Tonight at Little Temple in Silver Lake, the legendary, influential hip hop night Project Blowed will celebrate its 15th anniversary with an appearance by the Freestyle Fellowship.
The club, which grew out of The Good Life open mic night in Leimert Park … well, hell, since the late Brendan Mullen wrote a feature on The Good Life and the Freestyle Fellowship for the Weekly, we'll defer to him:
Spring-Summer '92 was the big turning point, a defining time for a new, vigorously youthful and positive hip-hop movement born and bred in Los Angeles. As the inevitable backlash to the ongoing glut of cash-in post-N.W.A hoo-bangin' gangsta rap, this was a fresh, idealistic consciousness showing its face — coming just a tad before the crazed street wildings in the wake of the Rodney King-LAPD trial during April.
Down Leimert Park way, on the corner of Crenshaw and Exposition, Freestyle Fellowship's Mikah9, probably the most abstracted of that crew's four MCs, was listening closely to “Freddie Freeloader” by Jon Hendricks and saying heavy things like “My rhymes take the direction of a jazz trumpet or sax solo, like Miles or Trane, if I was to rhyme in the same meter as those notes . . . that's my concept.”
Mikah, Self Jupiter, Aceyalone, P.E.A.C.E. and many others were representing at the Good Life Cafe in this well-maintained hood during a special Thursday-night open-mic where all cheerfully abided by promoter B. Hall's sole and strict house rule: absolutely no cussing allowed onstage. The young audience, somewhat tickled by this, took to booing out anybody who did.
Here are a few highlights: