Saafir took part in one of the most notorious Bay Area rap battles, when he and members of the Hobo Junction went against Casual and members of the Hieroglyphics Crew. The battle took place live on KMEL. There has never been a real decision as to who won the battle and there is some debate as to whether or not Saafir was using pre-written raps.
He first appeared on Digital Underground‘s The Body-Hat Syndrome in 1993, and then Casual’s Fear Itself in early 1994. He appeared in the film Menace II Society as Harold Lawson and was featured on the film’s soundtrack. With a deal from Qwest Records, Saafir recruited the Hobo Junction production team (J Groove, J.Z., Rational, Big Nose, and Poke Martian) for his freestyle debut, Boxcar Sessions (1994). He recorded an album called Trigonometry under the alias Mr. No No before returning as Saafir in The Hit List (1999). The Hit List was considered Saafir’s attempt at commercial acceptance. The album featured production by Stevie J (made famous for his work with P. Diddy’s Hitmen production team) and guest vocals from West Coast heavyweights Kam and Jayo Felony and controversial East Coast lyricist Chino XL.
He largely recovered from a tumor in his spine. He’s back with his old group, Hobo Junction, and has completed work on his fourth album, Good Game: The Transition (ABB Records, 2006). The album covers the major transitions throughout his life, most notably his spinal tumor, and his conversion to Islam.