Saafir is known as one of the Bay Area’s greatest lyricists. Founder of the Hobo Junction crew, he first made waves in 1994 with his classic debut, The Boxcar Sessions. He followed with 1998’s indie Trigonometry, made his major label debut the following years with The Hit List, and issued Good Game: The Transition in 2006.
Many also know him as 1/3 of the short-lived supergroup Golden State, alongside Xzibit and Freestyle 101 vet Ras Kass. Or you may also remember him from his role in the film Menace II Society. But it is Hobo Junction’s controversial on-air freestyle battle with rival SF crew Hieroglyphics that many hip hop heads remember him best.
In his Freestyle 101 interview, Saafir goes into great detail about what set off this legendary KMEL battle with Del the Funky Homosapien’s crew; how it went down in the studio; and how it finally ended back on the streets. It’s a unique look into one of the most notorious and infamous freestyle battles ever.
He also spits over a slippery R.N.S. beat at The Engine Room in Hollywood, chats about his days with Digital Underground, and weighs in on the debate over whether written rhymes can be used in freestyle or not. Fascinating stuff from a man many feel is one of the game’s all-time most underrated.
Plus, make sure to come back tomorrow when we air a bonus interview with Saafir where he talks about living with Tupac in the early days. The two rappers were roommates in the Bay area before they hit it big, and Saafir gives us a rare glimpse into what Pac was like as a roommate, a friend and a freestyler. You will not want to miss this.
Freestyle 101 goes up every Tuesday at 9 a.m. PST (noon on the east). Next week is up and comer Killa Sha, followed by MC Lars, Thirstin Howell II and Charlie 2Na. Make sure to check out other west coast MCs on Freestyle 101 too, such as RBX, Planet Asia, Ice-T, Tha Alkaholiks, Glasses Malone and more. Find us on MySpace, Facebook, rant in the Forums, and peep our behind the scenes photo gallery.