This event is 21 and over.
$20.00 – General Admission (Advance)
$25.00 – General Admission (Door)
*plus applicable service fees
Tickets available at The Independent box office (628 Divisadero, SF) with no service charge.
All doors & show times subject to change.
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The first thing you remember is the voice: that low, molasses-slow baritone that stretches into a long, humid Cajun drawl. Imagine that voice requesting a Mac Dre and a Main Source song. That voice asking to give a shout-out to a mythic crew called the Han Bodda Han Posse (proper spelling never confirmed), which definitively places that voice as yes, Bay Area. Finally, that voice giving you the name of the obscure sample the Geto Boys flipped for “My Mind’s Playing Tricks On Me.” And thereby winning the fifth on-air contest you’ve had in five weeks.
Since then, that dude, now b/k/a Lyrics Born, has released 9 albums, 8 mixtapes, done countless guest tracks and collaborations, and become one of the most successful touring acts in the rap game. He’s done it all indie. Some of that has been by default—the culture industry is still reluctant can and sell entertainers who look like LB. But his success has been all by design.
It was the sound of the future, and he was already living in that future. Here was a hapa kid obsessed with Ninjaman and Shabba Ranks, 808s and slapback basslines, with an Italian-Jewish mom, whose best friend was Muslim and Jewish and Black. It gets no more polycultural than this. “When you’d go to parties, everyone was there,” he recalled. “I didn’t feel like what I was doing was that unusual.”
LB executes his projects in groups, working out a particular set of musical and conceptual ideas until they have reached their logical end. So “Same Shit, Different Day” and “Overnite Encore” completed a cycle in which he had begun with sample-based production and moved to working with DJs and bands. On “Everywhere At Once” and “As U Were”, LB drew deeper on early 80s Black radio for inspiration—One Way, Dazz Band, Teena Marie—and expanded the collaborations.
LB says his songs are about “perseverance, surviving, turning the corner.” They are about “real people”, about love for the underdog. It’s axiomatic to him that even if someone is counted out, it never means they’re down for the count. It’s the classic American story. And in that sense, LB gets the last laugh after my (and a whole lot of other folks’) early disqualification of him: he won and he gave lots of other folks a chance to share in his triumph.4
All you have to do now is drop the needle, and get free.