Lyrics Born relocated to the United States from his birthplace of Toyko, Japan right around the time Hip Hop was exploding on the East Coast. From the moment he heard Sugar Hill Gang’s 1980 classic “Rapper’s Delight,” the Bay Area Hip Hop luminary knew he’d found his calling.
As the first Asian-American to release a greatest hits compilation, he’s pumped out multiple smash singles throughout his career. From “Callin’ Out” and “I Like It, I Love It” to “I Changed My Mind” and "Coulda Woulda Shoulda" his material has always retained a musically eclectic feel.
The self-proclaimed “funkiest rapper alive” carries on his tradition of weaving funk and soul into classic, boom-bap Hip Hop on Quite A Life. Without the influence of icons like James Brown, George Clinton, Bootsy Collins and Zapp & Roger LB admits he wouldn’t be who he is today. Coupled with his love of rap pioneers such as KRS-One, Rakim and Snoop Dogg, LB’s music is the perfect Hip Hop and funk-flavored gumbo.
For live shows, LB often recruits a full band to “keep it all the way funky” for his audience. Coupled with wife/singer Joyo Velarde’s powerful voice, the unrelenting energy of his performances electrify every crowd.
Since establishing himself among the upper echelon of indie Hip Hop artists, LB has expanded his empire into film. He has appeared in films such as Boots Riley’s critically acclaimed Sorry To Bother You and the Netflix feature Always Be My Maybe starring Ali Wong, Randall Park and Keanu Reeves.
As LB continues the next chapter, he jokes that he’s become that “old stubborn Japanese man” who says what he wants and he’s not planning on going anywhere. In fact, his goal over the next 25 years is to make another 10 albums and more films. Most notably he wants to continue providing a platform for other Asian-Americans, a slice of the population that is consistently underrepresented in pop culture.
When he looks back on the last 25 years, he has nothing but gratitude for his position in the Hip Hop space and life in general.