interview DEFARI  (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 anymore.

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 Into it?

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 album.

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 people.

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 tough question.

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 bubble out.

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.




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