Lyrics Born

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Lyrics Born
Lyrics Born (Australia, 2008).jpg
Lyrics Born in Australia, 2008
Background information
Birth nameTsutomu Shimura[1]
Also known asLB, Asia Born, Macka Dang Dang
Born (1972-09-02) September 2, 1972 (age 47)
Tokyo, Japan[2]
OriginBerkeley, California, United States
GenresAlternative hip hop
Occupation(s)Rapper, producer
Years active1992–present
LabelsQuannum Projects, Epitaph, Decon
Associated actsLatyrx, Lateef the Truthspeaker, Blackalicious, Joyo Velarde

Tsutomu "Tom" Shimura (born September 2, 1972), better known by his stage name Lyrics Born (formerly Asia Born),[3] is a Japanese-American rapper and producer.[4] He is one half of the duo Latyrx with Lateef the Truthspeaker.[2]

Early life[edit]

Shimura was born in Tokyo, and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah,[5] and Berkeley, California.[6][7] He attended Henry B. Plant High School.[8]


He changed his stage name from Asia Born to Lyrics Born in 1995 citing the desire to have his career based on his merits as opposed to his ethnicity.[9] His first studio album, Later That Day, was released on Quannum Projects in 2003.[10]

Style and influences[edit]

Lyrics Born's collaborations with Lateef the Truthspeaker on Latyrx records often see them trading lyrics back and forth in quick succession – Lyrics Born and Lateef's methodology for writing this type of lyric is described by Lateef in the book How to Rap: "With Latyrx stuff, when we have parts that we're writing that we're both going to be trading off, we write them together for the most part. I'll sit there and write a rhyme, like I'll write a line or two and then we'll break up who's gonna say what, and he'll write a line or two and we'll break up who's gonna say what. It's a very organic process."[11]


Studio albums[edit]

Lyrics Born
Latyrx (Lyrics Born with Lateef the Truthspeaker)
Quannum MCs (Lyrics Born with Chief Xcel, DJ Shadow, Gift of Gab & Lateef the Truth Speaker)

Other releases[edit]

Remix albums
Live albums
  • The Muzapper's Mixes (1998, Solesides) (Latyrx)
  • Disconnection EP (2012, Mobile Home Recordings/Latyramid) (Latyrx)
  • Lyrics Born Variety Show Season One (2005, Mobile Home Recordings)
  • Lyrics Born Variety Show Season Two (2006, Mobile Home Recordings)
  • Lyrics Born Variety Show Season Three (2008, Mobile Home Recordings)
  • Lyrics Born Variety Show Season Pho (2009, Mobile Home Recordings)
  • Latyrical Madness, Vol. 1 (2011, Mobile Home Recordings/Latyramid) (Latyrx)
  • Lyrics Born Variety Show Season Five: On the Floor (2012, Mobile Home Recordings/Decon Media)
  • "Send Them" (1993, Solesides)
  • "Latyrx" (1995, Solesides)
  • "Burnt Pride" (1996, Solesides)
  • "Balcony Beach" (1996, Solesides)
  • "Lady Don't Tek No" (1998, Solesides) (Latyrx)
  • "I Changed My Mind" (1999, Quannum Projects)
  • "Hello" b/w "One Session" (2003, Mobile Home Recordings/Quannum Projects)
  • "Callin' Out" (2003, Mobile Home Recordings/Quannum Projects)
  • "Callin' Out Remix" b/w "Do That There Remix" (2004, Mobile Home Recordings/Quannum Projects)
  • "I'm Just Raw" b/w "Pack Up Remix" (2005, Mobile Home Recordings/Quannum Projects)
  • "Big Money Talk" (2006, Decon Recordings)
  • "I Like It, I Love It" (2008, Mobile Home Recordings/Anti- Records)
  • "Differences" (2008, Mobile Home Recordings/Anti- Records)
  • "Top Shelf" (2008, Mobile Home Recordings/Anti-Records)
  • "Hott 2 Deff" (2008, Mobile Home Recordings/Anti- Records)
  • "Whispers" (2008, Mobile Home Recordings/Anti- Records)
  • "Funky Hit Records" (2009, Mobile Home Recordings)
  • "Pushed Aside, Pulled Apart" (2009, Mobile Home Recordings)
  • "Oh Baby" (2009, Mobile Home Recordings)
  • "Lies X 3" (2010, Mobile Home Recordings/Decon Recordings)

Additional credits[edit]

Guest appearances
Production credits
Tracks appear on


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b DaRonco, Mike (2008). "Lyrics Born – Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved May 9, 2008.
  3. ^ Nguyen, Joe (July 17, 2009). "Face2Face with Lyrics Born". Retrieved July 19, 2009.
  4. ^ Birnam, Ian (September 5, 2012). "Local Limelight: Lyrics Born". The Daily Californian.
  5. ^ "New Music: Lyrics Born, Billy Bragg and More". National Public Radio. 2008-04-22. Archived from the original on September 4, 2008. Retrieved May 9, 2008.
  6. ^ Patel, Joseph (November 18, 2003). "Lyrics Born". You Hear It First. MTV News. Retrieved February 5, 2005.
  7. ^ "Lyrics Born". Genius. Retrieved 2019-08-31.
  8. ^ Tatangelo, Wade (May 7, 2008). "The best thing from Sweden since ABBA?". Creative Loafing Tampa. Retrieved May 9, 2008.
  9. ^ "Lyrics Born Is 'Everywhere at Once'". NPR. June 25, 2008. Retrieved July 7, 2008.
  10. ^ Pemberton, Rollie (October 27, 2003). "Lyrics Born: Later That Day". Pitchfork Media.
  11. ^ Edwards, Paul (2009). How to Rap: The Art & Science of the Hip-Hop MC. Chicago Review Press. p. 219.
  12. ^
  13. ^

External links[edit]