As a child, Lyrics Born spent significant time in Tokyo, Japan, Salt Lake City, UT, and Berkeley, CA. I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Lyrics Born personally, but I would guess that, given his multi-national background, the question of “where are you from?” may have at the very least, been met with a pause for reflection.
This authentic, yet multiple-origin background has certainly been indicative of Lyrics Born’s sound, and this continues to be the case in his latest release Now Look What You’ve Done, Lyrics Born! Greatest Hits, due out this coming Friday, April 15th.
As much a cornucopia of collaborations as it is a testament to a two-and-a-half decade career, the album is replete with both spectacular guest features as well as both varied and nuanced production.
The initial track, “Callin’ Out” gives us an equally prideful and reflective Lyrics Born, the verses and hooks perfectly saturated with ruminations on success and the ins and outs of a career within the rap industry. The ruminative and reflective theme persists with the flirting-with-meta track “Exclamation Point” in which we find the artist considering the oversaturation of the exclamation point and how this relates when placed within a larger lens.
The record strikes a more contemplative pose with the track “Balcony Beach.” The track blends well with a more subdued production as well as soul infusion throughout the hook.
While the album does a more than adequate job of both portraying the state of the hip hop industry as well as providing a glimpse into the career, ascent, and background of Lyrics Born, I cannot help but want more. Or at least for the rapper to paint in less broad strokes. The production and a significant portion of the lyrics are undoubtedly infectious and appealing, however as a listener curious for the complete Lyrics Born story, I cannot help myself from wanting a finer brush or at least, more paint.
Regardless, this is a well mixed, nuanced record both commemorative as well as reflective whilst maintaining an essential accessibility.