Lyrics Born - Later That Day... 2LPGet on Down
Though Later That Day... is his first solo album, Lyrics Born had been a hip-hop wunderkind for over a decade by the time of the album's release. Granted the first single on SoleSides (the flip side of which launched DJ Shadow's career), LB earned much respect during the late '90s, fronting Latyrx and contributing a few tracks to the underground rap showcase Quannum Spectrum. Later That Day..., programmed and produced virtually alone over the course of several years, features the same dark, bluesy jams that made his tracks on Spectrum a delightful alternative to the hip-hop on display. This record doesn't possess any hooks to match classics like Latyrx's "Lady Don't Tek No" or his Quannum groove "I Changed My Mind," but his programming smarts are still in effect, and the heavy clap of a Latyrx track crops up several times. A parade of West Coast friends drop by for collaborations -- including Gift of Gab, Cut Chemist, Joyo Velarde (also his domestic partner), and former Latyrx partner Lateef the Truth Speaker -- though LB is the star of the show. Often an amazing vocalist, his style of rapping (closer to Mark Murphy than Posdnuos) is a growling sing-speak that flirts with virtually every known vocal trick -- cadence, inflection, hesitation, running scales, and so on. Mostly he pulls it off, though several tracks (including "Rise and Shine") feature him delivering speed raps with a few extra feet to his lines.