Myka 9

HHC: Yo Mikah.. or is it Myka? What's up with that typing thing?

M9: I like to spell it Myka 9. The change in spelling symbolizes growth and development in me.

HHC: Let's start with basic things since i rarely read about you. What part of L.A. are you from?

M9: Crenshaw district. I live in Santa Monica now.

HHC: How did you first interact with the hip hop culture and how did you meet the other members of Freestyle Fellowship?

M9: I started rapping in 81 when I was in 6th grade. I met Aceyalone around that time he was also rhymin back then. Self Jupiter came along later then I met Kiilu late eighties then I met peace at the goodlife.

HHC: During the Goodlife era there wasn't an obvious split between that future "alternative" scene and the G-Funk scene (I understood Kurupt, DJ Slip from CMW, or Snoop were hanging out there)... What were your relationship with them?

M9: I knew them as mcs. DJ Slip I met thru DJ Fat Jack. The difference was subject matter and cultural. B-boy nature slightly differs than gangster culture. My relationship with those mentioned has been respectful for the most part.

HHC: How that split happened?

M9: In early nineties when Dre was scouting talent some people went death row and some of us went Freestle Fellowship etc.

HHC: Also, what were the reactions at the Goodlife to the kids who used to rap regularly there and got some success during this period (like Skee-Lo who was rapping with Trend)?

M9: Our reaction was one of joy and support when any of us came up!

HHC: How do you explain that none of the Goodlife/Blowed mcs (except for the Dilated Peoples, Pharcyde or Will.I.Am) really made it on a larger scale? At that time Will.I.Am almost signed on Ruthless, so there was bridges between these scenes..

M9: It depended on who you aligned yourself with and how you carried yourself. Some people stayed mainstream and some of us went back to independent hip hop.

HHC: You hooked up with the Wailers for a track a long time ago ('My Friend'), when you were Microphone Mike... How did that happen?

M9: I was hired by Greg Ski Royal to do a rap/dancehall remix. It was a rush job for me. I only had hour or so to do it. It was a big honor for me.

HHC: How did the ghostwriting thing for N.W.A. happen?

M9: Dre was compiling songs from different artists. I wrote two songs for a rap group called rappinstine. This was the first N.W.A. LP wich was more of a compilation (N.W.A. and the posse). Then they changed up the songs and made N.W.A. a group but used the same LP cover art.

HHC: In 1995, you were supposed to release "It's All Love" on Capitol. How come it didn't happen? Especially just after Aceyalone's "All Balls Don't Bounce"... Do you have the masters of that album ? How much finished material from that album do you have - some really raw sounding extracts were on the Cocaine Blunts blog at one point- ?

M9: I was signed before Aceyalone. I did many many songs for Capitol but my style wasn't accepted back then from the label. I havent heard some of those songs since then.

HHC: How do you feel about that whole major label experience?

M9: I think it was great! good resources and money yet the demand for artistic compromise was very prevalent.

HHC: What went wrong?

M9: I don't know if in retrospect anything went wrong, things took their natural course.

HHC: How did you live the end of Celestial back then? It was supposed to be the label that would give you some exposure after the Capitol thing and it disappeared suddenly...

M9: I had a few projects come out since capitol with Haiku d'Etat and my solo work. Celestial was very helpful in keeping me relevant by single releases and installing me as a resident MC at Concrete Jungle.

HHC: What's up with Freestyle Fellowship today?

M9: We've had some rehearsals and did some interesting recordings lately. It's good to know people still check for F.F.!

HHC: Are you gonna release something new?

M9: My solo catalogue consists of formal and informal releases ("Timetable", "Its All Love", "A Work In Progress", "Citrus Sessions"). My new solo album will be out january 15 2009, it is called "1969". It's on the Fake Four Records label. I also have an LP out now with J The Sarge. We call ourselves Magic Heart Genies with an LP called "Heartifact"!

HHC: A couple of projects of yours were supposed to be released (like "Gramophone")... What's up with that?

M9: "Gramophone" has been completed. It represents my basement hip hop vibe. It will more than likely become a special release via my label M9 Entertainment. It's got alot of powerful material

HHC: I read in an interview that you were a "honor" member of the Global Phlowtations and also Talib Kweli's roommate... Do you have some anecdotes about it?

M9: I still have my Phlowtation device! Zagu, Adlib, Keto, Cliff etc... We did an album back in the late nineties. Talib and I used to hang out in the mid nineties before he did his thing with Mos. They were like my N.Y.C. crew.

HHC: Do you still go the Project Blowed sometimes?

M9: Yeah but very few and far between visits. It's still fun to visit the workshop.

HHC: What are your feelings about the new generation of Blowed MC's?

M9: The MC's are as dope as ever! Cats like Nocando and Company Flow (ndrl : ??) do it very well.

HHC: There was an Haiku D'Etat show planned in France a couple of years ago... Why did you cancelled?

M9: It may have been due to scheduling conflicts with other member tours or show dates. I was in France around that time (Bastille area)and it was marvelous I was recording with my sister T-Love!

HHC: Will we have the chance to see you perform in France one day?

M9: I hope to play there in or around next spring. I love France!

HHC: On the Citrus album, you are more focused on singing and vocals, rather than on straight rap... Is that something you want to do again in the future?

M9: Yeah! I like to remain open with my range as a vocalist! There are many varieties of approach.

HHC: Were you tired of rap at that time?

M9: No. When I'm recording material I hear my voice alternate ways in the differing rhythm tracks. In "Citrus" I produce, play, rap, sing and participate in the mixing process. I love to rap !

HHC: Now you're about to release 1969 and the Magic Heart Genies albums... What's the whole concepts behind each of them?

M9: MHGZ are inspired by the tale of a mystic heirloom known as the Heartifact. The material is the result of I Myka 9 and J The Sarge reconfiguring the letters of our names to read "Majyk Hart Gennies". Along with DJ Drez scratching, the goddess Nexxus narrating and Dr. Archibald Wesley the curator of the museum that held the Heartifact, the listener is invited to join the adventure.

HHC: What's your upcoming projects after that?

M9: A live band MHG show recording, "Gramaphone" release and I have an LP called "Mykology" that is very very impressive! Haiku mix cd and F.F. singles.

HHC: Well... Thanks a lot for your answers. Any last words?

M9: Hopefully not! It's all love!

Interview by Bax & Pseudzero
Special thanks to Almyum
December 2008

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