’t forgotten his humble beginnings, but he’s never been afraid to look to the future, either.
“The fact that I’ve been able to do this for so long as an independent artist and still maintain my vision and standard of quality and have that continue to connect with and help people is a blessing. Maybe 1 in a billion can say that. I don’t take a minute of it for granted. I’m very thankful.”