Heard Presents x Utopiafest Presents:
Blackalicious w/ Lyrics Born
Tickets on sale NOW: bit.ly/BlackaliciousXBorn
Legendary rap group Blackalicious joins forces with Northern California funk master Lyrics Born October 19th at Empire for one of the most epic coheadlining shows we've ever hosted. Clear your calendar, get your tickets, and prepare to get the FUNK down.
In a hip-hop career that has stretched past a decade, Blackalicious has earned respect the old-fashioned way–rising through honesty, commitment, and artistry. Blackalicious is an American hip hop duo from Sacramento, California made up of rapper Gift of Gab and DJ/producer Chief Xcel. They are noted for Gift of Gab’s often “tongue-twisting”, multisyllabic, complex rhymes and Chief Xcel’s “classic” beats.
Like a few other West Coast rap acts, including the Pharcyde and Jurassic 5, Blackalicious has generally favored what hip-hoppers call the “positive tip”; in other words, its lyrics have often been spiritual and uplifting rather than violent and misogynous. Like a lot of experimental alternative rappers, Blackalicious can be quirky and eccentric; nonetheless, spirituality is a big part of the group’s music.
Lyrics Born got his start rolling with the Northern California crew known as Solesides (later Quanuum Projects). In the mid-90s, while fellow members DJ Shadow and Blackalicious were setting the bar for instrumental hip-hop and conscious rap respectively, Born and partner Lateef the Truthspeaker made wordy, experimental rap with serious knock under the name Latyrx. Over time, LB developed a signature sound that paired his lilting flow with organic funk beats, realizing its potential in the early 2000’s with bump-filled crossover singles like “I Changed My Mind” and “Callin Out”.
In the studio, he is the producer and arranger. In concert, he is not just the lead vocalist, he's also the stage director. His raps are important, but his leadership is crucial. He basically just ignores the technological blip between funk and hip-hop, effectively retconning the dumbass question of whether rap is actually music out of existence.
For his fourth album, Real People, Lyrics Born teams up with New Orleans funk-jazz heroes Galactic. It's a natural fit, as NOLA's sprawling music scene never saw much need for genre boundaries. No strangers to hip-hop themselves, Galactic's 2007 From the Corner to the Block paired the band with the likes of Boots Riley and Juvenile.