Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Fifteen Questions With A Top Flight MC.

The ability to convey a thought that can quickly be related too by the masses takes a lot of talent. True it can be argued that over the years numerous entertainers have gained status and wealth without really being overly clever or even educated for that matter. It was once said by an insanely intelligent man “whoever said that platinum record sales, equal skill preservation.”
In quoting that witty bar, we hoped to help entertain the thought of, just because someone sold a few million records, should they be truly be considered skilled at their craft?

Having a career that spans over a decade in any form of the entertainment industry takes an amount of tenacity far greater than any sports coach could imagine containing. The massive amount of critics that lay out there waiting to destroy someone’s progress before they even get off the ground are uncountable. To be able to not only have your own catalog of quality music, but to also appear on numerous critically acclaimed works with many notable artists speaks volumes for an artists respect within the musical community.

Traveling around the world more times than one can count, tearing down some of the largest stages, arenas and musical halls and being an inspirational teacher to the youth are just a few of the notches that Defari, has carved in his Tool-belt.
We hit up a longtime friend, who we have more pounds of respect for than our bodies could humanly contain to pick his brain on everything from where to find good food, to what it takes to be an MC in this current day and age.

Ladies and Gentlemen we give you, Fifteen Questions With A Top Flight MC.

Your family is largely from the south on both sides, growing up what kinds of food were eaten in your home?
Yea both sides of my family are from the south, my Mom's from Mississippi and Pop's is from Venice, but his side is from Texas.
We ate predominantly American cuisines, even the Americanized versions of other nations, but dinner was quite simple. Breakfast and the major holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving however, were always pulled off in traditional “Black southern style.”

Having traveled the world over numerous times for both business and pleasure, have you ever had a tough time finding a spot to fill yourself up before or after an intense show?
Yeah I've toured for over 14 years strong and I have had to learn that certain foods, no matter where u go, are a guarantee (success.)
Some of those being chicken and rice, spaghetti Bolognese or a pizza Margherita for example, which is just a cheese pizza (laughs.)  Supe Tomaten or cream of tomato soup is always a sure shot whenever I am in Germany. 

With a career like yours, where making money comes from having to be on point in front of thousands of people nightly, do you have strict rules to what you will and wont do when traveling outside of California?
My basic Golden rule is:
Never do Tex / Mex outside of CA. especially outside of The US. It is HORRIBLE!!! 

Where have you found has the best food?
By far the best eating in the world is in THE SUNBELT of the United States. The southern states all the way from Texas to Florida, especially places like New Orleans and North Carolina for example. That is good eating. You can never fight a good southern meal with some sweet or sun tea ya smell me.
What staple foods are always on deck in your house now?
Alot of Sh!t from Trader Joe's. Seeing that the wife is very health conscious, we have a steady plethora of American and Mexican cusine at all times ya dig.
The wife can't throw down no Black folks food seeing that she is Latin. So I gotta either go to the neighborhood and get some or go to my momma's or my auntie's house ya smell me.

Is there anything you won’t eat?
I refuse to eat Liver, Chitterlings, anything Pork related or cooked with Pork also. And that makes it hard to find good Asian food because of the cooking practices / methods. Also a lot of food I like to consider “I'M COOL Food” (Meaning he is cool if he doesn’t eat it for those not knowing) I don't play when it comes to my stomach so experimenting with my appetite will piss me off before enlightening me. I'm a grown ass man who knows what he likes period.  I respect everybody else and what they like however I will kindly refuse anybody's plate that I'm not rollin' with ya dig.
Point taken, but as smooth as you are with words I am sure no one would be offended at that. When eating in Los Angeles, where is your destination of choice?
I prefer Lawry's. And I've eaten at some of the finest restaurants in the US and abroad. But if you wanna take me to my spot. WE GOIN' TO LAWRY'S ON LA CIENEGA. Chuuuuch.

What or where, do you draw your influences from?
My Aunt June rest in peace. She was the best cook I've ever known. Truly Mississippi's finest.

For those that don’t know your history, can you give a quick rundown on how you actually get into being an MC?
I started off as a Deejay as a young kid and still deejay to this very day as a resident DJ both in LA and abroad. I wrote my first rhyme after hearing Rakim's “ERIC B. IS PRESIDENT” and recorded my first professional single in 1995  BIONIC which to this very day is a true underground classic. By 1998 I had recorded my first album FOCUSED DAILY on Tommy girl, ooops I mean Tommy Boy records (Hilarious laughter erupts. *Editors Note, Defari has never been one to mix his words or feelings when speaking on his tumultuous relationship with his former label.)
FOCUSED DAILY is heralded as a TOP 50 album of all time in EUROPE'S #1 HIP HOP periodical JUICE MAGAZINE.
From then I went on to record 5 solo albums and a group album with DJ BABU of the World Famous Beat Junkies and Dilated Peoples fame called THE LIKWIT JUNKIES - L.J.'s.
My most salient recordings are guest appearances on Dr. Dre's CHRONIC 2001 and Xzibit's RESTLESS LP.
I have an enormous discography including guest appearances on all of the DILATED PEOPLES albums since their inception. 

What projects are you currently working on?
Currently, I am working on both a new solo project entitled GOOD PROBLEMS and a new Likwit Junkies' album which we already have recorded.

For the youngsters who think there is still hope at becoming rich off the rap game what advice do you have for them?
Don't give up on a college degree nor do you want to quit your day job smell me? Livin' at your momma's house smoking weed and writing raps makes you a bum not a recording artist. There's a distinct difference.

How can you explain the drastic change in the landscape of Hip Hop over the last decade?
Two things killed Hip Hop. Glamour rap and the South. Kids now a days don't care about how hard or gangster your raps are, IGNORANCE reigns supreme.
They (the fans) love a Canadian posing as a ni**a from the hood who glorifies dropping out of high school, who can both sing and rap. That’s Cold As Ice. Now that's the music side though, the culture well, certain things have gone back underground where they belong, like Graffitti. The Asian Community has basically claimed Break Dancing so fuck it they can have it. I mean no disrespect but they are nearly 2 decades late but fuck it it's yours....maybe they'll start jerkin' in 2030 or somethin' and then go on TV and act like they created it while being judged by a select group of bum choreographers, who knows right?
Hip Hop culture is something we Black folks created in our neighborhoods that became mass marketed and commercialized and all we got to show for it is 106th and Park which is not a national state park.....but a fuckin' tv show but that's what we do for the world......GIVE IT TO YALL THEN WE MOVE ON TO THE NEXT with the attitude......FUCK IT YOU CAN HAVE IT.

That’s some true shit. I appreciate you making those honest statements because a lot of artists are scared to admit what has truly taken place to a hard earned culture.
In a different direction, people would be shocked to know that Defari Herut loves?
To see my wife admit she's wrong (Hilarious Laughter erupts once again.)

Hailing from the Mighty Likwit Crew, what kind of libations does Defari like to partake in and are there any alcoholic beverages you simply wont drink?
First I will never mix dark and light liquors, it's either a dark night or a light night smell me. I peruse mainly the top shelf of either category. The finest Vodkas to the finest Cognacs. My Jager (Jagermeister)  days are long gone as are my Goldschlager days. I'm quite simply a good ol' cowboy.
I'm perfectly fine with a Glenlevett 18 and a beer. I don't drink like a college kid nor a novice. I'm a grown ass man and I drink grown folks dranks ya smell me. I don't do the vino, but I love Champagne and when I perform I usually take a bottle of Rose on stage with me.
I used to take a bottle of Hennessy on stage but on tour I found that I was the only one drinkin' it and I'd end up with like 20 bottles by the end of tour still most of them unopened (laughs) So I changed my ryder to include a bottle of Moet Rose as I can drink that to the face and don't have to worry bout nobody else. Chuuuch. OH DID I ALSO SAY LAKERRRRZ.

Final question. Will you ever go back to teaching?
No. I loved the kids, but I never dug the gig. I didn't like it and fortunately I am a multifaceted individual with a wealth of knowledge and talent so I was able to live my dream and then even after that evolve into another career after music as I work in television now. 
I feel like I am the voice of a TRUE L.A. individual as I am not a migrant. I was born and raised here and I've lived the entire metamorphosis of L.A. in regards to Hip Hop and what we used to do and bump, versus what we do and bump nowadays. I really am a true and living walking embodiment of True LA Blackness ya smell me.WEST UP!!!

For more info on Defari and his catalog of music check www.myspace.com/defari or youtube everything he has ever done it is all on there.

1 comment:

  1. Man that was dope interview
    West West