Myka Nyne, - known better as Myka 9, of the Freestyle Fellowship has a recording career that stretches back clear to the 1980s and a reputation which pre-dates most Hip-Hoppers with records out today. Mr. 9 and his associates held class at Leimert Park, while the world took notes as they redefined the term freestyle for the entire Hip-Hop community.
Mykas new solo album Citrus Sessions is out now and Myka has offered the work in its entirety for free download on his website. With such a fickle independent market, this is certainly an interesting move. After all, Freestyle Fellowships magnum-opus, Inner City Griots is beyond ghetto-gold status. Plus, Myka did some ghostwriting for one of the most legendary groups of all time. This is not a career to be sympathized, but rather a glorious career of West Coast Hip-Hop survival, the old fashioned way.
To find out more on these topics, as well as the spelling change to the name, and Myka 9s life now, read this AllHipHop.com exclusive feature with a true mic-rocker.
AllHipHop.com: How are you dealing with the music industry?
Myka 9: Business-wise, I still orbit the outer peripheral; Yet artistically Ive got the buzz of life.
AllHipHop.com: Combining the sales from all the Freestyle Fellowship albums, your appearances on solo albums, and compilations, about how many total units moved would you say that your work appears on?
Myka 9: I dont know because I get so few statements. Educated guess... approximating beyond soundscan... hmm... bootlegs... guerilla merchandising... illegal downloads... 550,000 units sounds about right!
AllHipHop.com: Which particular album moved the most units?
Myka 9: [Freestyle Fellowships] Inner City Griots is still moving. How? I don't know, yet I give thanks! 70,000 soundscan, plus another 70,000 show sales, downloads, [and so on].
AllHipHop.com: How long did it take you to write and record your latest, Citrus Sessions?
Myka 9: Not long at all. Two weeks of tracking, mixing, and mastering time.
AllHipHop.com: Why are you giving this album away for free on your website?
Myka 9: When I consider how much the fans have done for me, why not give them something back? True, a person has been illegally selling my album [for the last six months] without a contract or my permission, as I offer it for free now, since I just found out about it. But not in spite or anger do I act only in respect for the music, not the money.
AllHipHop.com: In 2002 you were quoted in an interview as saying "I'm not in Freestyle Fellowship any more," Is this still the case?
Myka 9: Never was. That was a misquote. Freestyle Fellowship for life. Besides, what would those guys do without their beloved Mykeewykee?
AllHipHop.com: Will there be another Haiku De Tat?
Myka 9: Yes. Long live the triumvirate of Aceyalone, Abstract [Rude] and Myka 9.
AllHipHop.com: Why have you changed the spelling of your stage name from the early days?
Myka 9: To confuse the market place, limit potential exposure to more fans, sales, and basically create an eccentric interest point about myself! I do it to keep track of different projects in a way that represents where I was when I did them. To boldly defy convention, I think. Im a growing B-Boy.
AllHipHop.com: What instruments can you play?
Myka 9: I sight read none. I can slowly work out standards on the trumpet with a good tone and aumberture, lay down nice chords and solo a little on the keys, keep time on drums to play a set, maybe catch a whole tone on a flute, pick at the strings on the bass or guitar, enough to record a part here and there, some congas, darbukas, zills, whateva, just sheddin. My whistle skill is the most accomplished.
AllHipHop.com: Why haven't you dropped a beef record against the most popular rapper and grabbed a bit of that spotlight in the same way a lot of the Top 40 rappers seem to be doing?
Myka 9: Because I battle for real, not for physical conflict or monetary gain. I come for the glory of the B-Boy Kingdom. I serve MC's by exorcising the wackness out of them. When they are liberated, great gratitude is shown. A very humbling experience. Plus, entities don't serve each other they just go round for round with no clear superior.
AllHipHop.com: There's a story that's been going around for years that Eazy-E gave Bone Thugs n Harmony a Freestyle Fellowship tape of Mary, and he instructed them to use it as a blueprint for their style, is there any truth to this?
Myka 9: No, not that I know of. Unless I left some music in his car. Rest in peace. He brought them to The Good Life with [DJ U-Neek] , and I played him our stuff at Earles hot dog stand and in his SUV. We shared what we were working with on occasion. He was also into the ghostwriting thing, like what I did on the very first NWA album.
AllHipHop.com: Wow, I didnt know that.
Myka 9: Yeah, I wrote two tracks off NWA and the Posse, my name M. Troy is listed in the liner notes. I should be getting publishing off the record, but I dont know if the statute of limitations is up on that or what. [laughs]
AllHipHop.com: Does your family appreciate your accomplishments?
Myka 9: They have no idea how far reaching this movement is that we've created. My son likes Rock and Ska. Thats cool, but he only got like eight bars to flow! And my daughter probably thinks I fell off since Im not in any mainstream videos or front-page publications. Ladies, Im single by the way.
AllHipHop.com: Do you work a nine-to-five?
Myka 9: Dont work, don't eat. I am the sole proprietor of my establishment, a self-made hundredaire.
Download the new album Citrus Sessions at www.mykanyne.com
Gentle Jones can be contacted at www.gentlejones.com