Sixteen years later …


Latyrx is back. The hip-hop duo is now touring in support of the November 5 release of The Second Album (via its own label, Latyramid)—a follow-up to the similarly vaguely titled The Album recorded 16 years ago. Thankfully, the tour stops in Sacramento on Saturday, November 9 (10:30 p.m. at Harlow's Restaurant & Nightclub, located at 2708 J Street; tickets are $15-$18). Destructikonz opens the show.

Never heard of Latyrx? Here's the background: A pair of emcees—Lyrics Born and Lateef the Truthspeaker—first recorded together on a DJ Shadow-produced underground hip-hop track called “Latyrx” in 1996, and they've kept the name ever since. Shadow and Latyrx were both part of the Solesides collective (also featuring Blackalicious and DJ Zen) formed in 1992 at UC Davis. Solesides disbanded in 1996, eventually morphing into the larger-but-still-indie record label Quannum Projects in 1997 and moving to the Bay Area, where it remains today.

The Second Album features numerous guest producers (the Bangerz, Tune-Yards and Chris Funk of the Decemberists) and lyrical guests (including fellow Quannum artists, such as Born's wife—Joyo Velarde). But the album's greatest asset is the juxtaposition of Born and Lateef's vocals—one a scruffy tenor, the other a clean alto—which commingle atop a variety of beats, with a variety of influences, including dance club and folk rock. Each track sounds drastically different from the next, and this certainly has the effect of drawing listeners in, making them curious as to what's going to happen next.