Foci
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Foci

Los Angeles, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | SELF

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2011
Solo Hip Hop Spoken Word

Calendar

Music

Press


"Foci Shine at the Belasco Theatre"

“Foci taught the Belasco Theatre a thing or two about Hip-Hop…” - Examiner.com


"Foci Q&A"

“Foci is an educated emcee with a message and a mission. As a former California teacher he has dedicated his life to uplifting and cultivating the youth to create a better tomorrow.” - Wheat City Magazine


"Breeding Ground 5 Done Foci"

“Pasadena, California based artist Foci is making a major impact on the independent music scene. His music has been heard on Pandora Radio, The World Famous Wake Up Show, Shade 45 Sirius/XM, KPFK, and many other outlets. He has shared the stage with many great artists such as Rakim, Mos Def, Pharoahe Monch, Jay Electronica, DJ Premier, Raekwon, and Mobb Deep to name a few. And he rocked out with AllHipHop’s official 2014 SXSW Concert in Austin, TX.” - AllHipHop


"Foci: Three’s A Crowd [prod by Jansport J]"

"Cali emcee Foci comes through KN with an ill one. I’m definitely feeling “Three’s A Crowd.” - Kevin Nottingham


"Foci - The Achievement Gap"

"Coming from a time where originality and honesty mattered in music, Foci never compromises his unique style of rhyming and maintains a strong foundation with soulful production by Diverse, Jansport J, and more. " - Back2Pluto


"Bridging The Gap"

“While there have been numerous artists to come out and offer their own unique sentiment on this issue of musical connection, an MC from Pasadena, California arguably has done the best job of addressing this issue of separation. On his latest effort, The Achievement Gap (Feb 28), Foci’s songs are true narratives expressed through rhyme. Like any great storyteller, he does not provide all of the details, but instead, he crafts his songs in a way that allow the listener to dig deeper into them as a way of trying to unearth the deeper message.” - Ghettoblaster Magazine


"Back to Pluto review on Foci in Remote Control"

...a message of knowledge over everything is interwoven between nicely edited rapping sequences. As for Foci’s musical progression, his vocals are much more powerful and distinct these days. There is nothing surface level about these lyrics. - Back to Pluto


"Foci in Remote Control"

Neph reminds me of DMX, minus the drugs. - Rock The Dub


"Review of Foci - Original Content (Mixtape)"

"It's food for your mind. The veggies of Hip Hop. The good one." - Internet Goon


"Guttersnipe: Foci"

"...I was surprisingly impressed. Foci definitely lives up to his originality." - So Hood


"Foci Live"

"Just as good or better than the headliners... people are going to notice." - Rome Promotions


"Foci - Original Content"

"Be prepared to experience an introspective onslaught on your consciousness. Don’t Sleep." - Back To Pluto


"Bigger Than The Music"

"Foci delivers deep, erudite rhymes with infectious melodies and real soul. He's got what it takes to change the game, and this album is proof.” - Artist Direct


"Foci Talks "Original Content," Teaching and More"

There's a big void in modern hip hop.

In fact, the genre feels like it's divisively split between two opposing extremes. On one end of the spectrum, there's the hipster rap scene that's often too cool for school and completely shrouded in ego. On the other side, there's the tried-and-true gangsta rap formula, locked and loaded with club bangers but without much of a message in sight. That's why rap could really use Foci…

The Southern California rapper has got an arsenal of razor sharp rhymes that are as intelligent as they are inviting. He blends a true street grit with a cultivated message that's both accessible and thought-provoking. In fact, on his latest offering, Original Content, Foci delivers deep, erudite rhymes with infectious melodies and real soul. He's got what it takes to change the game, and this album is proof.

Foci sat down with ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author Rick Florino for an exclusive interview about Original Content, how he balances teaching and rapping and so much more.

Did you aim to tell stories with Original Content?

It was definitely one of my intentions. I'm big on lyrics, and I want to relay a message with any song that I create. Every song tends to have its own theme, story, and purpose. I try to stay away from reinventing the same material in each track. I have a variety of life experiences, and that gives me no shortage of things to write about, so to speak [Laughs].

Do you tend to freestyle a lot or are do you write everything out?

It's a little bit of both. I wanted Original Content to set the tone for whatever project I do from this point onward. I find myself randomly writing tidbits about something that'll cross my mind, or I'll listen to an instrumental track a ton and go over it multiple times to the point where I'm actually desensitized to it. Then, I try to become a bit more challenging with the actual words that I put forth. I strive to create something along the lines of intellectual hip hop that really makes people think much deeper than they normally would when they hear a song. I try not to go down the path that almost everybody else goes down in terms of speaking about street situations and give it a different aspect. I didn't get dumped into a gang. Living in L.A., you tend to know people that are like that. You run into them, go to school with them, or they're your friends. I want to try to be innovative while encouraging people to think about things in a different format and way. I bring that street element into it though which makes it understandable for a wider body of people.

It's accessible to a larger audience that way.

I feel like there's an absence of real lyrical hip hop that speaks to the music and a different crowd. I'm a high school teacher, and I find myself trying to take things from the classroom and put them into my music. I do want my content to reflect what I've been through and that which I feel others can learn from without being contrived. I just want to do it by being my own person and doing what I feel is right by myself and those close to me.

"Exitus" really stands out. What's the story behind that track?

"Exitus" is Latin for "The End." It's the final exit. Track number one is "Initium," seven is "Medius," and "Exitus" is thirteen. I wanted to set the tone for the next release, and I wanted to make it very clear that I don't feel an obligation to prove anything to anybody. It's more for myself. I've experienced some pretty bad situations in my life, but instead of dwelling on the negativity of the past, it's really about trying to learn from your mistakes and seeing how you're going to apply it to your future. Essentially, that was the whole meaning of that track. I try to shed light on situations but look at the moral of what I've been through at the same time and apply it accordingly to better myself.

What fosters the visual sensibility in your music? Do you tend to read or watch a lot of movies? What are your influences outside of music?

I think the landscape of Pasadena is important. There are the palm trees and Old Town with its economic strength in contrast with Northwest Pasadena and the struggle that's going on. It goes down to our school district, which is having its own situations and problems with enrollment because there are more private schools than public schools. More students tend to go to those private schools. I take everything that see. I work about eleven and a half hours a day, five days a week, so it's very hard for me to find leisure time between working, music, and shows. I recently started watching more movies though. I'm allowing that to influence me a bit. I do read a lot. I keep up to date with current events in the news. I try to stay educated and in the loop of everything going on and put that into my music.

What are some of your favorite books?

Growing up, it was William Shakespeare and a lot of things based on poetry. I was into Edgar Allan Poe. Catc - Artist Direct


Discography

Respect The Driven [TBA 2014]
The Achievement Gap [2013]
Original Content [2010]

Photos

Bio

They still lock their doors and they still hold their purse/It doesnt matter my profession its the ignorance they nurse/Curse me beat me lynch me to try to defeat me/Give my kids molesting preachers and teachers cant define meaning ~excerpt taken from Pasadena to Medina

Fresh off this years participation in two official SXSW 2014 showcases with Trapaholics and AllHipHop, Pasadena, California based artist Foci, pronounced – [FŌ – SĪ] brings to Hip Hop a unique perspective on issues that concern us all. Raised in a middle class Caribbean family in the suburbs of Los Angeles County, his formative years often saw him as one of the few minority students in class. It was during those years that he learned how to adapt to a variety of personalities and develop his passion for education and the arts. Highlighted as “Bigger than the Music” in the Pasadena Weekly, he is active in the lives of our youth as a state credentialed teacher. Prior to being laid off from teaching, Foci provided opportunities for his students through the educational pathways of Arts Media, Entertainment, Information Technology while also running a Recording and Production Studio in an after-school program. According to Foci his first love is educating but he adores the fact that he will forever be able to relate to his pupils through the arts.

Upon releasing his freshman effort The Achievement Gap; a revealing account as to his experiences in Title 1 schools, drug addiction, knowledge of self, and the murder of his best friend. The album has been featured on The AMC Channels’ “Low Winter Sun”, public television network KCET, Pandora Radio, The World Famous Wake Up Show, Shade 45 Sirius/XM, KPFK, two TEDx talks, and earned him two official performance slots at SXSW 2014. After sharing the stage with a laundry list of legendary artists such as Rakim, Mos Def, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Jay Electronica, DJ Premier, Raekwon, and Mobb Deep to name a few, Foci clearly understands how to rock a stage (3 time award winner of Urban Underground’s Performer of the Year) but also how to create an everlasting impact.

Band Members