Lyrics Born: Later That Day...

Lyrics Born
Later That Day...

Lyrics Born is figuring shit out, processing, venting, stressing like he made a wrong turn on his way out of Public Enemy's Terrordome, and muttering like he dozed off on the couch last night watching The Public Enemy's James Cagney. LB's no prophet of rage, he just wants to ask Blackalicious's Gift of Gab how he quit smoking, without being pestered by funktoon telemarketers (dude, just cancel the call waiting). His fears may be more mundane than press-sponsored crucifixion, but I'll bet that most days, Chuck D's are too. "You have no fucking money," a snide computer from the bank tells the puzzled MC; two tracks later he's failing to avoid the paranoid, imagining bureaucratic maneuvers fomented against him: "Man, fuck that shit/I pay my taxes when I'm asked to." "Stop com-plai-ning," responds singer Joyo Velarde on the chorus, and if her hook makes it sound like she's heard this all before, well, being Mrs. Born, she probably has.

Born is no whiner, just the sort of optimist who admits, "I can't believe that things ain't worse." The first solo record from the mouthier half of the group Latyrx follows a loose day-in-the-life structure: He starts by relating his dreams, ends with a "Nightro," and cheers up considerably as time marches on. LB's productions articulate an idea of soul that's at once retro and futuristic, humanizing electro burbles with heartfelt female choruses. The fancier his raps (and sandwiching "If you feel it in your heart, reach out like Redd Foxx" into an intricate rhyme scheme that starts with "clay pots" and ends with "X Box" is pretty fancy) the more conversational his cadence. But his plain-spokenness has an improvisational quality to it: On "Rise and Shine" he practically rhymes like a jazz vocalist. Even on "Pack Up," the obligatory I-was-here-first boast ("You sissy ass groups afraid to say the fucking f-word"), he rhymes like he's got nothing to prove, like he just wants to translate the rhythm of everyday life as lived into sound.

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