The schizophrenic trend is alive and well, from Kool Keith's many persona's, to RZA's Bobby Digital to Defari's Billy The Kidd. Many emcees seem to like to experiment with different persona's in order to create quality material/expand their material's content. Sometimes it works brilliantly, other times it doesn't. Defari with 'Billy The Kidd' manages to do a pretty good job of it. Although Defari doesn't really switch up his style, he does have a theme to his Billy The Kidd persona - a Western-ish, Cowboy-esque feel.
'Saloon Music' consists of some recently released tracks, a couple of new ones and Defari's first ever joint. Plus, Phil Da Agony's 'Clear The Lane' featuring Defari. The release also has within it a nice line up of interludes and producers. Defari or Billy The Kidd enlisted production from the likes of Evidence, Alchemist, E-Swift and Joey Chavez.
Released earlier in the year were the white label 12"s for 'Say It Twice' and 'The Unforgettable'/'Aged Whiskey, Aged Remy.' Both 12"s were well received but the exposure given on them wasn't that huge because they were white label releases. However, as it stands these tracks, the previously released joints, are the best on the LP. Evidence laced the beat for 'Say It Twice,' and Defari rode it nicely. The beat feels suave and sophisticated and a relaxed Defari does his thing with it. The only point in which the track begins to lack quality is the hook, but that grows on you.
'The Unforgettable' is without a doubt my favourite joint on 'Saloon Music,' the beat (created by Barber Drevin) feels fairly swiftly paced, and yet again, Defari does his thing above it. Veronica Mendez guests upon the track to scatter her singing amidst Defari's rhymes, it works well. Plus, there's a cool interlude to kick off the joint.
Another previously released joint, which some people may recognize is 'Develop Tools' produced by Joey Chavez. It was last seen(heard) on Joey Chavez's 'After The Heat' 12" - it's a nice joint. Chavez did a nice job with the beat and hook.
Unfortunately, I wasn't feeling the new joint 'Real Not Fake' featuring Chocolate Ty. The Barber KIZ beats don't do much at all for me, and the lyrics weren't that great either. Both emcees switched up their flow to match the beat which in some respects is a good thing, but a wack beat with rhymes matched up to it doesn't get much of an improvement.
Billy The Kidd Presents 'Saloon Music' is a pretty good effort, but lets hear more Defari material as himself.