In the mood for some break beats this weekend? Head to Crystal Bay Casino on Saturday, when a motley crew of Bay Area hip-hop and funk artists will get down in the Crown Room. Lyrics Born headlines the festivities, with Skins & Needles and 40 Watt Hype filling out the undercard.
Born Tsutomu Shimura in Tokyo, Lyrics Born has been rapping and producing in the Bay Area since the early ‘90s. He first achieved notoriety with hip-hop artist Lateef the Truthspeaker, combining to form hip-hop duo Latyrx in the mid ‘90s. He has also worked with artists such as Blackalicious and Jurassic 5, among others.
“I think I’ve always sort of been on the fringes of hip hop,” Lyrics Born told thebrag.com’s Mikey Carr in 2008. “Everything I do is hip hop-inspired, but I’ve always tried to take it further than what people’s conventional definitions of hip hop were.”
DJ Zeph and Max MacVeety make up Skins & Needles. Santa Cruz, Calif. native DJ Zeph has been producing music since the ‘80s, with his work appearing on both HBO and MTV, according to Skins & Needles’ website. MacVeety has played drums for Oakland, Calif.’s hip-hop group Crown City Rockers for the last decade. Skins & Needles have worked with artists including Mos Def and Talib Kweli.
Fresno’s 40 Watt Hype has a sound that combines hip-hop’s vocal sensibilities with genres like Latin and R&B. Created by vocalist Aaron Wall, 40 Watt Hype is Wall, Sean Alderette (drums), Pat Olvera (bass), Jared Dyar (percussion), Jay Rossette (guitar), Javon Davis (keys), and Robert Ruffner (trombone). Featured on both ABC and FOX, 40 Watt Hype has performed with groups like the Roots, Ludacris and Ozomatli.
Josh Sweigert, Lake Tahoe Action