If you end a sentence containing the phrase "Asian American hip-hopper" with a question mark, you probably haven't heard of Tom Shimura, formerly known as Asia Born, now known as Lyrics Born. He started rapping in the Bay Area, but when he could find no takers for his music, he co-founded Quannum Projects, also home to Blackalicious. While working behind the boards for five years, producing KRS-One, Evidence of Dilated Peoples and Jurassic 5, he slowly accumulated material for his debut album, Later That Day. This year, he issued a remix album of much of that material, Same !@#$, Different Day, that's achieved the rare honor of being a tighter proposition than its carefully crafted predecessor. And for this preview's obligatory product placement: You can hear one of Born's tracks put to good monetary use on that Diet Coke commercial where Academy Award-winning actor Adrien Brody shakes his ass and makes us all feel redder and whiter than the can!
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