Speach Impediments
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Speach Impediments

Long Beach, California, United States | SELF

Long Beach, California, United States | SELF
Band Hip Hop Alternative


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It’s almost midnight when a small black door swings open behind the stage of the Continental Room in downtown Fullerton. Four sweaty twentysomethings pile out onto a dimly lit patio where cigarette smoke and conversations linger beneath flickering lanterns. Strangers praise their performance; half of their new fans had no idea who they were before their raucous 30-minute set.

Speach! Speach!
It’s been five years since the last domestic release from Speach Impediments. Between a pair of disappointing record contracts, brief hiatuses and solo projects, plans to release a new record had stalled. Co-founding member Syntax Vernac moved five hours away to work as a blackjack dealer in Vegas. Despite this laundry list of obstacles, this Placentia-based collective continue brushing up Cobwebs, an aptly titled album they claim to be their first legitimate full-length, with all four emcees featured evenly across the album.

Fusing hip-hop’s golden era basics with slippery-tongued technicality, Speach Impediments members Freddie J, Deezie, Drewid and Syntax form a magnetic whirlwind of flailing microphones, baggy tees and group vocals.

“People are like, ‘Oh, man, you guys must have prepared for days for that,’?” says rapper/producer Deezie, of what he hears after a show. “We’re like, ‘No, we just met up and put together a set in the parking lot like 10 minutes before the show to be honest with you.’?” Over the years, their skills have landed them on stage with hip-hop heroes Talib Kweli, Living Legends, Plant Asia and more.

This Saturday, a three-track demo version of Cobwebs hits iTunes, offering insight into what drives these guys to spit out their souls on stages from LA to OC. Some inspiration is easily decoded, such as a 16-bar collage (simply titled “Me”) on which each rapper paints a raw self-portrait with his rhymes. Testimonies of sexual frustrations and paying off college loans permeate the air over a flurry of cuts and scratches courtesy of Zole, the group’s sharp DJ. But deeper in the album’s fabric are lessons from SI’s shaky experiences with the music biz, specifically flimsy record labels.

Speach Impediments originally signed with local indie label OC Records after an impressive live debut by Syntax and Drewid at the Anaheim House of Blues in 2003. The group’s first album, Domino Effect, came that year, with sophomore record Speaches Eleven dropping six months later. But financial issues caused OC Records to close temporarily, leaving them unable to fund new recordings. Disappointed, SI continued gigging locally.

The hard lessons continued in 2007, when Japanese boutique label Swamp Records took interest in their OC popularity and proposed doing a record to be sold in Japan. Dreams of touring and selling their record overseas excited the group, and a short time later they composed a mix of their best tracks and sent it over to Swamp with a signed contract.

“They literally fucked us,” Syntax says.

SI allege that not only was their first-quarter check eight months late, it was also short, and that they received only 10 copies of the album and zero communication from the label from that point on. With no intention of fighting an expensive overseas lawsuit, Speach Impediments gave up on Swamp, adding that the label still hasn’t responded to the group’s e-mails or phone calls. (Swamp Records’ MySpace page hasn’t been logged into since December 2007.)

Lucky for SI, learning how to pick a label, or hire a lawyer to read contracts was the hard part of maturing in the rap game. Songwriting always came naturally. Even after moving to Vegas in 2008, Syntax collaborates effectively with the group.

“That inspires me to go harder with my lyrics because I know that I’m in a group with dedicated people,” Freddie J says.

By now, they’re used to batting tracks around online and constructing verses through e-mail as they finish the album, slated for 2010. It’s their ability to vibe with each other through the wire that makes miles apart seem like inches, just another challenge overcome in their efforts to re-establish themselves in night clubs, dive bars or any other place with four mics and a stage.

- OC Weekly


Speach Impediments Discography:
-Domino Effect cd 2004
-Speaches 11 cd 2005
-Got Wax 12" vinyl 2006
-Time Lapse (Japan Exclusive) cd and 7" vinyl 2007
-Prescription Only (Deezie) cd 2008
-Timelines (Syntax Vernac) cd 2008
-2009 4 Track Demo cd 2009
- Full Blown (Deezie) cd 2009
-Timeframes (Syntax Vernac) cd 2009
- The Blend, Mixtape 2010 (Deezie) cd 2010
-Ahead of the Game cd 2010
-Turn It Up single 2011



Speach Impediments, also known as S.I., are a up-and-coming Indie Hip-Hop group broadcasting from Orange County, California. The group is composed of 3 emcees and 1 live DJ: rappers Drewid, Syntax Vernac, Deezie, and DJ Zole.

With well over 400 shows and performances, a catalog of over 50 recorded tracks from several releases, and an upcoming "Sophomore" album in the final mastering phase, it is safe to say that Speach Impediments are ready to be the next big Hip-Hop group. S.I. provides energy and clarity. A true breath of fresh air in these polluted airways; something new. The best part about S.I. is that they don’t appeal to just street and hip hop culture purists. They attract fans young and old, black and white, rich and poor, cool and nerdy, rockers and rappers, mainstream and underground, the inbetween. Their live performance is one not to be missed as it is full of energy, and the chemistry between them all combined on stage can't be duplicated, from MC to DJ (and sometimes bboying), giving the viewer a true and authentic Hip Hop and positive experience.

And when it comes to experience, Speach Impediments have plenty and are close to becoming pros at what they do. They have shared the stage and performed with many of their own inspirations such as Wu-Tang Clan, Talib Kweli, Lyrics Born, Evidence/Dilated Peoples, Hieroglyphics, Visionaries, Canibus, Swollen Members, KRS-One, Abstract Rude/Freestyle Fellowship, Kev Brown to name a few. They have rocked stages large and small from House of Blues (Anaheim, Hollywood and Vegas), The Grove of Anaheim, The El Rey Theater, The Oriental Theater (CO), to bars and clubs and even played at large festivals like Rock the Bells (2004), Vans Warped Tour 2011 (Carson City and Ventura) and 3rd Rail Jam 2012(Mountain High, Las Vegas). To make it official they have new songs featuring the likes of Sabac Red of Non Phixion and 2Mex of the Visionaries on their upcoming album. Other accolades include the nomination for "Best HipHop Group" for the 2011 Urban Underground Honor Awards and "Best Hip Hop" for the 2012 Orange County Music Awards.

What sets Speach Impediments apart from the rest is that they take what they do very serious, on a true professional level. They come to shows ready with a merch booth that includes vinyl and several cds and album/mix tape releases. They have their own website updated daily (not just a Facebook). The music lyrically and production wise are becoming some of the best, and they are personally "cool-mellow" guys at the end of the day who are all friends "trying to make hiphop our only job" as quoted by Syntax Vernac. And the best part is that they do everything DIY, true and independently.

Speach Impediments is THE new music group you should book for your next event! And if you can’t find them on the internet, you’re probably spelling the name wrong.. it’s Speach with an EA. And don't forget to check out their official music video on Youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LF-qn31qqs