Soul, Funk, R&B, & Hip-Hop

Lyrics Born

When: Fri., May 15, 9 p.m. 2015

Not to throw any shade on the practice of rapping over records, drum machines, digitally produced beats, and the like, but it’s telling that there are always a few emcees embracing the feel of a live band, which can’t exactly be replicated. It works for The Coup, it worked very well for Deltron 3030’s performance at Hiero Day last year, and it works quite nicely on the new Lyrics Born album, Real People, especially because the players are New Orleans royalty. There’s Trombone Shorty, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Ivan Neville, and production courtesy of Galactic’s Robert Mercurio and Ben Ellman. Lyrics Born, the Japanese-American, Berkeley-based rapper, calibrates his flow according to the band’s leaden funk while retaining the flourishes that fans will appreciate from his voluble output and projects related to the noted local collective, Quannum. If it’s difficult to synthesize the feel of a live band on a record, it’s especially hard to do in concert, which is why Lyrics Born’s appearance at The Independent (628 Divisadero St., San Francisco) on Friday, celebrating the release of Real People, features an eight-piece ensemble with secret guests.

Sam Lefebvre

Price: $20

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