Tom Shimura, a.k.a. Lyrics Born, has seen some heady days, having collaborated with Lateef The Truth Speaker in their adventurous ’90s project Latyrx, and helped to found the independent Quannum label. These days, he seems more interested in having a good time with some hyper-charged funk tracks behind him. Either way, he’s never lacked for smart, incisive rhymes and a decent-dude attitude that helps just about anybody get into the fun. On his latest album, As U Were, he dabbles in other people’s styles, with individual tracks aping Cee-Lo, Justin Timberlake, and Nate Dogg. It has its flaws, but there’s something undeniable about his good humor and distinctively conversational flow.