'Truly In A League of Their Own!'
The Defamation League was formed by three Ocean Beach ballers, Khemicle Ali, Dune, and Nick Sleezin. Growing up they were rival musicians performing to the same Ocean Beach audiences in a heated competition. At the time, Nick Sleezin was recording his self-titled punk album when Dune began interrupting many of Nick's sessions to scream lyrics over his guitar. Khemicle Ali and his beat box were in the studio until 2003 when the three came together and forged that “true grit” with their first EP.
In 2005, that first EP, 'This S**t's the S**t,' became the soundtrack for a college produced adult film that was on the national news and radio circuit for months.
The Def League evolved through varying musical backgrounds and together they have invented Grit-Hop. According to the San Diego Reader, “The trio's grit-hop is a mix of hardcore/punk guitar with hip-hop beats and lyrics.”
The grit-hop magic is created by guitarist, drummer, and punk-MC style vocalist Nick Sleezin', the beat rapist who can't stop screaming into the mic, Dune, and Khemicle Ali, the heart and resin that holds the group together. The turntables, mixing, and production are all by the Defamation League with beats by LucidOne, a talented, visionary, and secretive SoCal artist and DJ.
The Defamation League is the official band of the Bryan Barton for Congress Campaign and Stevie Why Productions. With their new album The Anatomy of Grit-Hop LP, featuring San Diego underground hip hop artists Sighphur and Cathan, as well as rap internet phenom Pimp Daddy Welfare, the Defamation League has just begun to school you on grit-hop.
Chatting recently with the guys from Defamation League, and noting that it seemed that porn, video games and edgy comic books had been their main inspirations headed into the creation of 'The Anatomy of Grit-Hop,' I first wondered if I had indeed got the order right and does one more outweigh any of the others?! Dune - "For me in particular I have to say the exact opposite order. Comic books are a big part of shaping me in general. I love to sit down and read but with an attention span like mine, it’s really the art that makes the book."
Nick - "When you're dealing with the F**kster himself, you better believe porn's number one. Video games and edgy comic books are equal because Batman can be found in both."
Khemicle - "Real life everyday violence inspires me more than anything and I am a fan of the most popular violent novel in history ... the bible. Every other story is about people f**kin each other up."
Your album title 'The Anatomy of Grit-Hop' is very interesting, but I'm wondering just what 'Grit-Hop' actually is when it's broken down? Dune - "We have been asked for an all around answer to sum it up numerous times. To answer it in the musical sense, good mainstream hip-hop is dead and punk has been dead for years. Grit-hop is the zombie child of our two dead musical influences."
Nick - "Ever heard of blumpkin? Yeah, that's grit-hop."
Khemicle - "Grit-Hop is about living like you are the ultimate rock star even though you may not be. It is also about talkin a lot of shit and when the time comes having the balls to back it up. Grit-Hop is an all out assault on the limitations that people set upon themselves and others."
If there was one track on this new album that truly encapsulated Def League at their musical and lyrical finest, which one would it be? Dune - "I’d have to say that the 'Wrath pt. V' captures us the best. It’s the main song on the album with the same energy we give life."
Nick - "I would say 'Come Out (Witcha Hands Up).' Being one of the first songs we wrote as a group, it was really the turning point in the three of us realizing we were on to something, and had created a hot lil jam at the same time. Also the song has really taken a life of its own at our live shows; the Leagurz love it, the drums kick the shit out of everybody, and it’s a great song for me during our set to finally just zone out and start soloing like a madman."
Khemicle - "'The Sound of Violence' is definitely the most Def League song."
And talking about titles, how did the band's name come to be...and what else could it so easily have been?! Dune - "I came up with the name way back when it was just me and Nick starting to make this type of music. Before that Nick and I made music with a much different feel in a group called Evoluted."
Khemicle - "When I first heard the name I hated it. Before DL, Nick Sleez and I were the Un-authorized MC's, but as soon as all three of us joined forces and started making music as the League I knew it was brilliant."
Nick - "That’s right. The foundation for this whole thing came out of Dune's wicked mind, and once we got Ali in the mix we knew that it was always going to be Defamation League. After the first track was laid down two years ago, it never even occurred to us to call it anything else. Don't ever question it again."
Who did the artwork for the album and have they done anything else that we would know of? Khemicle - "These crazy comic book artists who work at this army surplus store in the desert."
Dune - "They go by “Stic*M*Up Ink” and they’re pretty much the art version of us; they do everything themselves and just try and get there art out there guerilla style."
It's been said that you recently 'contributed' to a recent student porn movie entitled 'Rising Fees and Popping Bs.' ... was this musically or physically on your part?! Dune - "No one wants to see me do porn. Musically."
Nick - "You won’t see Nick Sleezin in Rising Fees and Popping Bs, but maybe in the sequel. The movie should inspire you to throw on The Anatomy of Grit-Hop next time you and your woman are doin the damn thing."
Khemicle - "I accidentally sat on the couch they filmed the movie on!"
For fun, and taking the titles of a few of your album tracks, please let us know:
'The Sound of Violence' - OK, so just what does the sound of violence actually sound like? Nick - "This title is based off of Simon & Garfunkel's 'The Sound of Silence', so it's really just the opposite of that."
Dune - "If we really answer this question your head will explode!"
'Cellulite Disco' - Should there be a weight limit on all the disco dance floors?!?! Nick - "F**k no, let's pack that s**t in! You know what they say, more cushin' for the moshin'!"
Khemicle - "If there were I would get a lot less ass!"
Dune -"Yes, no ladies under 170!"
'The Wrath, Pt. V' - Is this a deliberate nod towards two 'Star Trek' movies, perhaps?! Nick - "Maybe you'll have to ask Dune about that one, I'm the one who gets chicks!"
Dune - "Yeah, I think I’m the only one in the group who gets that reference. No, it’s not, but I might start claiming that."
Khemicle - "Huh?"
OK, who's got the wildest body piercing ... and will anyone be trying to top it?! Dune - "I pretty much have girl piercings because I think that they compliment features as opposed to stand out on your face. Topping it? Nah, sometimes I think about piercing my dong, but seriously, no sex for two weeks?"
Nick - "Exactly. Once I graduate to a full blown heroine addiction, we'll talk about piercing my cock. Until then, strictly the face."
Khemicle - "I used to have my ears pierced but not anymore and no plans to get any. But I am gonna have all my teeth shaved down and capped with titanium ... kinda like Jaws."
What '80s (and possibly cheesy!) pop song would you love to cover today if asked ... and why?! Dune - "Anything and everything by The Cure. Not cheesy at all."
Nick - "I think we'd cover 'Come On Eileen,' except make it another porno song!"
Khemicle - "MC Hammers 'Let’s Get it Started.' I think that was 80's!"
Lastly, I like Penguins ... do you?! Dune - "Of course, they’re the only reason I’ll ever make it out to SeaWorld which is 3 miles away."
Khemicle - "Who doesn't?
Nick - "They taste DELICIOUS. Defamation for LIFE!"
Interviewed by Russell A. Trunk
If you would like to win an AUTOGRAPHED copy of Defamation League's brand new CD, just answer this easy question: On December 30th, 2005 Defamation League played a real crazy live show ... where?!
Send me your answers and if you're correct you'll be in the running to win one of these great new and AUTOGRAPHED CDs! Just send us an e:mail here before May 15th with your answer and the subject title 'DEF LEAGUE SIGNED CDs' to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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