Def and Texas
Rap-Rockers Enfamus—Outcast But Not Outclassed
Rock-rap group Enfamus—Tex, Ike and Zeke—are keepin’ it real. Tex gives us the lowdown.
Who’s in Enfamus?
There’s three of us, and we go by Ike, Tex and Zeke. I grew up with Zeke in north Texas, in a small town called Wichita Falls. We’ve known each other since about third grade. When I was 15, I moved out to California, and one of the first people I met was Ike. Me and Zeke had grown up rapping together, and we always planned to move out to California. When I met Ike, he was in a band at the time, and we’d rap on the side. We were going to parties together and doing our thing. Zeke joined us out in California, and that’s pretty much when the group started. Ike went to UC Santa Barbara, so we were in Isla Vista. We started doing shows and making music out there.
The names Ike, Zeke and Tex almost sound like a hillbilly band. Is that on purpose?
Not necessarily. Me being from Texas, when I came out here, nobody called me Larry [his real name]. Everybody just automatically called me Tex or Texas. Zeke, his name has always been Zeke. Ike, that’s his name.
So the band moved from San Pedro to Santa Barbara to Santa Ana?
We moved from Santa Barbara to Orange County about a year ago. It’s harder to build a fan base here. In Isla Vista, there are about 20,000 kids in a one-mile radius. There are parties all the time where we could do shows. There would be hundreds of kids there because everyone was out partying. Here, everything’s a little more spread out.
How would Enfamus do in your Texas hometown?
Growing up in Texas . . . we very well could have been making music there, but there’s not as much room for advancement. There’s not much room to grow there. Things are a little bit slower. We could sell CDs on the street there all day, but it wouldn’t get us where we want to be. Show business in California is where it’s at. As far as Texas, we definitely want to go back there and do shows. We represent Texas. I have it tattooed all over my arm. In Wichita Falls, we wouldn’t be able to reach the kinds of people we need to succeed on a big scale. On top of that, Ike produces all of our music himself. Without Ike, who’s from out here, we wouldn’t have the music itself.
Ike makes all of your music? What’s your creative process?
Vocally, we all write our own and put them in. Ike is a musical genius. He can play any instrument you put in front of him. We don’t have to pay money for beats. We just want to be ourselves. That’s why the name Enfamus is so fitting. We’ve always kind of been outcasts. We’re the people you love to hate.
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Do you apply any particular description to your style of hip-hop?
We’re still trying to figure out where our CD would go on the shelves in the stores. We consider ourselves kind of a rap-rock group. We want to have our own section. We’ve fused hip-hop and rock & roll, and a lot of different types of music. It’s hard to place us in a category. We are a category.
When you say rap-rock, what do you mean specifically?
With Ike’s band background, he incorporates a lot of guitar. A lot of it is actual instruments instead of synthesized sounds. Once we plan on touring on a bigger scale, we plan to incorporate a complete live band.
Do you guys have subjects you tend to rap about?
Honestly, we don’t have a lot of possessions, and we talk about that—being broke, selling out shows and not making any money. We like to get the club aspect because we like to party and do all that. We just rap about our lives and what we do on a daily basis. Rapping about possessions is not us. That’s why it’s harder for us to stand out on a commercial level. Our music sounds commercial, but what we’re talking about isn’t. People want to hear that poppy club music. We’re definitely capable of doing that, but it’s just not who we are. We keep it real.
For more information, visit www.myspace.com/enfamus.