Freestyle Fellowship, The Promise

Nate Patrin

By Nate Patrin

on 10.18.11 in Reviews
A well-timed extension of their legacy

Twenty years after their debut, To Whom It May Concern…, and a decade after their last full-length Temptations, Freestyle Fellowship have spent the last 10 years being known more through the solo careers of abstract-rap vanguards Aceyalone and Myka 9 than any collective effort. But The Promise, the long-awaited reunion with MCs P.E.A.C.E. and Self Jupiter, helps them maintain their relevance in a still-thriving, forward-looking Los Angeles underground with some subtle stylistic mutation. The sonic imprints of wonky, dirty-digital Left Coast beats gives their vintage battle-rhyme approach some up-to-date stomping grounds. And collaborations with producers like Black Milk (“Candy”) and Exile (“Step 2 the Side”) place them firmly in the current indie-rap continuum. But the familiar themes still hold true — political disillusionment (the #occupy-ready “Government Lies”), familial bonds (fatherly responsibility anthem “Daddies”), being a raw super-scientifical mind-bending lyrical genius (“This Write Here”) — and The Promise serves as a well-timed extension of their legacy.