Photo courtesy Up Above RecordsLMNO
P's and Q's
On the eve of the release date for his new album, P's & Q's, LMNO's midnight in-store appearance at Fat Beats in Hollywood was packed. He did half a dozen songs and then spent more time just talking with fans, hanging out till damn near 2 a.m. That's how it works for this Long Beach native, who's one of the most honest, positive lyricists in all of hip-hop. His name stands for "Leave My Name Out" because (he says) he'd rather spread the word than get the credit, and his lyrics reinforce the point: "All these cheesy rats running for cheddar/When they get it does it make it better?" He's always had a knack for writing uplifting anthems like 2001's "Grin & Bear It," and P's and Q's gives him the platform to do it over and over again. After so many years of perfecting his craft, LMNO's voice is hitting on all cylinders. The production team of LD, Polyhedron, KeyKool, DJ Khalil, J Thrill and Life Rexall set up a soulful soundscape for LMNO, joined here by guest MCs 2Mex, KeyKool, Self Lion, Supernatural, Ariano and Chali 2na. And the lyrics on the album show us an MC in his prime. In "Industry Revival," he says, "I'm not rocking for the magazine sheets/What we need is more light on these dark streets"; meanwhile, "Clutch" is a tribute to his stepfather, and "Aerosol Migrants" is a lyrical ode to graff writing. Newcomer LD, a 21-year-old prodigy from Huntington Beach, produced 10 of the tracks on the new album. LMNO and LD have an incredible chemistry, and you can hear it in the album's cohesive feel. They are both quiet, humble guys at home in the studio, already working on another project to be released next year. Like he says: "Humble is what the style is."
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LMNO WITH THE VISIONARIES AND MORE AT THE VAULT 350, 350 PINE AVE., LONG BEACH, (562) 590-5566. SAT., 7 P.M. $22.50. ALL AGES.