Bringing The World Home To You

© 2024 WUNC North Carolina Public Radio
120 Friday Center Dr
Chapel Hill, NC 27517
919.445.9150 | 800.962.9862
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Lyrics Born: Hip-Hop's Simple Pleasures

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.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit

David Browne
David Browne is a contributing editor of Rolling Stone and the author of Goodbye 20th Century: A Biography of Sonic Youth and Dream Brother: The Lives and Music of Jeff and Tim Buckley. His work has also appeared in The New York Times, The New Republic, Spin and other outlets.
More Stories