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.
By Kevin Whitehead on 01.28.10 in Icons
Few musicians brought as much passion to jazz as Charles Mingus (1922-1979). You can hear it all over his music in every period: the power, the lyricism, and the sheer propulsion. He loved independent melody lines interw...
By Colin McLaughlin on 05.02.14 in Live in Pictures
Photos of Warpaint in Portland
By Philip Cosores on 04.04.14 in Live in Pictures
Freddie Gibbs and Madlib perform at the Observatory in Santa Ana.
By Marissa G. Muller on 04.03.14 in Lists
The Los Angeles label's founders talk about their first 10 years.