Daily Archives: August 16, 2009
This is an important documentary about the hip-hop scene that took place at the Good Life Cafe in the ’90s. Contrary to the straightened hair of DJ Quik and the gangsta rap of Ice Cube and Snoop, there was a hip-hop movement that managed to deal with displacement without waving guns. Medusa, Freestyle Fellowship, T-Love and Jurassic Five are a few of the artists that came out of the workshop ran by owner B.Hall and her son R.Cain Blaze. The film was released to DVD earlier this year and you can purchase it through iTunes.
Freestyle Fellowship came together in 1991 with rappers Self Jupiter, P.E.A.C.E., Myka Nyne, Aceyalone and producer J Sumbi. The band originally consisted of fifty members who would take turns rapping at the Good Life cafe in Los Angeles that was recently immortalized in the film “This Is The Life” Their jazzy scat style that can break up into a jerky cadence distinguished them from most rappers. To Whom It May Concern was their first album that was released in 1991 to critical acclaim. Innercity Griots was the ’93 follow-up and the place where “Park Bench People” was recorded with Mikah 9’s vocals on lead. Both albums are underground classics that helped to establish California’s leftfield hip-hop legacy. The group broke-up after Griots and Aceyalone started a solo career with a debut album All Balls Don’t Bounce in ’95. A reunion of the band produced Temptations in ’98 but the album wouldn’t be available to the public until 2001 and it was criticized for being too lyrical. That same year remixes of To Whom It May Concern came out and the retrospective spirit continued with instrumental versions of Inner City Griots in 2002. Shockadoom from ’02 was their last album. Aceyalone’s retro-vibe The Lonely Ones came out earlier this year on the Deconstruction label.