LYRICS BORN
Interview by Vinnie Baggadonuts
Illustration by Fphatty Lamar

EVERY YEAR, I BECOME MORE AND MORE CONVINCED THAT THE GREATEST WRITERS AND POETS OF OUR GENERATION ARE THE ONES KEEPING DANCE FLOORS AND TURNTABLES HAPPY. CASE IN POINT: LYRICS BORN. ONE-FIFTH OF THE INCOMPARABLE QUANNUM COLLECTIVEíS CORE. HIS 2004 DEBUT SOLO ALBUM, LATER THAT DAY, IS, WITHOUT QUESTION, A PERFECT ALBUM. THE MUSIC, THE LYRICS, THE CONCEPT-- EVERYTHING ABOUT IT. AND NOW, HEíS BACK, WITH SAME !@#$, DIFFERENT DAY-- A REMIX VERSION OF HIS FLAWLESS DEBUT. IN A BRIEF MOMENT OFF THE ROAD, HE PHONED IN TO ANSWER A FEW QUICK QUESTIONS.

Lyrics Born: Hold on one second. (to sandwich artist) Baked Lays. And a Diet Coke. (to Vinnie) Hold on, man. Iím at a Subway. You ever been to Subway?

Vinnie Baggadonuts: Yeah.

LB: You know that story about that dude who lost, like, 800 pounds eating Subway every day?

VB: Yeah.

LB: I donít believe that shit at all.

Both: (laugh)

VB: Heís a plant.

LB: Okay. We can do this now.

VB: You sure you donít want me to let you go so you can eat?

LB: Nah, itís cool.

VB: Well, Iím kinda glad they set this up now, because I just heard Z-Tripís album.

LB: Oh, yeah! With the track ["The Get Down"] that I did on it?

VB: Yeah. Did he ask you to do an old school party track, or did you come to him for that?

LB: Nah, he gave me the track, and I just put it together.

VB: It seems like thereís a lot of that up-tempo party vibe on Later That Day, and even on Same !@#$, Different Day. Is that something youíre trying to do more of?

LB: I think Iím done with that for now, to be honest with you, for the very reason that you said. I did it on Z-Tripís album, and I did it on my album. I think thatís enough. Not that thereís anything wrong with it. Iíve just done it already, and I had a good time doing it, but I think Iím done.

VB: With Later That Day, I was curious when you started working on that project.

LB: Well, you know, youíre always working on music. It just depends on what youíre working on at the time, and what project you have deadlines for. Thereís stuff on Same !@#$, Different Day thatís five years old!

VB: Was it a huge sigh of relief when the record finally came out?

LB: Which one?

VB: Later That Day.

LB: Oh, definitely.

VB: And was doing Same !@#$, Different Day something you would have done regardless of how well Later That Day did?

LB: Definitely. I like working with other people, and I didnít really do that on Later That Day. I was doing everything myself. So, I wanted to get back to working with other people, because it helps me grow.

VB: Did you choose all the people you worked with, or did they approach you about it?

LB: A little bit of both; but mostly, I chose. I started off with a big list, but not everybody could do it.

VB: Have you noticed your life changing significantly since Later That Day, as far as the ease of putting music out and stuff like that?

LB: Definitely. Everythingís changed since I put that album out. Iím ten times busier now. Iíve got more work. Itís great.

VB: Has there been anything completely out of the blue thatís happened since it came out?

LB: You name it! From being on tours, to having the number one record internationally!

VB: Youíve been doing this for a while, though. Is it still cool to do a show and see people saying your lyrics back to you?

LB: Oh, hell yeah! I wouldnít be able to do it without that. It makes it a lot easier. Itís encouraging.

VB: Have you bumped into anyone who loved the album and praised you for it, and you were totally caught off-guard by it?

LB: Yeah. Thereís a lot of cats who tell me, "Itís helped me through relationships," or, "That describes my situation perfectly." A couple nights ago, one cat was like, "Man, your shit helped me get through jail!" Makes you kinda just go, "Whoa...."

VB: Damn. When you did this, it sounded like you did whatever you wanted on both records. You didnít try and fit into any category, which is a very Quannum thing. Was there anybody that sort of inspired you to taking that approach to making music?

LB: I think we always did because we never had expectations of having huge commercial hits. That kind of allowed us the freedom to do whatever we want. But then, itís kind of funny because last year I had a huge commercial hit.

Both: (laugh)

LB: Itís funny how that works.

VB: Does that personally create pressure for you to make another hit? Or does that not concern you at all?

LB: If you let it. Iím still kind of dealing with that right now, because once you get on the radio, you donít want to get off. Weíll see how I handle it.

VB: Are you going right into recording another solo album after this?

LB: Iím actually producing Joyo Velardeís album after this. Weíre working on her debut solo album after this, and then Iíll be executive producing Pigeon Johnís album.

VB: Yeah, I saw that you guys signed him. Thatís awesome.

LB: Yep.

VB: I talked to Lateef, and he said you guys were trying to work on another Latyrx album.

LB: Yeah. Heís real busy now because of the Maroons album, touring behind that and shit. We did a Quannum MCs show the other night. It was me, Gab, and Lateef, and we talked about it. Itís just a question of finding the time.

VB: Is that the hardest thing, dividing time between work and family?

LB: Yeah, because it just gets harder. The better things start going, the less time you have.

VB: Is it hard to take a break from work at all?

LB: Oh, God....

Both: (laugh)

LB: My wife and I, we havenít taken a vacation in five years. These arenít bad problems to have, though.

VB: When did you realize you could write lyrics well? That you could use language, and do things with it that not a lot of people can do?

LB: Well, I just knew that I liked it and wanted to get better at it. Weíre talking about when I was eight or nine years old. I wasnít very good at it, but I knew I liked it. And I knew that I wanted to do it for the rest of my life.

VB: You knew that you wanted to be an MC, or that you wanted to make music in general?

LB: I knew that I wanted to be an MC.

VB: As you went on and were progressing, were there people you kept around as points of inspiration, for guidance?

LB: Well, you know, when youíre young, you grow in leaps and bounds, because you havenít really been exposed to that much music. As you get a little older, it gets harder and harder to find inspiration. At least thatís what Iíve found. I try to put myself in creative situations, like things I havenít done before.

VB: My last question is, what should people keep an eye out for?

LB: Same !@#$, Different Day comes out April 26th. Like I said, Iím working on Joyo Velardeís solo album. So far, itís pretty sick. But there you go.

VB: Thanks a lot, man.

LB: Thanks.