cool. I'm a little tired but it is what it is.
Music has been out for a week now. Are you happy with how it's doing?
I'm happy with the response I'm getting more so than anything.
Music come out how you wanted it to?
It came out
exactly how I wanted it to. It's super.
be described as an underground MC before you'd be described as a commercial
MC yet these beats are far from underground beats. What did you look for
in the beats?
to give them good, solid hip-hop that really slaps. This is for the cars.
My whole focus was to construct an album that's custom-built for car stereos.
That's pretty much what I did. That's what Street Music is all about.
It's about the music that knocks people's heads. It's funny. You're right.
They've pegged me as underground but my album is slapping harder than
major releases. It's crazy, man. There's no limits to what you can do
with this music.
pay attention to your labels?
I just pay
attention to my lane, my fans and the other good product that's out there.
I don't care about any other label out there to be honest with you. (laughs)
I just do me.
definitely having some fun on "Clowns" with Dilated Peoples.
How many clowns are in the game today?
so many. There are so many fictitious characters that you couldn't even
count. We're talking about the rappers on that song. How could you have
killed so many people? How could you have said so much incriminating stuff
and never been locked up? It's just an editorial. The bottom line at the
end of the day is can the fans thoroughly enjoy the music? Me being a
fan of hip-hop music, the question is do I still enjoy it? The answer
is yes, I do. At the same time there are instances where you're just like,
"Aw, man, come on." I still fill my iPod up with new music.
I still have new CD's. I still have new mixtapes. I still enjoy it.
Work" is just you straight spitting. Are you in your best element
on songs like that?
definitely. You hit the nail on the head. That's kind of a rhetorical
question because you already knew the answer. That's my lane all day.
art of straight rhyming dying out?
Not at all.
For example, Busta's album. He's straight spitting. The Killa Season,
Cam is straight spitting. You just have to pick and choose your MC's and
you have to pick and choose what you listen to. It's not dying out, but
I will tell you, on the radio it's dead unless you hear the Game or Nas
or somebody like that. But for the most part it's dead on the radio.
As a former
DJ, is it ever tough listening to the radio?
LA radio because they ride the dick of the South. LA radio is just wack
except for Julio G and people like Mister Chock. You have people like
DJ Revolution and Felli Fel who still have an open ear for hot shit regardless
of where it's from, but the regular radio is just wack.
not just New York that's fucking up.
Oh no, it's
not just New York. It's corporate. It's the same shit and the same sentiments
across the country.
see the momentum swinging back to the West soon?
I can't predict
the future. I couldn't tell you if it's going to happen. Do I even care
about something like that? Not really because I've been across the seven
seas doing this "West Coast music." They love it. They love
the West even though we don't get the props we deserve. At the same time,
we're not even tripping off of that. We keep it moving.
a hard track for you to do?
a nerve, definitely, at the time when I was recording. When I heard it
back it made me definitely pour myself a double or triple-shot of something.
It touched a nerve. It's a very heartfelt song and it's the right way
to end the album. Street Music has no low moments. It's all a bang-out.
I couldn't think of a better way to end the record than with a respectful
Rest in Peace song.
always hear about the other side of violence on songs.
you get songs like "Clowns" as well. There's all this talk about
how much guns you bust, but what about the flipside of the coin with all
those victims. All the stories are true in "Vultures." I knew
all of them, Rest in Peace. Those are true stories from these LA streets.
put your lyrics in the album jacket. Why did you do that?
to Beni B and Diane over at ABB and Justin who constructed, along with
my critiques, constructed the entire artwork. My hat goes off to them.
They wanted to really give that to the fans. They wanted to show you that
this is why you buy the album. You can enjoy it better if you actually
have the physical hardware.
artists printed their lyrics it'd be easier to see the buffoonery.
get a chance to read what I'm spitting and I think that's important because
it takes on a different type of phenomenon in your mind. I remember reading
the lyrics to Michael Jackson's Thriller and singing along and that was
do you think most artists don't print their lyrics?
I can tell
you why. It's probably because whoever the A&R is doesn't know shit
about music. He has no record collection. His fingers never got dusty.
He or she doesn't appreciate music, period. That used to be status quo,
bro. Every album had the lyrics inside. You could not get a Stevie Wonder
album without the lyrics. We kind of took it back to that which I thought
was real dope.
Daily is a great album. Was that album looking over your shoulder during
the making of Street Music?
The fans concur with you. Even though I thought Odds and Evens was a better
effort, it doesn't matter what I think. It matters what you guys think.
I took it back. I took all of your thoughts and took it back to Focused
Daily and turned it up a notch with Street Music. The album is custom-built
for all of you who loved Defari when I dropped Focused Daily. We're doing
it all over again but this time it's way crazier. It's more juiced up.
It's more grown.
not happy with how people perceived Odds and Evens?
I'm not going
to lie to you. I wasn't happy with the effort of the company because I
knew I had the music. Every time I perform certain songs off that record
like "Slumpy," "Spell My Name" and "Behold My
Life." Those are a lot of people's favorites. I just thought it was
a half-assed effort by the particular company I was in bed with at the
time. That's neither here nor there. You can't cry over spilt milk. You
have to keep it moving.
Junkies album with DJ Babu was dope. Are you happy with how that did?
We were a
new group so anything we got we were happy with. The only thing is because
of our conflicting schedules and Babu doing the Dilated stuff at the time,
we were only able to spot date. We weren't able to tour for that record.
That probably hurt us in the long run. We received critical acclaim for
that record and we're actually starting the next record as we speak.
Likwit Crew album ever going to happen?
I got the
same question, bro. I'm here. I'm ready, but I can't speak for other grown
men. I'm like you, man. I'm in the dark with that one. Technically Likwit
Crew should be on their fifth album. It's not just me who wants it. It's
the fans. They've been wanting it from us. It is what it is. Just know
that everybody who's reading this, just know that Defari has been down
to do that record forever.
discovered you and Xzibit among others. Do they get the respect they deserve
for who they've broken?
great question. I'll be honest with you. I don't think they do. I think
they only get respect from those who know. In general, no. Do they get
their deserved respect for putting Xzibit and myself on? The people who
know, yeah. From the general public, no.
disappointed Firewater was their last album as a group?
I'm not on it. (laughs) I'm definitely disappointed. I wasn't so much
disappointed in their decision but I was disappointed I wasn't on it.
There's no bad blood or nothing. Those are my folks. It is what it is.
you learn working with Bigga B?
Rest in Peace.
Bigga gave me the op when nobody was giving me the op to get down and
to show what I got. He gave it to me several times. Man. You couldn't
come through LA and not do Unity if you were calling yourself a hip-hop
artist. You could not come through LA and not do Unity unless you were
just a rap artist. Wu-Tang Clan, Dilated, Cypress Hill, The Roots, Gangstarr,
Jeru the Damaja, Ghostface, it goes on and on and on. Bigga B was a cornerstone
for hip-hop in LA at its premium level. What people should know is we're
trying to bring Unity back beginning in November. My guy Chace of Self-Scientific
is Bigga B's first cousin. He's going to hit it off. We're going to do
a big gala concert for the first Unity concert coming in November.
you have to do from here on out to have Street Music reach its potential?
I just have
to touch the people. That's all. No more, no less. I just have to touch
them. The proof's in the pudding because when I hit the stage it goes
down in a real way. That's me at my best. I just have to touch the people.
To all the promoters out there tapping in, you can hit me at the MySpace
and believe me, I'll get at you.
to do the teaching thing. Do you see yourself getting back into it?
Not in the
classroom, but behind the scenes eventually. I'm credentialed enough to
where I can be a Master's Teacher where I can be a social studies coach
or administrator. There's no benefits in hip-hop.
you want to say to everybody?
I just want
to thank everybody who's copped Street Music and who keeps hitting me
with the wonderful comments on the MySpace. Thank you so much. I appreciate
all of you. If you haven't heard it, Street Music is probably the best
hip-hop album out right now. It's real slap music. You can put it up next
to any other record out and I can guarantee that it will probably blow
that music out. Check it out. You need the CD to really feel the album.