Defari conducted by Hugo Lunny  

Defari Interview

April 2002

These are the transcripts of an interview with Defari. The interview was conducted by Hugo Lunny on April 29th, 2002. Defari is best known through his affiliation with Tha Alkaholiks and Xzibit. In 1999 he released his debut album 'Focused Daily' and is looking to release his forthcoming album "Odds & Evens" later in the year.

MVRemix: What was your first experience with the greener substance?

Defari: With what?

MVRemix: With weed.

Defari: Oh with Trees? Probably like 12th grade.

MVRemix: And how was it?

Defari: It was cool. I'm still doing it today, haha.

MVRemix: Do you read High Times magazine at all?

Defari: Yeah, yeah, I read it.

MVRemix: How did you become part of the High Times compilation?

Defari: What happened was, myself and E-Swift... E-Swift had an ill beat for me, he had a project going. I jumped on the beat, next thing you know it's a single. That's pretty much how it happened.

MVRemix: Do you see a point where you'll return to teaching?

Defari: No because I never really liked being in the classroom. If I did anything, it would probably be behind the scenes. Administrative or something to do with children's television, I don't know.

MVRemix: Are you much of a DJ. I remember 'Juggle Me' and how that was created to be played with using you do much of that yourself?

Defari: Yeah, yeah, I've got a cool set at the house man and about fifteen crates of records.

MVRemix: Which genre do you prefer to play with?

Defari: In terms of records? I like mainly Hip Hop but I can spin it all - Rn'B, soul... I even have some crates with some old house records.

MVRemix: How did you get down with Tha Alkaholiks, Xzibit etc.?

Defari: Well, in '95. Myself and E-Swift did a song called 'Big Up' which was my first public release, it was on Immortal records. After that, I've been down with them ever since, it's now going on seven and a half years, so...

MVRemix: Are we likely to see anymore material from LA's own Billy The Kidd?

Defari: Haha...yeah, definitely. In fact we just re-released 'Say It Twice' with the new B-Side, a brand new B-Side that has never been heard.

MVRemix: Word had it that you were going to release your next album through Xzibit's label, but I read in an interview, and I quote that that deal "Will never be inked." Can you elaborate a bit on the situation?

Defari: It's real simple dawg. The situation there wasn't really for me to play and excel in. It wasn't the right marriage; there are both sides of the fence. I was on Tommy Boy and that was a shitty marriage, and here I was on Open Bar and that was also not the right marriage, so. Now I'm looking into and really excited about doing something with High Times.

MVRemix: If you could choose a label to be on, sort of a "dream" label. Which would it be and why?

Defari: Maybe High Times will be my dream label, I don't even know yet.

MVRemix: So you're going to put your album out through them?

Defari: We're talking heavily right now on doing some co-venture type of stuff. Which I'm very excited about. But just through what I've seen over the years, any rappers' dream label would be Def Jam.

MVRemix: What's going on with Pico Long (Defari & Phil Tha Agony), can we expect an LP any time soon?

Defari: When myself and Phil find the right home for it, definitely. We've got like a three song demo right now. We need to get back in the lab and just record some more songs.

MVRemix: What can you tell me about "Odds & Evens"?

Defari: Oh, "Odds & Evens," now there you go. I'm about halfway through the record now, about eight or nine songs in. Basically, the title - I called it "Odds & Evens" because of the long roller coaster ride that I've been on since "Focused Daily," through the good and the bad times of the music industry. I feel that I'm beating the odds and I'm about to get even. I also feel that any cut that you pick on the album is just a headbanger. I'm real excited about this album because I've taken my time, I've done this research. And I've put a lot of heartfelt songs on this album, this is my first worldwide introduction to the public to invite them into my world. "Focused Daily" was kind of a bad exhibition with a few conceptual songs, but this album is thorough man, very thorough.

MVRemix: Who did you work with on it? Which producers are featured?

Defari: Well, I've got my core producers E-Swift and Evidence. I'm bringing out a new producer by the name of Nucleus, he's over at Battle Axe. I'm also working on something with Alchemist of course, and I've got about three songs with Fred Wreck, who's known for working with Snoop and whatnot. I've still got some songs with my homies Barbershop. Other than that though, I'm not really into piggybacking off of million dollar producers. Hip Hop is about bringing out your sound and establishing your sound with new producers. Everybody pretty much knows my core sound with Evidence and E-Swift.

MVRemix: You said that "Focused Daily" was kind of a freestyle exhibition. Now, is a freestyle, a freestyle if it was written?

Defari: Yeah, definitely, I mean then you have the true sense of "free-styling" that's coming off of the head, right? But a freestyled rhyme, going way back to the origins of Hip Hop. Freestyle rhyme is just a rhyme that is not conceptually written. You know, like a braggadocios rhyme. Just basically a freestyle biggin' up the emcee, those are freestyle rhymes.

MVRemix: What are you most proud or least proud of creating?

Defari: Hahaha...which do you want first?

MVRemix: Lets start with least proud first...

Defari: In terms of which song that I'm least proud of being on?

MVRemix: Yeah, which song would you like have nobody know that Defari had any involvement in?

Defari: That's crazy, that's a crazy question because it's interesting that I'm not blessed to really have that dilemma. I think the stuff that I've been on I've always felt full hearted about it. I've never thought it was that weak. But, let me see, what was the weakest shit that I've ever been on?

Probably the "Bomb Worldwide Compilation," yeah, that was kind of weak. Haha.

MVRemix: In contrast, what about the best?

Defari: "Some LA Niggaz" from the Chronic album, right. That ranks up there just for the experience of working with a true legend, Dr. Dre. But I mean, the Dilated album, the last "Expansion Team." That song is really dear to my heart, though it's not a full song, that rhyme is real dear to my heart. I gave them probably the best rhyme that I had had at the time.

MVRemix: Aside from your album, is there anything else you've been working on? Guest appearances and that sort of thing.

Defari: Yeah, yeah, we're working on the new Dilated album. I've got a few guest appearances on the new Phil Tha Agony album, and I'm on the Roger Troutman tribute album. I've got a song on there. Basically, I've been working a lot on my stuff. I've got a new single coming out produced by DJ Revolution called 'Smack Ya Face' that should get released right here in May. I've just been really concentrating on me, man. People call me a lot of time for guest appearances, but I'm very picky about choosing the spots that I put my voice onto. I won't just go over anybody's beat, I've got to feel the artist, I've got to feel the movement that they're about.

MVRemix: Lastly are there any last words you'd like to put to fans and/or potential fans that might read this?

Defari: Hell yeah, I want to tell all of them...get "Odds & Evens" - the new album from Defari. "Odds & Evens."

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