LIVE: Lyrics Born, Société des arts Technologiques, Montreal

by Winston "Stone" Ford


Let’s be honest. I never knew what exactly I was going to expect walking into this Lyrics Born show.

I remember seeing the West Coast rapper earlier last decade, when it was just him and a DJ–the purest combination of hip-hop–and I really never checked back with him since. My bad, but it seems Born has been a majority of his time on the West Coast, and I’m not baller enough to be on the other side of the country. So how did I know that the dude has been rocking a live band since 2005? I had no idea.

So when I entered Montreal’s Société des arts Technologiques, I was expecting a simple show. 1 MC and 1 DJ. Boy was I wrong.

Billed as a “James Brown Tribute,” Lyrics Born fronted quite possibly one of the funkiest live bands I’ve seen in a while. Those who may think of Born as an MC would be surprised–there is actually not a lot of rapping in this show. In fact, it was more of him singing along and reinterpreting the tunes of his idol, Mr. Brown.

And it was a solid show from start to finish. I’m a sucker for live bands, especially those who take the essence of an old school live show. Those who were there for a Lyrics Born show were soundly disappointed–he only played 2 of his own songs, including his hit “Callin’ Out,” but I feel like a majority of the audience was simply there for a great show, and Born delivered.