As one of the most underrated emcees, not only in the West Coast but in the whole industry, Defari has emerged as one of the most talented up and coming emcees in the recently revitalized West Coast underground scene. His smooth raspy flow and insightful yet hard-core lyricism has gained him a strong backing in the West, but unfortunately the rest of the Hip Hop world has yet to catch on. However as of late, Defari has seemed to get in a groove so to speak, putting out nothing but heat. Both his performances on the Dilated Peoples "Expansion Team" (Defari Interlude) and The High & Mighty's EC Allstars II (Look Into My Eyes) are some of his finest works, and helped open peoples eyes to the talent that Defari holds. Along with numerous guest appearances, Defari has definitely laid some good groundwork to hype his up and coming full-length album. To hold fans off and give those unfamiliar with his sound a chance to get to know him, Defari decided to release a six track EP entitled "LA Collection," which features his recent 12 inch material released over the past year or so.
"LA Collection" is a nice holdover until his full-length album and features a pleasant arrangement of tracks, including sequels of two of his finest material. As those familiar with Defari know, lyrically he has stepped up his game the past year. Simply put, Defari isn't your "average" West Coast emcee consumed with the same tales of bitches, blunts and gangbangin'. Defari is able to put out a variety of topics ranging from political/conscious to hard-core. "Bionic II" and "Keep It On The Rise Part II" are both nicely laced West Coast anthems that personify the Defari sound perfectly. While not as satisfying as the originals, they still hold up to the standards set upon them. However, it's on the Babu produced "Behold My Life" where Defari really goes to work, ripping the track to shreds and proving all doubters wrong.
Even though "LA Collection" is a very solid effort from Defari, the only aspect, which disappoints is some of the production. While lyrically Defari is as solid as ever, the production aspect doesn't hold up as well as previous Defari albums. "Joyride" and "I Can't Wait" both featured excellent performances from Defari behind the mic, but Evidence's production leaves much to be desired, as it tends to end up a little boring and repetitive. And the newly released 12 inch "Smack Ya Face" has gained some buzz recently, but DJ Revolution's production behind the board isn't up to his normal standards, and definitely takes away from the track.
Nevertheless, "LA Collection" is a nice pick up for West Coast fans, especially those unable to pick up the tracks on vinyl. And even though Defari may not get much love beyond the West Coast, he is still one of the brightest young stars in the game, and with the right opportunity, could very well be the next big thing out of the West.