Freestyle Fellowship, To Whom it May Concern…

Hua Hsu

By Hua Hsu

on 05.22.11 in Reviews
An absorbing masterpiece

Aceyalone, Mikah-9, P.E.A.C.E. and Self Jupiter hailed from Los Angeles’s ultra-competitive, late-’80s Good Life/Project Blowed scene, where a weak freestyle or offbeat speed-rap would get you ushered off stage. Their debut album is an absorbing masterpiece that embodies these niche instincts. Where others merely sampled jazz, Freestyle Fellowship tried to embody its forms in their abstract rhymes, scat-like flow and gift for improvisation. Blowed has survived to this day as the longest-running open mic around, and you can hear traces of their style in everyone from Bone Thugs-N-Harmony to Eminem — but not Fat Joe who, as legend has it, was forced to pass the mic.