QUANNUM MC's feat. Blackalicious, Lyrics Born & Latyrx, Blackalicious, Lyrics Born, Latryx

QUANNUM MC's feat. Blackalicious, Lyrics Born & Latyrx


Lyrics Born


Fri, April 14, 2017

9:00 pm

The Barkley Ballroom

Frisco, CO

$17.00 - $20.00

This event is 21 and over

QUANNUM MC's feat. Blackalicious, Lyrics Born & Latyrx
QUANNUM MC's feat. Blackalicious, Lyrics Born & Latyrx
As the Quannum Universe continues to expand, we've found it necessary to put it down for the uninitiated. Let's start with the facts: the label is called Quannum Projects. It was formed n 1997 by the core artists on the label, who exist collectively as Quannum, a play on the word "quantum." Quannum consists of: Lyrics Born, Lateef the Truth Speaker (together known as Latyrx), Chief Xcel and Gift of Gab (Blackalicious), and DJ Shadow. Also rotating in various orbits within the Quannum circumference are Joyo Velarde (songstress extrordinaire), Maroons (Chief Xcel and Lateef the Truth Speaker's collaborative monicker) Portland's Lifesavas and Erinn Anova, and the Poets of Rhythm (bringing Funk music and more, all the way from Germany). Quannum rose from the ashes of Solesides, an artist-run label realized within the hallowed halls of KDVS, the university-sponsored radio band at the University of California at Davis. Developed between 1991-2 by the same artists in Quannum along with mentor Jeff Chang, Solesides saw its first release in early 1993. "Send Them" by Lyrics Born (then known as Asia Born), and "Entropy" by DJ Shadow, proved to be a strong calling-card for the experimentation and rawness that was to follow; indeed, it has been recognized as a true classic of West Coast underground hip-hop. It's also been sampled by the likes of Black Moon, Chemical Brothers, and more recently, Fatboy Slim on his smash "Gangsta Trippin'." Blackalicious followed the opening salvo with their critically acclaimed EP "Melodica, eventually licensed by a fresh-faced Mo' Wax Records in 1994. The stellar lyrical stylings of Gift of Gab, combined with Xcel and Shadow's production acumen, led to Solesides' first bonafide hit: "Swan Lake." 1995 saw the Solesides baton passed again, this time to a newcomer. What started out as a novelty B-side of Lateef the Truth Speaker's first single quickly became a phenomenon, as the song "Latryx," featuring Lyrics Born, gave rise to one of Solesides' (and Quannum's) most popular acts. Their debut LP, released in 1996, continues to stand as Solesides' best seller. Several singles, an EP, and two Bammie nominations later, Solesides was ready to move out of the minor leagues. As Solesides gave way to Quannum, there was a feeling that the collective ideology had changed. What started out as "a cool way to get our reps out there and represent hip-hop," became more involved; goals became broader, tastes more varied. We needed a rallying cry, a project that the artists of Quannum could come together on and cultivate as a crew. The first LP release on Quannum projects, entitled Quannum Spectrum, is th result of that collaboration. Together with friends Jurassic 5, Divine Styler, Souls of Mischief (who appear on the single "The Extravaganza"), El-P from Company Flow and Dan the Automator, Quannum Spectrum has upped the ante and raised our own standards of quality and variety. After six years since their first EP Melodica, Blackalicious have dropped their ground-breaking debut full-length Nia. After 99's instant classic A2GEP, Gab and X returned with their opus, a 19-track masterpiece featuring the singles "Deception" and "Reanimation." But Quannum has only just begun. Lyrics Born is putting the finishing touches on his first solo LP, as well as overseeing albums by the Poets of Rhythm, Latyrx, and Joyo Velarde. Lateef and Chief Xcel are currently recording their first collaborative effort, under the moniker Maroons. DJ Shadow continues to contribute a healthy ration of Quannum productions, and has compiled Solesides' Greatest Bumps, a "best-of" volume out in October sure to help satisfy growing demand for the Quannum/Solesides catalogue. With 5 albums (Endtroducing, Latyrx, Nia, Pre-Emptive Strike, Psyence Fiction), 3 EPs (A2G, Melodica, The Muzapper's Mixes), and over 1 million records sold between us, Quannum Projects is doin' it. 3. Solesides Track list Solesides Greatest Bumps (rough tracklist): 1.Blue Flames (Quannum MCs/previously unreleased) 2.Entropy (part A) (DJ Shadow/out of print/never released on CD) - plus extended DJ Shadow turntable mash up 3.Hardcore (Instrumental) Hip-Hop (DJ Shadow/out of print/never released on CD) 4.Count and Estimate (DJ Shadow feat Quannum MCs/out of print/never released on CD) 5.Send Them (DJ Shadow + Lyrics Born/out of print/never released on CD) 6.Swan Lake (Blackalicious/out of print) 7.Lyric Fathom (Blackalicious/out of print) 8.Rhymes for the Deaf, Dumb and Blind (Blackalicious/out of print) 9.Deep in the Jungle (Blackalicious feat Lateef and Lyrics Born/out of print) 10.Latyrx Acapella (Latyrx/out of print) 11.Say That (Latyrx/out of print) 12. The Wreckoning (Lateef/out of print/never released on CD) - plus Quannum MCs freestyles (previously unreleased)
"We're older, we're wiser, we're more mature," MC Gift of Gab (nee Timothy Parker) says of Imani, Vol. 1, Blackalicious' first new album in a decade. "It's better now, because we've grown as people and artists."
"Each one of these records is a chapter in our lives, and we put our complete heart and soul into it," agrees Gab's longtime musical partner, CJ/producer Chief Xcel (aka Xavier Mosley). "We live these records."
Imani, Vol. 1 lives up to the beloved California-bred duo's hard-won reputation as one of hip-hop's most progressive, forward-thinking creative forces. Acclaimed for the sublime combination of Gab's verbal dexterity and lyrical eloquence, and X's bracing beats and distinctive soundscapes, Blackalicious has earned widespread respect, both inside and outside of the hip-hop community, for the wildly inventive, personally charged innovations of its first three albums, 1999's Nia, 2002's Blazing Arrow and 2005's The Craft.
Three years in the making, Imani, Vol. 1—the first of a projected trilogy to be released over the course of two years—is perhaps Blackalicious' most ambitious and accomplished effort to date, maintaining the spirituality, introspection and positivity that are the twosome's trademarks, while making it clear that their musical vision and creative drive remain as strong as ever.
Although Imani, Vol. 1 is driven by Gift of Gab's uplifting verbal sophistication and Chief Xcel's expansive sonic sensibility, which are as distinctive as ever on such riveting tracks as "On Fire Tonight," "Escape," The Sun," "We Did It Again" and the epic "Alpha and Omega."
The pair is joined by such guest performers as Afro-pop diva Zap Mama, who's featured on the title track; Amde Hamilton of legendary '60s rap progenitors the Watts Prophets on the album-opener "Faith," eclectic singer-songwriter Imani Coppola on "The Sun," underground hip-hop duo LifeSavas on "That Night," neo-blues auteur Fantastic Negrito on "Love's Gonna Save the Day," Myron of retro-soulsters Myron & E on "On Fire Tonight," and the all-star hip-hop combo of Lateef, Lyrics Born, Monophonics and DJ D Sharp on "Alpha and Omega."
Imani—whose title is the Swahili word for "faith"—is a particularly personal project for Blackalicious, with its title reflecting the personal trials that helped to inspire the words and music.
"Faith has been a big word in both of our lives in the last couple of years," Gift of Gab affirms. "We both dealt with some personal situations that really required faith and forced us to think about a lot of things. Most of our albums are about where we are at that point in our lives, and that's definitely true on this one."
Imani, Vol. 1's birth cycle coincided with Gab's ongoing fight for his health after suffering kidney failure.
"My kidneys failed at the top of 2012, when we were gearing up to do this record," Gift of Gab notes. "I got put on dialysis, so now when I travel or go on tour, I do dialysis wherever I go. When I got the news, there was a moment where it was a little dark, where I was questioning if I'm still gonna be able to do this. But then I had the realization that no one can ever take my creativity away. I realized that this is a circumstance that I'm temporarily gonna be dealing with, and that I have to make some adjustments for it, but that it doesn't stop me from being a creative person. Once I
realized that, I started to feel inspired and just threw myself into writing, and that became a big part of the fuel for this record."
Although it's been a decade since the last Blackalicious release, the pair has remained busy with a variety of musical endeavors. Gift of Gab released three solo albums, 2004's 4th Dimension Rocketships Going Up, 2009's Escape 2 Mars and 2012's The Next Logical Progression. Chief Xcel worked with acclaimed soul singer Ledisi, and formed Burning House with R.V. Salters of General Eletriks, releasing the 2013 album Walking Into A Burning House.
"Blackalicious never stopped," asserts Gift of Gab. "We just wanted to explore other things as individuals, and in 2012 we realized that it was time to return to the mothership. I was a little nervous at first, and thought that it might take some time to rebuild. But when we started doing shows, we were selling out everywhere, and people were telling us that they grew up on our music. It was encouraging to find out that, even after all these years, we're actually important to people.
"It's like traveling," Gab continues. "It's always good to travel and see the world. But then when you come back home, you appreciate it that much more. We stepped right back into it, and it was like 'Oh yeah, I remember this. This is home.'"
"Once we got into the studio," Chief Xcel recalls, "everything flowed very naturally. We just got in there and kind of let the album make itself. When we were in the studio together, it was pretty effortless, because we know each other so well creatively. We wrote about 60 songs for this record, and went with the ones that we felt strongest about. And about 90 per cent of it is live tracks; it's probably the fewest samples I've ever used on a record."
"X gave me the beats, and I just went in and wrote every day," Gift of Gab states. "There was not a lot of thought or planning this time, it was more about action. It was just, as soon as it moves you, you write something. There was not a whole lot of thought put into it. It was more like 'OK, let's create.'"
"We're like two kids who've been playing basketball together since the second grade, and now they're in the NBA so they really know each other and can anticipate each other's next move," Chief Xcel says of his and Gab's enduring partnership. "It's totally instinctive, and we kind of communicate without talking. I know just from his physical reaction, when he hears a beat or a song, if there's a spark or if he feels inspired. And vice versa; he can tell by my immediate reaction if we've hit the mark or not. That just comes from time."
With Imani, Vol. 1 demonstrating that Blackalicious is as potent a creative entity as ever, Gift of Gab and Chief Xcel are embracing their return to the spotlight, and looking forward to reconnecting with their loyal, demographically diverse fan base.
"I think that this album is coming from a very honest place, and I really think that this is the most creative and prolific point of our careers, so we're really excited about it," Chief Xcel says, adding, "The next year or two, it's gonna be a nonstop balance of touring and being in the studio working on Volumes 2 and 3. We're definitely looking forward to seeing how things evolve and change."
"In my opinion, this is one of our best records," Gift of Gab agrees. "It's been a long time, we worked hard on it, and I hope that people enjoy it. People will come up to us and say 'Yo, that record changed my life' or 'That record helped me to get sober' or 'That record started me on a spiritual journey.' People say personal stuff like that, and we take it seriously."
"Our audience seems to be people who see music and art as essential parts of life, and not just disposable accessories," Chief Xcel concludes. "That's who we make music for—people who need music in their life. I'm one of those people. Imani is Swahili for faith, and that's really where we're at at this juncture. We're so rooted in our purpose that we don't have to second-guess, we just know. There's no fear of the unknown, there's just the fire to move forward and get to wherever the journey takes us."
Lyrics Born
Lyrics Born
Amongst the dusty records of UC Davis' KDVS college radio station, Tom Shimura, who currently makes records as Lyrics Born, found too much to love. Sandwiched between gatefold LPs, 12-inch singles, dub versions and white-labels was a reservoir of inspiration that he would draw on for the following decades. That was then. This is now. Since his college days, Bay Area-native Lyrics Born's raw, authentic talent has been polished to a gleaming beacon of originality in a time when it's needed most, and it's release marks a new era of label relations. "The old model is dead, you cant just put it out and expect people to get it", explains LB, and the statement could easily be applied to his sound or his approach to marketing the finished product.

Lyrics Born has gone about the creation of his latest effort, As U Were, in a less-than-conventional manner. One defining characteristic of his sound thus far has been that it can be described as unequivocally fun, and this remains true of As U Were. However, LB does routinely peel back the gregarious exterior to reveal a contemplative everyman, and it's times like this that his true artistry is apparent. "It's at the point in my career where I've been through a lot, fun and not so fun. I think I'm dealing with a lot issues that are more mature than the last few albums, from abandonment to betrayal to incredible joy". He voices these sentiments prominently on the lead single "Lies x 3", a driving, heartfelt plead for truth.

While touching on newer subjects, he also reached out to artists that he felt removed himself from his comfort zone. "The new record is more synth-oriented. I made an effort to work with younger artists: Trackademicks, Francis and The Lights, and Sam Sparro, namely". The bay-swagger is in full effect on "Funky Hit Records", and while the new guests add a new dimension to the sound, Tom Shimura isn't one to lose sight of his roots. Gift Of Gab drops a requisite, thought-provoking verse on the critical "Pills" and the classic Latyrx tag-team makes it look way too easy on "Pushed Aside, Pulled Apart", one of the album's standout cuts. As U Were may well be LB's greatest achievement, but it's been a long time coming.

Lyrics Born had been a music obsessive since his youth, and in 1993 freestyles among a group of UC Davis classmates that occupied the same cramped radio quarters began to find their way onto paper, and suddenly LB had written "Send Them". It became the first single on the newly minted Solesides Records, a collaborative venture between himself and his accomplices who would later go on to be known internationally as Blackalicious (comprised of MC Gift of Gab and producer Chief Xcel), DJ Shadow and Lateef The Truthspeaker, an East Oakland rapper with whom he found a shared affinity for the rapid-fire lyrical volleys that would define the next step. As Latyrx (a combination of their working names) the two MCs released The Album, in 1997. The LP would go on to become a certified classic, selling 100,000 copies, yet would prove to be the tip of an even larger iceberg.

Solesides was re-imagined as Quannum Projects in 1999. As co-owner, LB used Quannum as a conduit through which he delivered his most realized project to date, 2003's Later That Day. The album yielded his biggest commercial success to date, "Callin' Out", which charted nationally and was featured in several major motion pictures, EA Sports games as well as a Diet Coke spot featuring Adrian Brody. The remix LP, Same !@#$ Different Day was released shortly after, showcasing the talents of his closest associates and as well as new material. Meanwhile, Lyrics Born began to explore different means of engaging listeners. He kept fans abreast of his work by peppering the internet with The Lyrics Born Variety Show mixtape series whoch he released himself through his website. The mixtapes, as well as ceaseless touring and the creation of his own internet media outlets Lyrics Born TV and LBFM, were elements of a new formula.

Since the release of Later That Day, Lyrics Born has averaged over 150 shows a year, and his explosive live energy was captured on the disc Overnite Encore, a compilation of live performances with live musicians from the Australian leg of his 2006 world tour. He followed up in 2008 with Everywhere At Once, a varied studio disk that signaled a departure from the sample-based pieces he had become known for, supplementing the sound with a full band and a healthy does of synthesizers. Hence, he has arrived at well-rounded sound that is classic and yet futuristic. Tom Shimura hasn't forgotten how he got here, but he's never been afraid to look to the future, either.
Latyrx is a hip hop music group consisting of Lateef the Truth Speaker and Lyrics Born. The roots of their partnership lay in the formation of the Solesides collective at theUniversity of California, Davis. Lyrics Born and Lateef the Truthspeaker started out as the group, Latyrx, as part of Quannum Projects back in the day. They put out Latyrx: The Album and The Muzapper's Remixes and appeared on Quannum Spectrum — all of which spawned classics like, "Balcony Beach", "Lady Don't Tek No", "Storm Warning" and the titular track, "Latyrx". Cited as one of the most influential, original and innovative hip-hop groups of the late 90′s, Latyrx was infamous for their creative style and unique rhymes and phrasing.
Venue Information:
The Barkley Ballroom
610 Main Street
Frisco, CO, 80443