Monday, Aug 14 2006 | 12:07

When it came to conceptualizing his third album, revered lyricist Defari took it to the streets. “I took the advice of my fans, and they told me my best effort was Focused Daily,” he says of the conversations that resulted in his stunning new album “Street Music“. “So, I wanted to take it back to “Focused Daily” and turn it up times 20. That’s what Street Music is about. That’s where hip-hop began. That’s what I am, a hip-hop artist, and that’s what I’m giving them, a straight bang-out.”

With Defari’s next-level lyricism and poised flows, as well as stellar production from Evidence (Dilated Peoples), The Alchemist, Mike City, DJ Babu (Dilated Peoples), Superstar Quamallah and E-Swift (Alkaholiks), “Street Music” hits on all cylinders. Head-nodding lead single “Make My Own” is a testament to believing in yourself. On “Peace And Gangsta”, Defari (who has worked with Dr. Dre, Xzibit, Tha Alkaholiks and Dilated Peoples, among others) flexes a spicy, bouncy delivery, while he shouts out mentor Bigga B on future West Coast anthem “West West”. The latter shows that a non-gangster rapper from the West Coast can represent for the region. “It embraces everybody from the West Coast, not just people from gangbanging culture,” Defari explains. “It’s for everybody that loves hip-hop and rap music.”

The classic soul sound of “Burn Big” provides a platform for Defari to flex his sharp braggadocio and social commentary talents, something he also does on the crisp, funky “People Trip”. “We all trip”, Defari says of the inspiration for “People Trip”. “We’re talking about Street Music, and that’s what goes on in the streets, people loving, clashing, rubbing elbows, drinking, smoking, honking horns, fighting. If you can’t get used to that, then you need to go turn yourself into a psych ward and get away from people.”

Elsewhere, Defari teams with Dilated Peoples to address rappers who perpetrate frauds in their lyrics and with their images on the humorous “Clowns”. “Rap is like the E! channel to the streets”, Defari explains. “If you’ve murdered everybody and you’re going to say it all over the song, how come you’ve never been locked deep? It’s basically a song that says, ‘Stop lying’.”

Defari then recounts the violence that has claimed the lives of his friends on the somber “Vultures”. “Vultures is my editorial on gun violence”, he says. “Unfortunately, they’re all true stories. I know those people and they all happened in my backyard. To this very day, it really affects me. It pisses me off and saddens me. I ended the album like that on purpose. I’m saying rest in peace and I’m putting it to closure.”

Fortunately, Defari has had the opportunity to spread his hard-hitting, lyrically advanced and sonically stirring brand of hip-hop throughout the world by touring with Dilated Peoples, Little Brother and others. Expect more of the same with Street Music, an album that represents rap in its essence. “The thematic mission of the record is to bring back hip-hop, to bring back the bang-out”, Defari says. “The album is custom built for audio systems that can handle it. Street Music is a steroid album. It’s a Barry Bonds album.”

Time to muscle up.


01. Hardworker
02. Either Dead Or In Jail feat. Tuffy and Boo Kapone
03. Congratulations
04. Peace And Gangsta
05. Make My Own feat. Evidence
06. West West
07. We’ve Been Doin’ This feat. Deadly Threat and J Ro
08. Burn Big
09. Barwork
10. Deepest Regards feat. B.Real and J Ro
11. People Trip
12. Clowns feat. Dilated Peoples
13. The Bizness
14. Don’t Be Mad At Me
15. Vultures

The album DefariStreet Music” (ABB) has been released August 04, 2006.

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