Defari: Street Music

[12 October 2006]

By Steven J. Horowitz

Likwit Crew member Defari has inevitably succumbed to one of Newton’s essential laws of physics, inertia, where an object in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted upon by an outside force. In Defari’s case, solo-dom began with the terrific disc Focused Daily, which matched the progressive quality of his Crew’s previous releases, but as the years wore on, Defari began to lose his momentum as his beloved West Coast failed to act as a reliable muse. On his newest endeavor, Street Music, Defari seems to be rolling to a standstill, with 15 tracks of recycled West Coast idioms and stunted verbal delivery that shy from breaking new ground. Paired with production suspiciously resembling the “East Coast sound”, Defari exacerbates his West Coast pride on the touch-and-go “Peace & Gangsta” and “Barwork”, while he earnestly pimps his website and MySpace in rhyme on the flat “West, West” and the soul-slathered “Burn Big”. Street Music manages to boast two standouts, the Alchemist-laced “Make My Own” and surprisingly poignant “Vultures”, but unfortunately for Defari, the law of inertia is yet to be disproved in the world of physics, and unless struck with inspiration moving enough to jolt him out of spiraling mediocrity, Newton’s law may carry new weight in the West Coast music scene.

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