Where my Quannum fans at? The dynamic and highly-skilled Bay Area legend Lyrics Born is back with Quite A Life, a record that is as much a funk and soul album as it is hip-hop. He is backed by a live New Orleans-style funk band, and while I’m not always the biggest fan of live hip-hop bands not named The Roots, it really works here because they match the incredible energy and enthusiasm LB brings to the mic.
Right off the bat you’re hit with “Chocolate Cake,” a song about how to make and enjoy a good chocolate cake (spoiler alert: the secret ingredient is a cinnamon stick and the song is actually about sex). At a couple points he gets more serious, highlighting the struggles of Asian-American entertainers on “Don’t Quit Your Daydream” and sharing the story of a friend’s cancer diagnosis on “Can’t Lose My Joy,” but for the most part, this is some ‘clap ya hands, everybody say ho!’ party music that you can’t hate on it if you have two ears and a heart.
Lots of friends join in the fun too: Del the Funky Homosapien, Aloe Blacc and Joyo Velarde make appearances, as well as both Gift of Gab and Chali 2na on the project standout “When I Get My Check ($, $, $).” This is LB’s 10th album, the most ever for an Asian-American rapper. He’s also the “first Asian kid to make a greatest hits in the history of American music.” Despite this, he remains notoriously underrated (essentially what the aforementioned “Don’t Quit Your Daydream” is about).
Whether you’re an old Latyrx/Quannum Collective fan like me, or new to Lyrics Born, Quite a Life reminds us that sometimes you just need a little body rockin’ in your life.