Friday, June 12, 2015

Lyrics Born & The LB Mixed Re-View - Real People

Society celebrates individuals and groups who make contributions benefiting the greater good.  Despite this universal truth we have great difficulty recognizing artists' accomplishments outside of their creative output.  This is especially true when it comes to hip-hop artists, and I for one am tired of this nonsense!  Today we look back on hip-hop artists who were the genesis of actual, substantive changes in the world.  These are real people doing real things.

Correcting historical inaccuracies:
  • Run DMC documented that rock and roll was actually governed by a king in the mid-to-late 1980s.

Beautifying the world:
  • De La Soul taught us how to properly maintain our lawns.

Establishing gender roles:
  • Queen Latifah introduced the genteel custom of ladies going first.

Safeguarding travelers:
  • A Tribe Called Quest alerted us all about the importance of keeping track of your valuables when visiting California.

Preventing horrific injuries:
  • Wu Tang Clan was responsible for sweeping reform enhancing neck protection.  Countless lives have been saved.

In the field of psychology:
  • Cypress Hill was instrumental in shedding light on mental illnesses affecting the population.
  • LL Cool J highlighted the dangerous level of control mothers can have over their children.

Regarding the rule of law:
  • Eric B. and Rakim taught everyone that a contract is not fulfilled until someone is paid in full.

Advancing science:
  • Dr. Octagon decoded the 22nd human chromosome in order to engineer a half shark alligator half man. 

Setting precedent in the world of politics:
  • Murs ran for president.
  • Public Enemy founded the first fact checking agency intended to seek out misinformation in campaign ads and promotional materials.

Waveriders it is time to get real.  I'll be real with each and every one of you right now.  I am a Lyrics Born fan.  While I don't actually know the man he and I go back, way back, to 2003 when I purchased a copy of his debut solo album Later That Day.  That album was/is stupendous!  Shortly thereafter I saw him perform live and my fandom was cemented forevermore in my music loving mind.  While I can't say that I've enjoyed his subsequent releases quite as much as LTD, I stuck by my guy knowing deep down that at some point a new LB album would blow my doors off from start to finish.  Enter Real People.

Dare I say that this is one of the most enjoyable collections of tunes I have had the pleasure of listening to in some time?  As Lyrics Born is fond of saying, yes indeed!  Real People is spectacular!  To my ears this album represents an almost perfect storm of musical elements. 

First of all the lyrical content is off the charts.  When I am listening to a hip-hop song and a beaming smile involuntarily breaks out on my face, or I repeatedly chuckle because I find a rhyme clever or funny I know I've found a winner.  Folks, this album is chock full of those moments!  That is not to imply that LB does not cover any serious subject matter (see "Real People", "WTF?", and "Good Riddance"), but my goodness the lighthearted content on offer here is amazing!  For example here is the first verse from "Mr. D.I.L.L.I.G.A.F.", a song built from the ground up to exhibit more braggadocio than is legal in 43 states.*

Drinking whiskey from a sippy cup / Just for a proper pick me up / Riding through the city, 'sup / Horse and carriage giddy up / Competin' with myself on who can tell the best lie / Slap the Queen of England on her royal backside / Everything I do is inappropriate / The coldest Poet Laureate / Crash the inaugural ball just because I'm trying to procreate / 'Scuse me Mr. President, I don't mean to butt in / But they're playing my song / First Lady, may I cut in?

Now I need to address the other half of the musical equation, the instrumentation and songcraft.  The truth of the matter is that dope lyrical content doesn't matter in the slightest if the music playing behind it doesn't make you nod your head or stomp your feet.  LB knows this, so he made the conscious decision to stack the deck in his favor.  Real People was produced by Robert Mercurio and Ben Ellman, two members from the other-worldly funk band Galactic. 

Besides their production duties, both men perform on the vast majority of the album's tracks.  Who else plays with them?  Oh, just an all-star cast of New Orleans talent that includes David Shaw, Ivan Neville, the rest of Galactic, Corey Henry, Trombone Shorty, Corey Glover, and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.  What does that signify?  Only that this album brings the funk, the whole funk, and nothing but the funk!

It all comes down to this waveriders.  What are you looking for in a new listening experience?  An emcee with lyrical dexterity and intelligent rhymes?  Organic funk music impossible to ignore?  Something real?  Lyrics Born and his latest album Real People are here to help.  Grab a copy and let the good times roll!

- Penfold

*The seven states without an established legal limit for braggadocio have requested to remain anonymous.

Buy Here: Amazon

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...