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Impressions: Lyric Michelle

Impressions: Lyric Michelle
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By Jordan Davis
Photos by Zazil Farfan

 
 
Though new to me, it seems Lyric Michelle is generating a pretty nice fan base here in Houston. So to prepare myself for her show I did a little research and found she had an article in Rolling Stone in April of last year and was on SXSW in 2014 and 2015. Pretty impressive for someone who’s most popular song on YouTube has 8,000 views.

There was a pretty nice turnout for her album release party, far more than I was expecting. The opening acts leading up to Ms. Michelle were pretty good. The night started with Corbin Dallas who wowed us all with his amazing singing voice. And I was caught off guard by the ferocious rhymes from Kyle Hubbard. They were both pretty tight, but it was obvious everyone was there for one reason.

Finally it’s that time, Lyric Michelle is about to perform and the crowd is all a-fire, eagerly awaiting her entrance on stage. She walks out on stage, projected on the wall behind her was the name of the album, Miss Direction with the D shown backwards.. I laughed a little. Immediately, by her style, I could tell she was a big fan of Erykah Badu and Lauryn Hill — great artist to be influenced by. So I was expecting to hear powerful lyrics, about women’s empowerment, fuck the man, black power all that good stuff. She is very poetic, intelligent and I can definitely see great potential. It’s pretty apparent that she’s still in her larval stage as an performer though. The first few songs started off a little rough you could tell she was nervous, but progressively throughout the night you could see her confidence building. A lot of her songs are very intimate, I can feel she puts a lot of her personal experiences and emotions in her words. Halfway through her set it was obvious she was getting tired, but I imagine it’s not easy to spit fire all the time. One thing she’s really good at is throwing words at you so quickly it’ll make you go “What did she just say?” It was like machine gun fire, impressive, but it was really hard to comprehend sometimes. There is one line that irked me a little “ I’m a Good Girl, Fuck a Bad Bitch”. Why does that bother me so much? I don’t know maybe it’s because of how provocatively she dresses? Maybe it’s because she sets up a false dichotomy — as if a woman can be only one or the other. She looks like a pretty Bad Bitch to me but in a good way…

 

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Overall her performance on stage was exciting, she has a lot of energy and a lot to say. Accompanied by a live band and a few special guest like Suraiye and Kam Franklin, it was a nice compliment to her poetic rhymes. I’m curious to see her progression in the upcoming years I don’t hear too many female rappers coming out of Houston, and if this is her 2nd LP release, I can only expect great things to come in the future from Lyric Michelle.

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