Throughout Lateef the Truthspeaker'
s recently released album FireWire
on Quannum Projects
the longtime Bay Area emcee / Solesides founding member shows nothing but pride and love for his hometown of Oakland, CA.
contains countless shout outs to "The Town" including mentions of Interstate 580, SoulBeat TV,
and Skyline High School.
In fact the East Oakland born & raised emcee even arranged a Skyline High School rap reunion of sorts on the new album's lead single "Oakland" which features cameos from two fellow alumni of the Oakland high school: Del the Funky Homosapien
and The Grouch
One morning last month I caught up with Lateef
at World Ground Coffee
cafe on MacArthur in East Oakland's Laurel District where he was grabbing a hot drink before heading out on the road, along with
member Lyrics Born,
to travel up to the North West to do some shows. The two emcees, who as well as having their own individual careers collaborate together as Latryx
, (but had not in a long while) had just done two nights of "reunion" shows at The Independen
t in San Francisco along with such other local artists as Bayonics, Honor Roll
, and Hopie Spitshard.
"Awesome" was how Lateef described those two shows. In addition to being one of the founding members of the Solesides crew/hip-hop collective that morphed into Quannum Projects Lateef is also part of The Maroons
(with Chief Xcel
) and has another side career recording with Fatboy Slim
. He told me that he and Lyrics Born were busy working on the long overdue follow up Latryx project - that he and Lyrics Born, along with some help from individuals like DJ Shadow
and Chief XCel, began almost two full decades ago - but haven't released anything new in over a dozen years with the exception of a few new bits on a mixtape CD (and now a download for sale on LB's site) Latryical Madness Vol 1
mixed by DJ Zeph
. "We are about six songs into it [new Latryx album] right now with production on there by Amp Live, Cut Chemis
t, the Bangerz
[formerly Finger Bangerz
] are on there doing some stuff. And a few other cats as well: DJ Shadow
and [Dan the] Automator
is supposed to give us some stuff. And Chief Xcel is supposed to give us some stuff. We've got a bunch of stuff," he said.