Tsutomu "Tom" Shimura, also known as Lyrics Born, has been in the hip hop game for a long time. Having been on the cutting edge of the evolution of hip hop being involved in the Quannum Projects, one half of Lateef the Truthspeaker and involved with mix tapes with the Jurassic 5 as well as much more, Lyrics Born is testament to the rap game.
His latest album 'As U Were', shows his lyrical deep style and 'M-singing' that certainly could capture a far wider audience than a hip hop crowd. In fact the whole album has lots of different aspects, from boogaloo to disco, pop to funk and old skool hip hop sounds too. Guests featured on the album such as Lateef, Sam Sparro, Gift Of The Gab and Joyo Velarde allow 'As U Were' a wide vocal range of different sounds and atmosphere.
'As U Were' is an interesting album. There's some heartfelt emotion that can be easily translated. The mix of sounds and influences make it hard to categorise this as a hip hop album, as the crossover aspects certainly makes the energy quite pop. Personally I don't know if this is really for me however there's some definite stand out tracks like 'Block Bots' that deliver and I have to admire the adventurous creativity how Lyrics Born fuses certain styles.