Few emcees are blessed with a classic energy, vibe, voice, flow, lyrics, and product that can blow the listener’s mind with every listen. Founder of Quannum Records (home of Blackalicious), Lyrics Born has earned this honor somewhat early in his career. While he gained minor notoriety with his group Latyrx (featuring Lateef as his partner), Lyrics Born’s solo debut, Later That Daysolidified his presence in hip-hop. Mainly self-produced, the LP told an original tale that took place over the course of 24 hours. The LP’s variety of themes, styles, and guests accentuated the cohesive intensity. While fans yearned for his sophomore solo effort, listeners are satisfied to learn Lyrics Born released a remix album titled Same Shit Different Day. With five brand new tracks, Same Shit Different Day features production by guest producers/remixers like Dan The Automator, Jumbo (of Lifesavas), Young Einstein of Ugly Duckling, Morecheeba, and DJ Spinna. Lyrics Born’s remix album is more satisfying and entertaining than the majority of releases out there containing new material.
Many remixes sound very similar to the original track, but most of the remixes on Same Shit Different Day bring the original songs into a whole new dimension. These fresh styles achieve a brand new feeling and maintain the familiarity of Later That Day. Young Einstein’s remix of Do That There is one of the LP’s finest moments. The mind blowing funked-out track complements the emcee’s intense flows, magnificent breath control, and a thick disco hand-clapping beat. LB’s adroit performance will leave listeners amazed as they attempt to keep up with his ultra-quick verbal execution.
The opening track (which closed the Later That Day LP), Hello (Remix) is extremely energetic with a thick 70s funk groove. Thicker than the original, Jumbo’s remix has a hard disco edge. The beefy horns and dirty muffled guitar melody create a gritty theme for LB’s old school, soulful style. The two wonderful remixes of I Changed My Mind are both welcome. The tighter Stereo MCs remix is just slightly more satisfying than the DJ Spinna remix. Spinna’s bravery is displayed as he lets the track venture off on an interesting musical journey.
Krs-One and Evidence collaborate on Pack Up (remix) that sets itself apart from the original version. Produced by Jumbo, it’s more of a hardcore hip-hop track for battling emcees. The Last Trumpet (remix) (produced by Halou) features pimped-out guitar and a hard thumping bass line. The political sentiments are almost out-shined by the lyrical styles and the musical crescendo. As opposed to the original version, The Last Trumpet (remix) might just inspire listeners to start a protest march. The Morcheeba remix of Stop Complaining breathes new life into the already entertaining track. Using the original lyrics, Morcheeba add funky guitar work and a powerful, thumping beat with turntable scratches in the background.
The brand new tracks are all superbly entertaining as they give listeners a small taster for the next solo LP. I’m Just Raw (produced by Dan The Automator) has a solid, sinister, mid-tempo beat for Lyrics Born to boast some braggadocio rhymes. The second verse is especially entertaining due to the diversity of Born’s adept flow. Produced by Lyrics Born, Bad Dreams II (Shake It Off) has a Funkadellic vibe with a gritty guitar, hard piano, and 70s ghetto chants in the chorus. Lyrics Born uses the anxiety of nightmares to fuel his positive endurance. Over a hard guitar riff, Lyrics Born sings (instead of rapping) as he did on the prequel. Turntable scratches by DJ Sharp complement the soulful backing vocals by Joyo Velarde and Constance Lopez. Joyo Velarde also adds her sensuous vocals on the DJ Shadow produced Over You. As usual, the chemistry between Lyrics Born and Velarde is both sexy and addictive. (Their previous collaboration, Love Me So Bad was a highlight of Later That Day.)
Only a handful of songs fall short or disappoint. While the original version of Calling Out was truly magnificent, the remix version (with E-40 and Casual) is entertaining but simply not as strong as the original. Using the same beat, Lyrics Born steals the show even though all the emcees rock the mic with unique performances. Unfortunately, the original version just cannot be defeated. The second Joyo Velarde collaboration, I Can’t Wait For Your Lovedoes not possess the intense sensuality as their previous collaborations. Upbeat and catchy, I Can’t Wait For Your Love (Produced by Chief Xcel) adds to the fun-filled vibe but interrupts the flow. The song’s mainstream sound is created by an obvious pop re-make in the vocal hook. Despite feeling a little slow, Lyric Born’s performance saves the track but the song fails to persevere like the others.
While typical remixes just use an a cappella track over a different instrumental track, most of the remixes present are completely different, without abandoning the original sentiments. With passion in his voice, magnificent breath control, diverse flows, and witty lyrics, Lyrics Born is a complete emcee.
Setting high standards for hip-hop albums, this remix album by Lyrics Born is exciting, entertaining, diverse, and extremely satisfying. While Same Shit Different Day may be a phrase that usually describes a feeling of dissatisfaction for slaves of the daily routine, this long player is anything but typical.
Same Shit Different Day (2005)
Genre: Hip Hop
Record Label: Quannum Projects