Bay Area rapper cooks up chunky hip-hop dancehall-pop stew
If Lyrics Born’s music were a soup and you were reading the recipe, it’d be fair to assume the final product might taste downright disgusting
, what with all the disparate ingredients: Pointer Sisters synths, Living Colour guitars, Bootsy Collins bass, blaxploitation horns and thoughtful raps in a Tone-Loc growl with a C.L. Smooth cadence. But, in this case, on the Asian-American MC’s fourth solo hip-hop album, the stew is tasty. Sure, the first five tracks sound like they could’ve been on a 1990s House Party
soundtrack, but the flashback—as with the Ed Lover Dance-worthy “Differences”—turns out to be refreshing. From there the album shape-shifts with varying success, moving from the Rick James-ian “I’m A Phreak” and the dancehall riddim of “Top Shelf” to the poppy Toni Basil handclaps of “Do U Buy It?” The album truly is everywhere at once, and for that it at least deserves a taste.