Lyrics Born

Overnite Encore: Lyrics Born Live!

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Long known for his dynamic live performance, Quannum rapper (and "first ever Asian astronaut") Lyrics Born finally gives those fans who haven't experienced one of his shows what they've missed on Overnite Encore: Lyrics Born Live! Taken from two August 2005 concerts in Australia, one in Sydney and one in Melbourne (the 28th and the 26th, respectively), LB, with help from his funk band and wife/backup singer Joyo Velarde, runs through most of the tracks from his two solo albums, as well as two from his Latyrx days ("Aim for the Flickering Flame" and "Lady Don't Tek No"). The rapper, who utilizes his singsongy delivery during shows, is good at energizing his audience, making sure they're as excited and into the music as he is, even if it means, as in the case of "Calling Out," stopping mid-sentence and starting the song over. It's clearly a practiced technique, but it works, as evidenced by the wild cheering at the end of his sets. Thanks to the band, who's not afraid to groove, and the numerous shout outs, the versions of the tracks on Overnite Encore are longer than those on the albums, but both Lyrics Born and the band -- the bass, guitar, keys, and drums -- are funky and engaging enough that nothing seems to drag on, as often happens on live recordings. It would be expected, because of the presence of the band, that "I Changed My Mind," which he originally performed with the German Poets of Rhythm, would be on the record, but Lyrics Born has a deep enough repertoire that its exclusion isn't missed too much, and the bonus studio tracks at the end -- the dark, pulsing "Knock Knock," "L-I-F-E," featuring Bay Area rapper Mistah F.A.B., "I'm Just Raw (Reopened & Remixed)," which has extra verses from Pigeon John and Del tha Funkee Homosapien -- are nice reminders of the MC's versatility. The entire set is fresh, and very fun, showing off the depth of his talents and how well they transfer to the stage, and is a necessity for any Lyrics Born fan, those who have seen him live or not.

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