This was meant to be an interview with both the
members of the DFXO crew, but unfortunately Defisis is busy over in Europe and
we haven't been able to hook it up. Maybe we can get a few words off him for the
future, but not so as to not disappoint Xeno answered all the questions himself...
Xeno: The Xenomorph Scientist
Firstly can you introduce yourself and explain the meaning behind your names?
Xeno: The Xenomorph Scientist. Don't really need to be playing that shit, but it don't hurt to have a gimmick. It ain't nuttin real clever, just creating some character ya get me.
Xeno means stranger. When u morph something you alter it's state... and the etymology of the word science is the meaning 'knowledge'. I like metaphor rhyme, I don't come out saying shit blatant all the time, I like to be creative wiv words. Not everyone is gonna wanna hear what I say so I might as well make it sound interesting. I convey knowledge in altered states. Defisis is a pathological condition.
He suffers from Defness. He is the slang animator, the Slang Teacher. He is Nasdaq Sub-atomic Silicone Chip.
What is your individual role within the group? Is this role changing and developing over time?
Xeno: Rapper/producer... won't consider myself an emcee in the skill/freestyle type of shit. I only rhyme if I got something worth saying [I like to think so anyway]. I'm more a producer than rapper tho, even tho I've only been producing 4 years or so. Been rhyming for 12. I've done the producing so far, but Def gonna take care of some of that shit real soon. Meanwhile he'll just have to stay wiv being the best emcee in the UK.
Can you tell us a bit about where you are from, who your crew are and who they are associated with?
Xeno: I'm the stranger. I don't have a crew. We're solo emcees that's teamed up to help each other out in this arena. Def is DF,
Xeno is XO. I associate with anyone and whoever I can get down wiv. If the chemistry's right shits gonna happen. We're cool wiv Mr Serve, Little Angry Man, Spleen, DJ Serious, Fleapit, Gamma, Blade, Bill Tha Pharmacizt...
Are there any other producers or MCs in your crew to look out for?
Xeno: Defisis and Xeno. Spleen. Mista Serve. Secondson... and the rest of the dirty pit.
When did you first get in to hip hop? Who were the old skool acts you bumped?
Xeno: Shit, I was still at school. I used to bunk off school and walk around wiv Eric B and Rakim's new album 'Paid In Full' on my Walkman. I listened to any and every type of Hip Hop I could get my hands on. All the greats and not so.
How do you feel about the current state of UK hip hop? UK Hip Hop radio shows for example?
Xeno: This is a tired and shabby subject. To be honest I just don't giv a... I couldn't care less if there was a scene in the UK or not. Hip Hop is universal. The UK music industry on the other hand is wack. I mean it ain't just UK Hip Hop that's having a hard time breaking out. Pop is the rule of the day, so I see a lot of struggling going on in the rock fraternities and other underground genres. Even in the film industry. The UK government need to review their whole approach on the Arts industry. Radio shows are shit basically. The only time your gonna get much support for homegrown stuff is on pirate stations, like Itch FM, from DJs like Disorda and Fingers Penchanski.
Do you think it is getting better or worse and why?
Xeno: what would seem better for some would seem worse for others. I think some heads are happy keepin this shit UnderKroft. In the sense of National recognition and international respect, if we're gonna continue wiv the push as we have been doing for the past 15 years or so, then we're bound to break. What I really wanna see tho is a UK Hip Hop industry run by UK Hip Hop people. I wanna see kids coming out these messed up communities and taking control of their inventions and creations, instead of beggin on some suited devil to enslave them and blood suck the juice out their existence.
Who are the UK artists you listen to and admire?
Xeno: Admire is a strong word. I got a lot of respect for many UK artists. I like listening to positive aggressive rap. Black Samauri. 57th Dynasty, Blade [not the diluted 'Mark B and Blade' Blade]. Phi Life Cipher, Juice Aleem and Toastie Taylor. MSI and Asylum. Cappo. Mr Lex. There's enuff of them.
Who are your UK influences?
Xeno: Hard Noise, Hijack, Demon Boyz, Blade, Son Of Noise, Kobalt 60 [this is an emcee I gotta hear on a comeback] Katch 22, London Posse, Gunshot
Who or what are your other influences?
Xeno: KRS, PE and Chuck D, Ice T, Rakim, NWA and Dr Dre, Guru, Wu... reh reh... I could go on, there's been so many.
You seem quite into the internet, what with running your own site and everything. Do you think the internet is beneficial to the UK scene? Seems to be the main way people will have initially heard of you.
Xeno: Yeah, it's as important to us as it is to any other enterprise. And yeah... anybody that's heard of DFXO has probably only heard of us from the net.
How do you feel, as artists, about distribution systems like Napster or Winimix that are out of your control and for which you don't get any money?
Xeno: There's other ways to make money. Before the arrival of Napster how did artists make their money? This technology gives us, the artists, more control of our material and allows the consumer more choice. The only people that are gonna suffer are the big corporations. This technology can bring the little man some kind of equal status in the game and the ability to compete against the big man. It will put the notion into the minds of new artist to say to the majors, "We Don't Need u".
You are obviously into visuals as well as sounds, having designed all your record sleeve artwork yourselves, do you see yourselves making more of that in the future? Perhaps moving into films or other media?
Xeno: There's no limitations.
Can you let off some of your production techniques? What sort of equipment are you using both to make beats and to record?
Xeno: I ain't using nothing right now. I ain't made music for over a year. I was using 2 Akai 950's, Atari Cubase and running it all through an Allen and Heath desk wiv a little Xoom effects unit. Recorded it onto an R8 multitrack and then onto DAT.
So you had a few internet demos available, as well as some tracks on Disorda's 'Mind the Gap Vol.2' tape which were presumably quite well received?
Xeno: We've had a lot of positive feedback from those tracks.
You also featured in the Pioneers Video?
Xeno: Yeah, that was a fluke. Just happened to be in the right place at the right time.
On the back of those demos the guys at SFDB signed you. Was it as simple as that?
Xeno: Yep. We went to their place to record an EP we was working on wiv Mr Serve. He hooked us up. I left them the demo and a couple days later they was talking about wanting to put us on.
What were the reasons for signing with SFDB rather than continuing to grow your market and company yourselves?
Xeno: DFXO was all out of resources. We're proper broke people right now. We're both homeless right now, crashed out at a relatives house. Shit is so messed up now that we're at opposite extremes of the compass and having a hard time to link up and get shit done. SFDB was a break for real.
Would you have rather signed with a more established label?
Xeno: I couldn't give a shit. Mind you, the more 'established' a label seems to be the more control their gonna try muscle. I think it's cool the way we're working this shit out wiv SFDB. And trust me, they ain't a bunch of jokers. This is some serious biznis.
Was there a concept behind your Kill Ya Wiv A Demo EP? Can you tell us a bit about each/some of the tracks on your EP, what they are about, what effects, moods or messages you were trying to create/pass on?
Xeno: It's just a demo. But all the feedback we was getting was all good. People couldn't believe it was a demo. I figured we could kill it wiv just a demo. Not really a concept, it's just what it is. I got the title from the original lyrics I wrote for The UndaKroft. UndaKroft represents the UK. Deeper than the underground is the UndaKroft. Just had to make it as coarse as possible, lettin people know whats what. One Mil is a lyrical masterpiece from Defisis outlining the adventures of a Hip Hop 007. It's the rawest production on there. It wasn't what I had planned for the sample, I wanted to do a lot more with it but Def killed it. WTF is Whatever the F u want it to be... God Damn It is me letting off on some global affairs. Shit gets to me ya get me. 3 Sixty is my favorite track. Wasn't trying to say nuttin, just letting the samples speak to me and gave the track to Def to apply his mastery. Clash Titans is just us frontin on whatever we had beef wiv at the time. We don't generally talk about the same thing but we present a similar attitude in our focus.
Where can people pick up your stuff?
Xeno: Disorda, some of them places up in Soho. It's being distributed by Cargo I think so just go into your store and order it. Depends if their dealing wiv them or not. You could email the label and get details of where to send a cheque. They might post out.
How do you feel you are positioned within the marketplace and is that through your wishes or with different circumstances, would you do it differently?
Xeno: We're like that clock Del Boy had stashed away in his garage. It's just gonna be a matter of time before people recognize our worth.
Did either of you vote in the last election and why?
Xeno: I didn't. I wanted to but we moved and shit got mad in the process. Next time I'm voting Defisis as PM and Mr Lex as Mayor.
Why do you think the urban youth and people in general are so pissed off with the government?
Xeno: There's always dissatisfaction with the government from someplace. You can't please all the people all of the time. As for 'Urban Youth', is that a euphemism for 'Black Kids'? All this media PC... Anyone wiv a knowledge of the history of West Indian families in the UK can understand why there is a lot of dissatisfaction in these communities. This is a Government wiv White Supremacist ideals. For instance, they invited West Indian people over to this, their 'Mother Country' after the 2nd World War to be a part of the work force necessary to rebuild the UK after it's desolation. But once the UK got back on it's feet they pushed them out and unleashed the Pit Bulls of White Supremacy on them; Racist organizations like the BNP, and Racist people in general. That's what the UK does. They invite foreign workers over with false promises, and because their homelands are wrecked due to the ravages and after effects of British Imperialism they're more than willing to take up the offer. But they don't tell em about the Pit Bulls. They don't tell em they gotta live in the slums. So you got a lot of dissatisfaction in the UK. From the Asian communities, African communities, West Indian communities, and the White communities. The UK government has never shown no love for their poor, but they keep their white poor dissatisfied and ignorant coz this is their breeding ground. It's where they tie up all them Pit Bulls.
What are your views on the recent police shootings of innocent people and how do you feel about the subsequent riots?
Xeno: There's always an agenda. I don't agree wiv riots. These are people just tearing up their own communities. They're the ones that end up suffering for that shit. Ain't nothing come out of rioting, just pressure release. This police wiv guns question... it's a joke. Ain't it better the devil you see? The UK police have got guns and they can deploy an armed crew as quick as any other police force in the world, you just don't see them on display. At least you know in the States that if you mess wiv a pig you can get shot by a pig. Here, you don't know how much of a devil that pig can be till he's pumped you wiv lead. A lot of "Cops are legalized crooks and outlaws...". They'll fraud car insurance, smuggle beer and cigarettes in at Dover; deal and smoke drugs; distribute porn; rape, abuse... what does a pig do that a criminal don't? Answer: He gets away wiv it.
If you could do something to improve the situation what would it be and why?
Xeno: You just gotta let the devil run his course. You just gotta put your trust in Allah and work for self peace, content and happiness and love the brotherhood. But if the devil steps to you, you gotta stop him in his tracks.
I think next up you have '2001 A Race Odyssey' planned. When can we expect it to drop?
Xeno: No dates just yet, but soon... vocals are done, just working on some personal shit right now... 2001 on it's way out too so we may be looking at a '2000'n'What?: A Race Odyssey' release for next year. I guess we shouldn't have counted our chickens before they hatched.
Will that be on SFDB too?
What can we expect from '2001 A Race Odyssey'?
Xeno: No compromise. I did the beat for Mark B and Blades album. There was an interest in having a guest producer on the album, but it was decided against. I'm glad it was too...
What is going to be keeping you busy over the next few months?
Finding a home. Finding a better job. Finding a grip. Finding the strength to hold on.
What are your longer term plans and objectives for you both as artists and as a record label?
Def is sorting some overseas biz with SWAMP Records in Germany. They got a release out now called Inside Knowing b/w Throw em up. There's a video too that heads are gonna be peeping soon. DFXO will be around for as long as Defisis and
Xeno are about, but we're both looking out for our own interests as well as the interest of our partnership, and got our individual goals. I'm working on some solo shit wiv Bill Tha Pharmacizt, working on some production for other artists. I'm open for all options right now, but I'm looking to establish myself some firm roots in as many aspects of the biznis of Hip Hop as possible.
Is there anything else you would like to mention?
We've just recorded an album with DJ Serious in Belgium. Release is not yet established... but it's gonna be big.
Is there anyone else you would like to mention?
Mista Serve. We've got some unfinished biz. I ain't forgot. Shit is long overdue.
Thank you Xeno for your time and trying to hook up Defisis. Look out for
future releases on SFDB Records.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org :: Visit
DFXO on the web: www.dfxo.co.uk
Same Family Different Ball Bag Discography