In hip-hop, as in life, there are few things more important than family. And no one embodies the bonds of brotherhood better than The Lytics, the five-man Winnipeg crew whose bid for genre supremacy has long been a family affair.

Quite literally, in fact: Brothers Andrew and Anthony Sannie have been trading rhymes together since childhood — as has cousin Mungala Londe, who moved in with the family as a teen. The beats come courtesy of big brother Alex Sannie, who in the early days handled production duties from his bedroom and basement studios, while newly-“adopted” brother DJ Lonnie Ce has plenty of practice whipping dancefloors into a frenzy.

Proudly committed to making music “real people” can relate to, the Lytics have never been much for empty boasts and bravado, preferring instead to promote the same brand of street-level optimism espoused by early influences Mos Def, The Pharcyde, and A Tribe Called Quest. Their live shows, in particular, are straight-up life-affirming affairs, during which the group’s easy beats and infectious enthusiasm can win over the most hardened of cynics.

And that same penchant for positivity is reflected in the act’s sound — an amalgam of old-school soundscapes and boom-box bangers that celebrates, inspires and challenges. In recent years, The Lytics have expanded their scope to include everything from funk-rock to Afrobeat to ‘60s R&B; their shared turns on the mic are like a masterclass for emcees, and their vocals add a sense of soulful urgency — whether engaged in wistful rumination, or a rousing call to arms.

The Lytics — a five man hip hop crew from Winnipeg with a sound consisting of everything from hip hop to funk-rock to Afrobeat and ‘60s R&B; their music celebrates, inspires and challenges listeners to go beyond the conventions of the “usual” and aspire to something unique and completely different.

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