Label: Sunset Leagues International
Release Date: Oct-15-2013
Disflex6 (Dis-Flex-Six) is a hip hop group formed in 1996 from Northern California. The group consists of emcee Lazerus Jackson and emcee/producer Jason the Argonaut and producer/engineer Elon.
Disflex6 was an integral part of the bay area do-it-yourself, 4-track tape movement that helped spread underground hip hop. With 3 tape releases in the late 90s they were gaining ground. In 2001, their first official release, Where the Sidewalk Ends, caught the ear of Warp Record's hip hop extension LEX Records. They inked a deal that featured them as the first ever release on LEX with the critically acclaimed and now eBay collector's item Disflex6 - Hot Season EP. LEX released a second 12-inch vinyl highlighting the lyrical talent of Lazerus Jackson called Physiques. Disflex6 was scheduled to release a space-themed, concept album Robot Dreams but the deal with LEX fell through and they were left looking for a new home.
They teamed up with European label 24-7 Records to release Robot Dreams and received great reviews from The Wire, Elemental and other hip rags of the mid 2000's. This good press and exposure was well deserved but didn't propel them any higher in the underground hip hop world. "We were young and didn't really know how the music business machine worked," said Jason the Argonaut, "looking back we probably should have hired a publicist and hit the road."
As frustrating as that was they decided to focus on their own label and released a slew of solo projects from both Jason and Laz, and their crew, Sunset Leagues. From 2005 to 2009 they put out over 14 different releases on their own label Sunset Leagues International. As they started 'growing up' and having different goals in life they put out a new record reflecting on the game versus life dilemma: Slow Burn was released in 2007. The album was well received by the likes of Okayplayer and URB magazine but still the overall indie hip hop world still hadn't taken notice.
As groups like Living Legends, Atmosphere and Anticon started to blow-up, Disflex6 was left wondering what to do - if anything. Months of wondering turned into years of stagnation. The duo started accepting the fact that hip hop wasn't in the cards for them. Real life took priority as Lazerus Jackson went off to Berkeley to get his degree and Jason went off to L.A. to further his career in sales and marketing.
In 2010 Jason and Laz, along with longtime collaborator Elon, booked some studio time in Oakland and started to craft another project. They hit the studio, with no expectations this time, and focused on just making music. "Yeah we have mortgages and 401ks but that's no reason to not make music", said Laz.
These sessions turned up some of the best music Disflex6 has ever made. They addressed the topics of 'grown man' issues like self-doubt, self-realization and hip-hop-mortality over their sample based, hard hitting beats. "This album has all the elements of all our last albums, all presented in one project", said Jason.
In the end the group had 16 songs on its hands and decided on naming the album Odyssey. It's a fitting title that pays tribute to the journey hip hop has taken the crew on over the decades: all of the record digging, the long drives to do shitty shows, cutting out covers for their own CDs, and all of the things they missed out on to pursue a career in music. This album cares less about the outcome and more about the satisfaction of making music. "Hopefully that comes across in the songs and overall feel of the album", said Jason when describing the album. In the end Disflex6 didnŐt make the mark they wanted to make in the music industry, but none the less they did make some good hip hop along the way - and they think that is what it's all about anyway.
2. Drifters Dream
4. Mount Everest
5. Beautiful World (What Do I Know)
6. Mercurys Lament
7. Techicolor Time Lapse
8. Suicide Notes
9. Dog Star
10. The Insight
12. Winnie Cooper
13. Smile Featuring Mike Wright
14. Smoke Break Pt III
15. The Union (Don't Stop)
16. Into the Clouds (feat. Sunset Leagues)