Lyrics Born: Hip-Hop's Simple Pleasures

  • Playlist
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Friday's Pick

  • Song: "I Like It, I Love It"
  • Artist: Lyrics Born
  • CD: Everywhere at Once
  • Genre: Hip-Hop
Lyrics Born 300

Lyrics Born's "I Like It, I Love It" speaks to a moment when hip-hop, pop, R&B, and a sing-along hook rolled together as one. courtesy of Lyrics Born hide caption

toggle caption courtesy of Lyrics Born

Lyrics Born, an indie rapper from San Francisco, recalls a time when hip-hop was almost invariably fun, brisk and at least somewhat lighthearted. "I Like It, I Love It" has an old-school foundation to start with; it samples "Cutie Pie," an elastic, thumping '80s pop-funk hit from the now largely forgotten band One Way. Thanks to that boost, as well as live drums and keyboards supplied by Lyrics Born's musicians, "I Like It, I Love It" moves at a crisp, Jeep-beats clip. (Speaking of old-school: Is that a hint of Frankie Valli's nasality in the song's undeniable chorus?)

Lyrically, the song isn't terribly complicated: Lyrics Born (a.k.a. Tim Shimura) isn't sure what that girl did to him, but he likes it, loves it, and is even going to dedicate rhymes to her on stage. (In the Facebook era, intimacy in pop isn't what it used to be.) But at a time when too much rap feels grim and cumbersome, the throwback vibe of "I Like It, I Love It" speaks to simple, often distant pleasures — a moment when hip-hop, pop, R&B and a sing-along hook rolled together as one.

Listen to yesterday's Song of the Day, and subscribe to the Song of the Day newsletter.

This story originally ran on May 16, 2008.

Purchase Featured Music

Everywhere at Once

Purchase Music

Purchase Featured Music

Everywhere at Once
Lyrics Born

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?




Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from