Defari - Odds & Evens
Two LP's, two EP's, numerous collabos with his Likwit brethren, and even an appearance on Dre's multi-platinum "2001." The point is, Defari Herut has been around, he's showed and proved, he's beaten the odds and he is about to get even. With E-Swift and Evidence still in the mix, "Odds & Evens" looks to pick where "Focused Daily" left off.
"Pick A Number" kicks the album off proper, a straight forward and minimal beat that accentuates Defari's lyrical dexterity and potent delivery. The incredible "Spell My Name" has a similar feel as Defari destroys Ev's marching drums. Mr. Herut has no problem getting open over some left coast funk either. E-Swift hooks up some vintage Likwit goodness for "Inner City" and "Pour More Likwit" ft. J-Ro. Extended family Dilated Peoples also lay some vocals on the Al Green-flipped "Behold My Life Remix," which is even better than the original. Have Dilated and Defari sounded that good together since "Third Degree"?
Some of Defari's best work comes when he pays heartfelt tribute. "Diamonds In The Rough" is a nice little tribute to his wife and "For The Love" outdoes the previous considerably as Defari rhymes an ode to his pops. Not to be overlooked is the homage paid to his home, "Los Angelenos."
The album is not without its odd moments. Defari makes a point of chastising rappers for their weak hooks ("Hooks"), all the while the song features a terrible one and the album features several. There is no finer example than "Slumpy" for its gut-wrenching chorus. Also falling into the hypocrite category would be including a track like "Cold Pieces." The track is fine until you get to "Diamonds In The Rough" and wonder how the two songs are on the same album.
Missteps aside, "Odds & Evens" is another good album from Defari. The production is really nice and Defari represents well. His strongest moments come when his content is focused. I think it is safe to say that, lyrically, Defari's best days are still ahead of him.