Outside takin’ a smoke break and… Next thing you know, up walks a West Oakland soldier in a burgundy lumberjack and beanie; it’s fuckin’ Saafir!, just 4 months into the release of his debut, “Boxcar Sessions” and fresh off the battlefield from picking Casual’s pocket at Crash Palace and cutting heads against Hiero with his crew on the radio, like an ancient warrior still bloody and fuming from the carnage. Had ‘Menace’ come out yet? Hell yeah, it had. Hobo Junction was so dangerous back then, cockiness and bravado with all the skill and innovation to back it up, Fondouglas just had to grab him for an impromptu and totally chaotic interview, and he was more than willing to oblige, jumping right into it with all the disrespectful vigor and arrogance required of a hungry MC on the come up in the grimey 90s. He speaks on all sorts of topics, with a ferocity and velocity that has to been seen and heard for itself, from doing time for poisoning his group home leader as an adolescent to explaining that his concept of respect hinges on who will fight next to him. I really like what he says about, “fuck fame; it’s all about skills,” and I think it’s hilarious when he says, “And Domino rolled up under a car,” and Kwanz chimes in “my boy did a rap about that.” Dang, Bay hip-hop was such a small world back then. I had to break it into two parts and sorry for the shitty quality, but the only person I could find to convert it from vhs for me was ThuggyFresh from SF’s booze-cartel Gurp City, and he was black-out drunk from beerandrap.com's Pork In The Park and forcing me to shoot Jameson the whole time and blabbing on and on about how he wanted to go to the Mission Hill Saloon to beat up the bartender chick’s boyfriend. Yeah, right. To make up for that genius, I’m also upping my advance promo copy of “Battle Drill” b/w “Rock The Show (I Wanna Know)”-- the first Hobo Junction posse-cut on wax-- to remind everybody how raw the saucee general stepped on the scene and left everything in his wake demolished. Fuck it, I’m also throwin’ on the “Just Riden’” 12” (with the end-to-end DreamTDK freight on the back cover dedicated to HJ founder Plan B) and the bonus “Pull Ya Card” and album version of “Hype Shit” on the B, because this interview is just that… hype shit. Check it when Saafir explains why his style was too futuristic and over-the-head of the average rap listener back then, because everybody’s so “saturated with dank.” Now ask yourself: as we move full-fledged into the legal dispensary era, can we ever hope to be blessed with an original, and downright mean talent like Saafir again? I suggest you get stoned, listen to Saafir, and contemplate that shit, homey. You gotta love the chaos. BTW- My intention for posting this is NOT to rekindle any bad feelings for Saafir or between him and any of the people he talks about (it can come down just as fast as it went up if that's the case), but rather to document a primary source of Bay Area hip-hop history. Personally, I don't think Saafir should be held accountable, in retrospect, for any of these statements he made almost 15 years ago when he was young and making a name for himself, that's just how it was. I doubt Tyrell Biggs is still mad at Mike Tyson for saying he screamed like a woman, so I think we as well can all be for-the-moment-grown-ups here and take the highground (link will only make sense to FTA heads who were major HJ fans) and just enjoy this for what it is: a cool slice of the chaos that was our past and that hardcore attitude before anybody let themselves get called some lameshit like a 'backpacker' or worse yet a 'fashion-savvy, swag-havin' hipster.' And while we're on the positive tip, here's a bonus in-depth story of Saafir's career and life that was posted in 2006, proving a soldier's been tested in the flame (from jailtime for mobbing a stolen rental to fucking spinal cancer) and stepped from the ashes healthy, relaxed, and enlightened. Well worth the read right down to the part where an older, wiser, self-disciplined Saafir offers the interviewer lady (who naively compares the rapper's look to that of Morpheus in the Matrix and says in her article: "Listen to the first verse of 'Worship the Dick' and you'll feel as if you've choked on young Saafir's favorite appendage.") a Kleenex and says, "You got lipstick on your teeth." You gotta love the chaos.