One of Saafir’s earliest mentors goes public with the behind-the-scenes struggles with pain and addiction allegedly plaguing the Hobo Junction vet.
Digital Underground founder Shock G (a/k/a Humpty Hump) posted a story timeline story (February 12) about longtime group affiliate and fellow Bay area native Saafir (f/k/a Saafir The Saucee Nomad) on Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner site. The timeline explains why the former Qwest Records artist and Hobo Junction member has been confined to a wheelchair for several years, following reports of tumors and other medical conditions. In addition to his own prominent rapping career, like Tupac Shakur, Saafir began as a dancer and guest for Digital Underground in the early 1990s.
Although Shock’s timeline makes mention of substance abuse, the early mentor points to a botched 1992 TWA Flight 843 evacuation that started a 20-plus year case of backpain for Saafir, who would later star in Menace II Society. In addition to alleged use of Ecstasy, Shock also notes a train-jumping stunt in 1994, and failure to recuperate after spinal and nerve-related surgeries.
Shock revealed that last year, after over a decade without seeing each other, he visited Saafir. The early mentor evaluated Saafir’s lifestyle and offered to be his caretaker in seeking spinal treatment. The pair made arrangements and paid a reported $20,000 to go to Scottsdale, Arizona’s Laser Spine Institution—a top treatment center. Shock claims that diagnosis suggested that Saaf’s pain was untreatable. The pair continue to seek treatment, while Shock writes, that Saafir is “Still living off Skittles, soda, chips and 7-Eleven burritos. Still chain-smokin’ Newports. Still got them roxys fo’ya!”
Since leaving Quincy Jones’ Qwest Records over a decade ago, Saafir has released several albums with ABB Records—most recently 2006′s Good Game: The Transition. He was also a member of the Golden State Warriors with Ras Kass and Xzibit, a group that made appearances on several of the artists’ solo work.
Shock G’s full timeline, photographs and explanation are at Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner.