Lateef the Truthspeaker is a Grammy nominated MC who is most well known for his role as 1/5 of the Bay Area rap collective, Quannum Projects. Originally dubbed ‘Solesides’, he and partners DJ Shadow, The Gift of Gab, Chief Xcel & Lyrics Born helped usher in the “Underground” era of Hip-Hop in the early to mid-90’s and has established himself as not only a prolific solo artist, but also as a member of some of the most eclectic and superstar groups to come out of the Bay Area including Latyrx (w/ Lyrics Born), Maroons (w/ Chief Xcel) and The Mighty Underdogs (w/ The Gift of Gab & Headnodic).
Lateef (born Lateef Daumont) was raised in Oakland, CA by former Black Panthers. Growing up in a politically charged household set the stage for an MC who has gone on to be as politically outspoken as he is creative. Writing rhymes as early as 13, Lateef honed his craft from his early years in high school all the way through his attendance at UC Davis – where he met his aforementioned Quannum cohorts.
Since writing classic tracks such as “Lady Don’t Tek No” (a Bay Area anthem penned with fellow Latyrx member Lyrics Born), “Want You Back” (The Mighty Underdogs) and “Wonderful Night” (a collaboration with Fatboy Slim) Lateef has gone on to cement himself in the world music scene through frequent collaborations with Blackalicious, DJ Shadow and the aforementioned Fatboy Slim as well as a diverse catalog of material which includes 5 albums, 3 EPs, 4 Mixtapes and countless features.
The past 5 years have been busy for Lateef as he and Latyrx partner Lyrics Born released The Second Album (the long-awaited follow-up to the first Latyrx album from 1997) which saw him on the road in support of the highly anticipated sequel as well as touring extensively with Blackalicious - which has led to a number of shows featuring himself, The Gift of Gab & Lyrics Born officially under the moniker Quannum MCs for the first time in a long time.
Lateef is currently on tour with Blackalicious & the Quannum MCs performing all over the globe, but when not on the road is hard-at-work on a new album and mixtape to drop later this year.
You can connect with him on Twitter (@TruthspeakerHQ), Facebook (facebook.com/lateefthetruthspeaker) and Instagram (instagram.com/truthspeaker) and his official website www.lateefthetruthspeaker.com.
Photographer: Mark Austin Heim