Slowly but surely, Boise is broadening its hip-hop horizons and giving a small slice of exposure to a large slice of a movement that is defining our generation. Arguably enough, hip-hop is one of the key genres in the underground music scene, so when lyrical lexicons such as Lyrics Born and company roll through town, anyone with even the slightest sense of hip gets a ticket as soon as they go on sale.
Touring to promote his first live album, Overnight Encore: Lyrics Born Live (released October 31), Born easily proved his versatility as he wowed the crowd at every opportunity. This show was round two for Born in Boise. The first was in a small venue last spring and notably one of the best hip-hop shows I have attended. With that, I came to his second performance with expectations higher than a kite in a hurricane.
Born, a Bay Area native, graced the Big Easy with his uncanny rhythmic flow, an energetic live band and a sexy, sultry singer who made everyone jump on the sing-along bandwagon when she wailed, "Stop complaining." The energy from the audience at this second show was just as high and the stage presence that Born projected was potent. Igniting every single nerve ending in the house, the audience ate up Born's energy. It was impossible to not move and shake to the boundlessly sick beats.
Born has appeared on Company Flow records, Blackalicious records, and his own collaborative records (among which is the classic self-titled Latyrx album, a collaboration with Lateef the Truth Seeker), but has truly stolen the spotlight with his solo work. A high point of the evening was when he performed the Latyrx original "Lady Don't Tek No." All the old-school Quannum fans were clapping along with the high-hat beats that replaced the hand claps in the Sol Sides album version of the song.
Also performing with Born was Cut Chemist and Pigeon John. As always, Cut Chemist supplied mesmeric beats and Pigeon John possessed more energy than a seven-year-old kid on a sugar high. Both artists proved themselves worthy of sharing a stage with Lyrics Born.