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Lyrics Born – “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”


Lyrics Born Covers Gil Scott-Heron Classic, Citing America’s “Ugly Historical Legacy of Racial and Cultural Inequalities” 
photo credit: Diane Jeanty – Huffington Post

Critical Praise for Lyrics Born:
“Far-reaching flows over throwback electro soul, or street-wise synth-pop for the 20-10… whatever labels you need to apply to it – at day’s end, it’s just good fucking music.” – Okayplayer

 

“…if Lyrics Born has one defining strength it’s his ability to get structurally and rhythmically adventurous in his flow while still remaining perfectly simple to follow linguistically.” – Pitchfork

 

“God bless Lyrics Born.” – PopMatters

 

“The Second Album is life-affirming, with a force few artists in any genre can match.” – NPR

The Song:

In the wake of the recent absurdities, acclaimed rapper/producer Lyrics Born released his latest work, a cover of Gil Scott-Heron‘s iconic poem and song, “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” featuring European funk band, An Apple A Day. Released originally as an anthem for African-American activism in the 1960’s, the issues presented in the work are still prevalent today. Interviewed by SF Weekly, Lyrics Born stated, “I was both honored and ambivalent when presented with the opportunity of working with An Apple A Day on a remake of Gil Scott Heron’s classic song,” adding that he was “Honored to be the guy who was asked to remake the song, but ambivalent, because to be completely honest, the ‘opportunity’ to do so shouldn’t even exist anymore. We as human beings should’ve won The Revolution long ago.”

In the midst of a modern political revolution Lyrics Born has rewritten the lyrics, while maintaining the essence of Scott-Heron’s voice, to reflect the tragedies of Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant, and the unjust deaths of other young men of color. Fully invested in the message Lyrics Born maintains that “For all the beautiful things that America is and has become, we have an ugly historical legacy of racial and cultural inequality that won’t seem to let up. News of young, unarmed Black, Brown and Beige men such as Trayvon, Oscar, and Michael shot dead by law enforcement flood our social media timelines every 28 hours, creating a relentless tide of sorrow, disappointment, and anger in the nation. This horrific tradition should’ve ended in Gil-Scott Heron’s time, and ‘The Revolution’ should’ve been studied and revered as a musical timepiece, emblematic of a troubled period in American history ‘way back when.’ Yet here we are again… and again… and again.” “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” was featured in his mixtape The Lyrics Born Variety Show Season Six which was released on October 28th and will serve as the second single from his forthcoming album, Real People, set to drop in early 2015.

 

Listen to “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”: https://soundcloud.com/lyricsborn/the-revolution-will-not-be-televised-an-apple-a-day-ft-lyrics-born

 

Read the SF Weekly premiere: http://www.sfweekly.com/shookdown/2014/12/02/listen-lyrics-born-updates-gil-scott-herons-the-revolution-will-not-be-televised

The Background:
Boasting a successful career as a fiercely independent artist Lyrics Born is truly a visionary. The Japanese-American rapper/producer who has been a music obsessive since his youth, got his start in the early ’90s among the music stacks at UC Davis‘ radio station. Freestyles among a group of classmates became the first single on the newly minted Soulsides Records, a collaborative venture between himself, Blackalicious (MC Gift of Gab and producer Chief Xcel), DJ Shadow and Lateef The Truthspeaker, an East Oakland rapper with whom he found a shared affinity for the rapid-fire lyrical volleys that would define the next step. As Latyrx the two MCs released The Album, in 1997. The LP would go on to become a certified classic, selling 100,000 copies. Solesides was re-imagined as Quannum Projects in 1999 through which, as co-owner, LB used to deliver his most realized project, 2003’s Later That Day. The album yielded his biggest commercial success to date, “Callin’ Out,” which charted nationally and was featured in several major motion pictures, television shows, EA Sports games as well as a Diet Coke spot featuring Adrian Brody. The remix LP, Same !@#$ Different Day was released shortly after and he followed up in 2008 with Everywhere At Once, a varied studio disk that signaled a departure from the sample-based pieces he had become known for, supplementing the sound with a full band and a healthy does of synthesizers. His next solo release was As U Were, followed by the Latyrx album, The Second Album, which broke a 20 year silence between Latyrx releases. Famed critic Robert Christgau called it a “gorgeous and contemplative” album and deemed it “hands-down the alt-rap album of the year” for NPR’s All Things Considered. With the upcoming release of LB’s eighth album, Real People, which was recorded entirely in New Orleans and features some of the city’s best famed musicians, LB has arrived at well-rounded sound that is classic and yet futuristic. Tom Shimura hasn’t forgotten how he got here, but he’s never been afraid to look to the future, either.

Links:
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“The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”: https://soundcloud.com/lyricsborn/the-revolution-will-not-be-televised-an-apple-a-day-ft-lyrics-born

 

LBVS6https://soundcloud.com/lyricsborn/sets/the-lyrics-born-variety-show-season-6/s-cMeJU

 

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