Lyrics Born Live: San Francisco 11/26
Callin’ Out To All Bay Area Supporter: Lyrics Born Concert Review
It’s the night before Thanksgiving, and what better way to spend it than dancing and listening to Lyrics Born. The evening festivities began with a group called Mavrik--and while I’ve seen worse, I was more impressed with their dress than their flows. One of the emcees, a tall, brutish Caucasian male was dressed with a white Kangol hat, dark stunna shades and a black bandana around his neck—google “K. Fed” for further inquiry. Granted, Mavrik closed the night by asking “Did we do our jobs?” and received some applause, but so did Britney Spears once upon a time.
Raashan Ahmad, the word twisting lyricist from the Oakland’s Crown City Rockers performed next. Promoting his first solo album, The Push, Raashan Ahmad got the crowd excited and ready to get move. Not afraid to be heard, at several points Raashan rapped without music. His flow is fast, but clear, enunciating his words at a speed most rappers would struggle to achieve. Originally a part of Boston group Mission, Raashan’s diligence and precision with words reflects east coast hip hop, but now in California, and a member of Oakland based Crown City Rockers, he’s become a more dynamic emcee with creative flows typical of west coast hip hop—see Living Legends for an example of west coast style. Leaving his stunna shades at home, Rashaan opted for nerdy and bulky glasses and wore a hat with the brim turned up.In the middle of the set, the duo of DJs--Headnodic and Woodstock also members of Crown City Rocker, mixed Golden Era hits like an ode to a past era.
There aren’t a lot Japanese hip hop artists in US; there are even fewer that are nationally known and respected like Lyrics Born. His race is always a topic as he crosses the racial divides of hip hop. In truth—his image isn’t important, as much as the substance of his music, which is just damn good. Accompanied by vocalist Joyo Velarde, and a live band, Lyrics Born took the stage and the dance party erupted. Usually a hip hop show is dominated by male spectators, but not this night. Before performing “Differences” from his new album, Everywhere at Once, Lyrics Born asked all the women to raise their hands, and then he dedicated the song to “all the ladies that drive us [men] absolutely nuts.” Other tracks of note he performed were “Don’t Change” and his notable hit, “Callin’ Out.” All in all a good show, and this being the first time I’d ever seen Lyrics Born perform live—I’d see him again.