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Defamation League MC Chaz Lomack, 22, was to begin serving a four-month jail sentence on August 14 when he got a last-minute reprieve: the day before, he found a second job, which allowed him to participate in a work-furlough program.

“The judge said I had to either get a job or go to jail. I still have to sleep in jail each night. When I’m not at work, I have to be in jail; it’s actually a halfway house on 35th Street, near the Coronado Bridge.”

Lomack, who performs as Khemical Ali, was one of the 96 people arrested in a May drug sting called Operation Sudden Fall at SDSU. Eight of the original nine felony counts against him were dropped. He pleaded guilty to endangering public health for selling a controlled substance (cocaine).

At Lomack’s sentencing, he was given three weeks to find a job that would guarantee him at least 35 hours a week.

“I had a kitchen job, but that was only for 20 hours a week. I just found a second retail job.” He says both businesses are on Newport Avenue in Ocean Beach.

Def League has released two CDs. Lomack says he and his bandmates plan to collaborate on their third CD through visitations at the halfway house and at his jobs.

“They have to let you have visitation,” says Def League guitarist Nick Sleezin’. “There is no harm in listening to headphones; you can’t get high by listening to headphones.” Sleezin’ says the rest of the band will record the instrumental tracks, and Lomack will add his vocals when he gets out.

“We’re straying away from rap,” says Lomack. “We play instruments now. There are beats, but they are now done with a full band. We added a bassist and a drummer. We’re not making any more hip-hop albums.”

Lomack says he plans to gig with his band as soon as he gets out, but there might be a hitch: “I’m not allowed to go into any bars for three and a half years; it’s part of my probation. I am assuming they would let me go [to a bar] if I am performing.”

– Ken Leighton

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