“I know for a fact that there are elites, the one percent whatever you call them that control the distribution of wealth”
Locksmith’s diligent battle stance, social criticism and regional commercial success as one-half of The Frontline put him in serious view of underground rap fans 12 years ago. He and rhyme partner Left appeared on the Watch Out Now and New Bay mixtapes in 2002 as a way of branding their sound in the Bay Area that had only received national rap recognition from the successes of MC Hammer, Too Short and E-40. The duo made brief inroads on MTV with the singles, “What Is It,” “Bang It” and “When You Want It/”The Truth” and four albums before breaking up so Left could get his PHD and Lock could go solo. In 2009 Locksmith released the Rare Form EP and in 2011 the full-length album Embedded, which was solely produced by Ski-Beatz followed. Earlier this year the Labyrinth album was distributed on his IAMLock website and it has given him his biggest notice with “digital diggers” who choose their music beyond the usual confines of terrestrial radio. Fans have already chosen him as the strongest lyricist in the area and the ferocious phonetics and political content of songs like “Slight Disgust” support that sentiment. Labyrinth’s sturdy wordplay and meditative videos raised his rank in the section of underrated rappers but he is still working to create momentum with the breakout piece that will reach a critical mass without compromise. There is another album on the horizon coming before the year’s end and he says it is the next exciting step in his career because it will surprise listeners with its uniqueness and surprise collaborations.
How did you start rapping?
My sister was a rapper. Her name was MC Spice and she was doing her thing in the late 80’s. I watched her and then eventually it was like I want to do this, she’s 10-11 years my senior. I went to Cal C Berkley and I graduated but still wanted to do music. I was the first person in my family to graduate from college.
What did you study?
I know you have an African-American and Persian background, have you studied your Persian history as much?
My father is from Iran and my mother is from Chicago. In the beginning my father was the only one from his side of the family out here. My mom had my siblings from her previous marriage and so I was schooled in my Black family. But later different members from my father’s family moved out here and they didn’t speak English so I had to learn these things.
ARVE Error: id and provider shortcodes attributes are mandatory for old shortcodes. It is recommended to switch to new shortcodes that need only url