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Monday, Jan 08 2018 | 20:36
Image: 1617180 20 years after its initial release, the Bay Area uber-classic Latyrx: The
Album – lyricists Lyrics Born and Lateef The Truthspeaker, with
production from DJ Shadow, Chief Xcel and Lyrics Born – still stands as
a seminal recording. It has gone on to resonate with successive
generations of listeners, and influence countless artists. Recorded over
a two-year period, it was the first full-length release from the legendary
Solesides collective, and encapsulates a highly creative and influential
time in hip-hop, frequently dubbed The Golden Age.
Over the course of the original release’s 42 minutes, not only can you
hear Lyrics Born and Lateef literally growing into themselves as artists,
but you can also hear the germination of the Solesides sound, first
given birth at California’s UC Davis in the early ‘90s, driven by
brothers-in-beats-and-rhymes Blackalicious and DJ Shadow.
Partially by design, and partially out of necessity, Latyrx—and the
Solesides crew as a whole—became trailblazers. Lyrics Born
remembers (in this set’s lengthy liner notes), “We really wanted to
explore. New styles, new subject matter, new textures, new vocabulary.
It came down to even wanting to do words in the English language that
you had never heard in a rap song before. It was all about pushing.”
And push they did, with game-changing lyrical exercises like “Say
That,” “Balcony Beach,” “The Wreckoning” and “The Muzappers Mix.”
Beyond cuts that back-in- the-day fans know from the original
sequence, the two bonus tracks included in this edition are: “Looking
Over A City” [produced by El-P], originally released on the Quannum
compilation Spectrum. And “The Last Trumpet,” which closes this new
deluxe edition. Originally appearing on the 2003 Lyrics Born solo album
Later That Day, it’s one of Latyrx’s most-realized collaborations, and
one of their most overtly-politically-themed songs.
This deluxe, 2-LP issue of Latyrx: The Album is a must for longtime
fans and newly-initiated listeners alike, with in-depth liner notes by
veteran Bay Area journalist Eric Arnold (including input from Lyrics
Born and Lateef The Truthspeaker) and packaged in a gatefold format.

A1. Latyrx • A2. Say That
A3. The Quickening
B1. Balcony Beach • B2. Live 90.3 '94
B3. Aim For The Flickering Flame Rankin #1
B4. Funky Granules • B5. Bad News
C1. Off (With) Their Heads (Be Prompt)
C2. Interlude • C3. Burnt Pride
C4. Scratchapella • C5. The Wreckoning
C6. Burning Hot In Cali On A Saturday Night
D1. Looking Over A City
D2. Last Trumpet (feat. The Gift Of Gab) Available from 02.02.2018
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