(June 2002) | Interview By: Westcoast2K|
Westcoast2k presents an exclusive
Defari interview, we talked about his upcoming album "Odds & Evens", the
Likwit reunion album, his mad slept on "LA's Own Billy The Kid" album, his
failed deal with Open Bar and much more.
WC2K - So You Still Teach?
Defari - Nah Man, I havent taught since 98.
WC2K - Why Did You Stop?
Defari - You know, I do Music Full Time, so I dont really have the time
WC2K - What subjects did you teach?
Defari - I tought History and Geography.
WC2K - So, Can You Tell Us How You Started in the Rap Game and How You Got
Defari - Yeah.....Well I started off Dj-ing when I was a young kid. And then I
started writin rhymes in like about 86, 87. And then my first professional
release was in 95 with E-Swift... yeah, we put out Big Up. And I been down
with the Alkaholik crew ever since then. So its goin on 8 years now. I had
independent singles and then I had a major release on Tommy Boy in 99. And now
Im lookin to put my second major release out. Odds & Evens is the name of the
WC2K - Can You Talk About Odds & Evens? Is it already done and do you have any
guests on there?
Defari - Its not done yet, but its about halfway through though. Right now the
producers, Im workin with Evidence, E-Swift. Fred Wreck got about 3 songs on
there. Imma still fuck with Alchemist. And then I got some new producers, like
a guy named Nucleus, he is on Battlewax Records. I wanna bring some new people
too, you know what Im sayin? And the guest appearances, I got a song with King
T and J-Ro called Likwit Kings, I got a song with Tash called Extra Thought, I
got a song with Evidence that we about to do. I got another song with Phil The
Agony. Its pretty much keepin it local.
WC2K - And you chosed the first single yet?
Defari - Uhh Yeah Yeah, the first single that we gonna release is called
"Spell My Name".
WC2K - And whens the album coming out?
Defari - Im tryin to get it out late this year. Late 2002. So, Im just in
negotiations process right now with High Times. They're actually real
interested in me and Im very excited about them as well. So, we're tryin to
just work it out, do like a Co-deal or somthin.
WC2K - How is the new album different from your last projects?
Defari - Well, the last record was more of a freestyle exhibition with like a
few conceptual cuts like Juggle Me, These Dreams, 405 Friday's and Lowlands.
But most of the album was more just like a freestyle, you know. Whereas this
album is real thoro man. I really took my time in and gettin the best songs,
really good songs, you know. So, this album is a invitation to the whole
world, welcoming them into my world. I'm really inviting everybody to come and
ride with me in my world for a minute.
WC2K - And what are going to be some of the topics you address on this album?
Defari - Man I got like, for example I got a song about the important male
figures in my life. You know, like my father, my uncle, my grandfather for
example. I kinda got like the love song. But its like different, its a total
different angle that you ever heard, you know what Im sayin. I got like...of
course I got the party cuts, the smokin, drinkin and havin fun song. I also
got the hardcore songs, like Spell My Name is a real hardcore song. Lettin
people know, or re-know, who Defari is, because I feel like I gotta
re-introduce myself to the world, you know what I'm sayin? And then....what
other songs are on there. I got a song about the street life in Los Angeles. I
got.....man...another song about some stuff that happened in my childhood. Its
like you know, I'm just goin all over the place with it really. I got a song
about Tree, you know what im sayin?? I got a song basically kinda just breakin
down my whole rollercoaster ride that I been through over the past 3 years,
you know? It's real deep. Im open it up, on this album Im open it up to
WC2K - The album was supposed to drop on Open Bar, didnt it?
Defari - Yeah, well...what happend was, I got into it, a deal with Open Bar.
But Open Bar never really was a label. So it was kinda the wrong system for
me. So I had to end that marriage too, you know. Just like Tommy Boy.
WC2K - It seems like there’s a lot more unity on the West now than before,
like 4 or 5 years ago. It seems like everyone is sort of together now. what Do
You Think About that?
Defari - Well Yeah...Like Im on that, for example..A perfect album that shows
the unity is the tribute to Roger Troutman. I'm on that record. And its like a
whole bunch of west coast artists. So, thats the perfect example. I think
you're right, there is more unity than it used to be. But at the same time, we
still got a long way to go to though.
WC2K - Back To Your Album, You Got Any Goals, Maybe Sales Wise?
Defari - Nah, I'm not really...Cause I know Imma do 3, 4 times better than I
did on Tommy Boy, because Tommy Boy is a shit label. You know what Im sayin?
So, I dont really have a number mark that I'm reachin for. I just really want
my vision to get across to the people. And thats why I been takin my time
because I got a vision for this record. And I just dont wanna put it out half
ass. I want my vision to come to life as I see it. You know what I mean?
WC2K - Are You guys planning to release a Likwit album?
Defari - Maaan, we're workin on that too, right now. We got a few gots here
and there, like about 5 songs, but they're all spread out on different
people's stuff. But we're lookin to do that right now.
WC2K - Are You on King Tee's New Album?
Defari - Yeah I Am. There like 2 songs on the album we did.
WC2K - And whens King T's album coming out?
Defari - I don't know man [laughs], thats a good question man. I dont even
know. I mean I wish he'd come out this summer, you know what I mean? But yeahh....I
know he was on Ruthless or whatever..but I dont know how he's workin it out.
WC2K - What other projects are you working on right now?
Defari - Ohh, we're workin on the new Dilated Record. And I got some songs on
the Phil The Agony Record.
WC2K - Ohh yeah, whens the Phil The Agony Record coming out?
Defari - I dont know, thats another thing I dont know. We're also workin on
the King T album of course. And basically, I just been concentratin on myself.
I just been workin on my record really.
WC2K - What Do You see Yourself Doing in like 5 or 10 years?
Defari - Maaan, hopefully I'll be on... 5, 10 years I'll see myself probably
on my 5th album. Because I got a lot of fire left in me man. I got so much
fire that I feel the world needs to be exposed to. So, I didnt come in the
game for just one album. I came in the game as a true recording artist. I
really wanna give the people all of my creativity, so Im at least good for 4
or 5 more records.
WC2K - What artists have you not worked with, and would you like to work with
in the future?
Defari - Well, I been blessed cause I was fortunate enough to work with Livin
Legend and Dr. Dre when I was on the Chronic Album. Basically man, theres a
lot of people that I'd love to work with. Thats a tough question. Because Im a
real music fan. So, its people Id love to work with from soul legends, like a
soul grade like [...] to hip hop people like Nas. And producers like, from
E-Swift to Dj Quik. So its all kind of people I'd like to work with. Thats a
WC2K - You mentioned Dre, how did you hook up with him for his album?
Defari - Well, Xzibit just called me down to the studio. It wasnt even planned
or nothing. The song was up, they were playin it back and I peeped out what
everybody was doin and we were startin our verse with an old L.A. verse. So I
just felt right into it, and I spit it. And Dre was like 'Whats that? Let Me
Hear That Again!?'. And I spit it again and he was like 'You Wanna Get Up In
The Booth'. I was like 'Shit!!', man thats like askin Kobe do he want the
Ball. You know what I'm sayin? [Laughs]
WC2K - So You Have A Favorite MC Or Artist Right Now?
Defari - Well....my favorite MC is me...but uhhh....[Laughs]...Nah..I tell you
this, I tell you what I really really love. I love the Stillmatic, because Nas
is so thoro. He's so thoro. Lyrically and musicly. So, I really admire and
respect Nas. Ive spit alot times with that record. But Im always on some new
shit. I'm always bangin new shit in the car and whatnot...you know...but thats
one album that kinda stands out to me.
WC2K - What Is Your Fav Song Ever That Your Recorded?
Defari - Thats a good question man..Umm, I think my favorite song that I've
ever done is.....hmm......thats tough. I dont know. Maybe between Say It Twice
and 405 Fridays. 405 Fridays is a song that is real dear to my hearth. Cause
that was the time of my life when I was doing certain things, and that song
really represents L.A. So, I really love that song. Like, Everytime I do it
live, I just love that song [Laughs]. Everytime Im performin its like, we just
WC2K - Do You Prefer Commercial Acclaim or Underground Respect?
Defari - Shit I prefer both. Yeah, I prefer both. But at the same time, I know
where my audience is. And I just wanna flood my audience with material. I dont
care about the pop audience, I dont care about the fuckin Britney Spears
audience. I dont care about the Snoop Dogg audience and all that stuff. You
know, my audience is the people who read like High Times Magazine, and the
Skaters. And all the fuckin underground heads. And the College heads. Those is
really my audience. And I just wanna flood them with good material.
WC2K - What was the deal with your 'LA's Own Billy The Kid' album that you
dropped last year.
Defari - Yeah, that was an experiment. Uhh, that was my label, LA's Own Billy
The Kid, that is my label yeah. And that was an experiment and see where the
streets art turns up, just an experiment on projects. I just happend to star
in the first episode. Those are different wild west episodes that supposed to
feature different Likwit crew members. And all those albums will be like that.
WC2K - So there Is a sequel on the way?
Defari - Yeah. The next one I wanna feature J-Ro on it. So we just gotta get
together and put it on together.
WC2K - You been on the road a lot the past few years, what's it like touring
with Xzibit and Tha Liks.
Defari - I mean uhh, it was all just a blessing expierence. I mean when I was
on tour just recently with Tha Liks on the X.O. Str8 No Chaser Tour we was on
tour for 2 months. And I been on bigger tours and I been on smaller tours than
that. However, that was the best funniest tour Ive ever been on. Yeah, it was
just the funniest. And touring with Xzibit, we had alot of good time as well.
WC2K - What do you like more, making music in the studio or performing live?
Defari - Oh I like live. Yeah I like it live. Alkaholik MC's we pride
ourselves on life performances. And all of our loyal fans, they tell you that.
Theyll be like 'their albums are dope, but when you see them live, its even
doper'. You know what Im sayin? And thats what it is for me, gettin down live.
WC2K - You Got A Message For All the fans and supporters out there?
Defari - Yeah, hell yeah. I wanna tell all the fans first off, I love ya.
Alkaholik Crew we love ya. Second off, look for Defari's new album Odds &
Evens. And all you heads keep goin to the stores, cause I got a new single
called Smack Your Face produced by Dj Revolution, which will be out next
month. And Imma just keep blazin the streets with my major release, look for
all that stuff this summer. Odds & Evens, Defari.