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“Billy Woods said ‘say it like you mean it and the rest will follow.”’ Defcee blurts out with a smile at my dining room table. Just minutes before, the rapper confessed he hasn’t used a curse word in his songs in almost two years. “I’m trying to find different words to express similar emotions …still with a gut check moment.” It’s a personal challenge and a professional realization as Defcee balances being an educator and musician. “Chuck D taught Billy Woods that.” he says with a nod. To no surprise, Defcee teaches me a fact in hip-hop history within two minutes of me turning on the recorder. I first met Defcee about a decade ago in different youth arts spaces in Chicago. He always could fucking rap; a consistent skill Defcee’s held onto for more than ten years. …


Rachel "Raych" Jackson

indecisive but talented []