Angel of Def
'A true lyricist on fire. This is real hip hop!'-PhilaElements Weekly 'Progressive hip hop from the streets of Philly. An amazing MC with vision and hype beats.'- Level 3 Rhino Alert 'Where did this dude come from? This is amazing!' - Brooklyn Cypha 'Soul force Hip hop'. That is the term used to describe the style of music forged by Philadelphia MC Lightborn. From the section of West Philadelphia known as 'Green Hell' where graffiti text intertwines with rusted barbed wire amid sprouts of green grass from Cobbs Creek breaking through from blackend concrete comes one of the most innovative artists in hip hop today. A DJ and MC since his childhood in the late eighties, 'The Soular Beyond' uses his background in playing several live instruments to create his own original beats that are layered over with powerful and introspective rhymes designed to not only be heard but felt. With an intense, original sound of dark, often ominous drones and hard beats overcome by soulful, passionate lyrics, Lightborn emerges like a Phoenix from the underground at a time where mediocrity and commercialism has often penetrated the expression of rap and disenchanted many true hip hop heads. From the pounding, driven prophecy of 'Angel of Def', to the cosmic, surreal 'I am the Rhino', to one of the most personal testimonies in music I have ever heard in 'I am Never Home', Lightborn delivers in a style that is as intricate as the wild style graffiti on West Philly rooftops, and just as clear and bold in definition. The sounds of a sitar become accompanied by an old Irish hymn and the crowd gets silent. It is a marriage of harmonies never heard before. Beyond two Tech Twelves a skilled turntablist starts scratching, cutting and fazing with tight precision until a heavy bass drum blasts over a spacy jazzy beat. The DJ comes out and looks down, then up, then down again in a meditative state,becoming the MC. There is a whirlind of melodic, symphonic sound and then with the thundering beat, BAMMM!!!, he rips like a lion into the mic. Eyes closed in focus and then open wide with sincere devotion to each word uttered. Real passion and true hip hop. 'Hip hop is the art. Hip hop is positive, powerful, and intelligent' Lightborn says after a show, but his rhymes have already spoken this view. Here is an MC that comes to bring all that he has and what he is to the mic. Honest, spiritual, and fiery, enter the Soular Beyond. -Sharkey Micarelli 2004.