Video Vision: The San Francisco Music Portal

Defari: MC
March, 1999


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VV: How did you get your start, you went to Berkeley.. you got some degrees at Berkeley?

Defari: (D): I got one degree at Berkeley, a bachelors in Sociology. Now I got an MA from Columbia in New York.

VV: How did you get your start making records and rhymin'?

I just started writing rhymes in '87 more or less. In '86 when KDAY, that was the main station in LA, when they broke Rakim's Eric B is President, songs like T La Rocks It's Yours, other some of the other hot stuff that was out there like Stet, a whole lot of stuff was influencing me so I just started trying to write songs. And then there was a black consciousness movement back then, a lot of my early lyrics were I think a little too heavy for a lot people based on what I was reading. So it took a lot of years writing music till I had something that I could actually drop on wax, and that cats would bubble, you know.


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VV: As far as production and producers, did you do your own or bring somebody on board?

D: Well I have all my own producers. E-Swift from the Likwit, Evidence form the Violator, Alchemist and Barber Shop Drevin. So everybody but E-Swift is brand new, and that's how hip-hip, from my understanding, that's how you're supposed to come in the game, with your sound. Then, if you can broaden it from there then it's all bonus, you gotta have your sound instead of piggy backing. So I'm really set on that. The next album I'm talking to Prino, talking to Prince Paul, Beatnuts, JuJu, Ski, Jinx, but I'm gonna mainly stay with my core..


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VV: Who else have you worked with?

D: Recently we did this remix with Latifah, umm.. Premier, Hih and Mighty on their Dilated album, with AG & Xzibit, Brasco.

VV: Tell me about the Likwit Crew?

D: The Likwit Crew is the hardest crew on the West Coast, straight up and down, people know that, people know this. The Alkoholiks though, it started with King-T and he brought the Lix in, and they brought X to the Z in and Lupac, Barber Shop MC's, and I joined in '95. It's been a blessing because 4 groups are signed acts. It's a crew, made up of a collection of groups.. we hang everyday, not just for shows.


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VV: What's in the works for the next year with you?

D: The new single Low Lands Anthem. Follow up with the Likwit connection video, and we dropping Juggle for the DJ's and try to come with the next album by the fall, back to school time somewhere around there, I been working on it already about 9 songs deep right now. We're gonna tour April 15 - May 15th.

Interviewer: Lee Evans

Camera: Chris Atlas

Photos & Transcription: Lee Evans

Editor: Catherine Lee

© 1999, 2000 Evans Media Group, Inc.