Video: Myka 9 - "I Must Cross (Immigration Reform)"
Courtesy Matt B.
Myka 9 is a founding member of one of the West Coast's most-influential and creative groups, Freestyle Fellowship, (which also includes Aceyalone, P.E.A.C.E., Self Jupiter and J Sumbi) and the group is still a very instrumental figure in the LA Hip-Hop community. Known for his rapid cadences and incorporating singing into his melodic jazz infused sound, Myka is one of the West Coast's most stylistically advanced rappers and he has had an indelible impact on the underground hip-hop scene; Myka even ghost wrote two tracks on N.W.A.'s 1987 debut album N.W.A. And The Posse) and freestyling as an art form.
Myka's imprints on Freestyle Fellowship and the artists they would later influence is evident as Myka's "7th Seal” from Freestyle Fellowship's debut, To Whom It May Concern, (1991) has been dissected and combed over by fans, artists and critics alike for years in an attempt to crack the code and help shaped the next generation of West Coast emcees and sound that would emerge shortly thereafter (Hieroglyphics, The Pharcyde etc). Released in 1993, Freestyle Fellowship's second LP, Innercity Griots, is a landmark of LA Hip-Hop and genuinely considered one of the best Hip-Hop LP's of the 90's; and the group's videos for "Inner City Boundaries" and "Hot Potato" from Innercity Griots took their sound and movement worldwide.
Though Freestyle Fellowship has been on a decade long-hiatus (primarily due to the four- year incarceration of Self Jupiter) the Fellowship have reunited and will be releasing a new LP, The Promise, on Decon Records this fall.
Yet, before the Freestyle Fellowship reunion project surfaces, Myka 9 will release his fifth solo-LP, Mykology, on 10-3-2011 and it's full of the meticulous and intelligent rhymes that Myka has become so revered for. Mykology's lead-single, "I Must Cross," finds Myka poignantly dissecting the often-debated immigration crisis from a human rights perspective.
The Artwork for Mykology was created by Mear One, a Los Angeles-based artist, commonly known as the 'Michelangelo' of graffiti. As a graphic designer, Mear One has designed apparel for Conart, Kaotic, as well as his own Reform brand. Mear One has done album covers for artists like Non Phixion, Freestyle Fellowship, Alien Nation, Limp Bizkit, Busdriver and Daddy Kev. In 2004, Mear One joined artists Shepard Fairey and Robbie Conal to create a series of "anti-war, anti-Bush" posters for a street art campaign called "Be the Revolution" for the art collective Post Gen.