The first artist to release an EP on San Francisco’s Soleside Records,Lyrics Born went under the original moniker Asia Born on 1993’s Send Them before changing it three years later on his collaborations with labelmate Lateef. After being featured on Lateef‘s “The Wreckoning” b/w “Latyrx” single, Lyrics put out his own 12″, “Balcony Beach” b/w “Burnt Pride,” in October of 1996 before jumping in the studio again with Lateef and DJ Shadow as Latyrx for The Album in 1997. He began working on a solo album the following year, though it spent five years in the workshop before appearing on Quannum as Later That Day…
The success of his debut prompted LB to release a modified version of it, Same !@#$ Different Day, which contained new material as well as remixes of older songs, and in 2006, after an extensive world tour, the MC issued Overnite Encore: Lyrics Born Live! The majority of the record was taken from two 2005 performances in Australia, but also included new studio tracks. Near-constant touring helped solidy LB as one of alternative hip-hop’s most distinctive players, and in April 2008, signed to Anti-,Lyrics Born released Everywhere at Once, which featured members of his live funk band as well as production work from Jake One, among others. Lyrics Born returned in 2010 with the album As U Were which featured guest appearances from an eclectic mix of artists including singer-songwriter Sam Sparro, drummer Stanton Moore and alt-rock band Francis and the Lights among others.
Lyrics Born has been one of the most licensed hip-hop artists in the world, with placements on Diet Coke, Motorola, Nokia, and Vans commercials, TV shows such as “Entourage”, “Six Feet Under”, “What About Brian”, “Gossip Girl”, and “Gilmore Girls”, films like Michael Mann’s “Collateral” and Justin Lin’s “Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift”, and videogames by EA Sports, 2K Sports and Atari. He has had sponsorships with Puma, Adidas, Diesel, and Evisu.
Skins & Needles is a duo made up of Dj Zeph (Om Records, Oakland Faders) and Max MacVeety (drummer for Crown City Rockers). Both staples in the Bay Area Hip-Hop scene, this duo joins forces to bring a club-party vibe with the use of live drums, breaks, scratching + mixing that keeps the dance floor moving. With live drums and Dj Zeph’s musicality, Skins & Needles catches the attention of musicians, producers, and Hip-Hop heads as well as people just wanting to party and dance.
Nato Caliph is an underground rapper from St. Louis, MO, with a socially conscious, thought-provoking style in stark contrast to better-known St. Louis rappers Nelly and the St. Lunatics. Born Shedrick Remon Kelley on August 9, 1980, he made his recording debut in 2004 with the self-released album 1080. A few years later, in affiliation with F5 Records, he released his second album, Cipher Inside(2007), which found a larger, broader audience than his debut. He’s been a local force in Hip-Hop ever since.
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