Lyrics Born is part of the Bay area Quannum crew, and like his confreres he has a dazzling vocabulary and amazing verbal skills. Unlike them, he has strayed farther and farther from straight hip-hop, touring with a live funk band and experimenting with a wide variety of far-out sounds. These days, his tracks sound more like Gnarls Barkley or Andre 3000 than something you might hear on rap radio.
His new album, Everywhere at Once, will be released on Monday, and it’s great. This — “Do U Buy It?” — isn’t the best song on the album, but it caught my ear because it’s a protest song, or at least a song about current sociopolitical issues. Indeed, the first verse is about global warming, and I think it’s fair to say that Lyrics Born is something of an alarmist, if perhaps not quite versed in the science.
It’s an interesting effort though. I’m noticing more and more of these popping up. There’s a real upswell of interest in politics and social matters among popular artists. I wouldn’t call it the ’60s or anything, but pop culture in general does seem to be lifting its head and noticing the larger world.
Have you heard a politically engaged song lately in pop culture? Share in comments.