The Story of Freestyle Fellowship’s “To Whom It May Concern”

The first thing you hear when you press play on Freestyle Fellowship’s classic 1991 debut To Whom It May Concern is a manifesto delivered by Myka 9, as his groupmates chant “We are the Freestyle Fellowship” behind him. First, he says “peace be with you” in Arabic; then, he declares his group, “the shining focal point in a multi-faceted gem of urban contemporary artists.” For the next 51 minutes, you’re entering their world. It’s a world in which rules are broken and standards are exceeded. From the beginning, The Freestyle Fellowship sought to dominate not just the underground, but the mainstream as well. As that album-opening manifesto puts it: We came here tonight to blow up. Strictly blow up.

This is the story of To Whom It May Concern, the rap album that laid the foundation for underground hip-hop in 1991. At the time it was recorded, Los Angeles was at a breaking point. There was growing, justified national outrage over the videotaped assault on Rodney King by Los Angeles police officers. Jeffrey Dahmer had just been arrested, his refrigerator full of the dismembered body parts of Black victims. East Coast rapper Tim Dog had released “Fuck Compton,” and Dr. Dre had just left N.W.A. to strike out on his own.

And on Thursday nights, local MCs were testing their skills at an open mic night held in a health food market called The Good Life Cafe at the intersection of Crenshaw Blvd & Exposition Blvd. The night would produce some of the city’s most influential artists, and would be documented in a 2008 film by Ava DuVernay called This Is The Life. The home team at The Good Life was always, indisputably, The Freestyle Fellowship.


Views: 41

Reply to This

Best guide to hip hop, soul, reggae concerts & events in San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles & New York City + music, videos, radio and more


Bookmark and Share

Subscribe to E-Blast


Busty & The Bass
Wednesday, June 1 @ The Independent, SF

Femi Kuti
Friday, July 1 @ The Independent, SF

Seun Kuti
Thursday, July 14 @ The Independent, SF

Saturday, July 16 @ The Independent, SF

Burning Spear
Friday, July 22 @ The Masonic, SF

Rebelution & Steel Pulse
Friday, Aug 12 @ Greek Theatre, Berkeley



  • Add Photos
  • View All


Latest Activity

MJ Savino posted a blog post

Gianna Gives Off Bedroom Vibes In "Pleaser" (Video)

Displaying that she cannot be boxed in, Gianna shows off her softer, sexy side in her new single/video "Pleaser." Parents put the kiddies to bed because you are about to enter the grown-up music zone. Through explicit, bold lyrics Gianna expresses just how her man pleases, teases, and puts it down for her. She has no qualms about letting him know what she wants and how…See More
1 hour ago
realmuzik posted discussions
9 hours ago
Artistpr posted blog posts
13 hours ago
Tampa Mystic posted blog posts
Editor's Pick posted a video

Buffalo Massacre: Gunman Cited Racist “Great Replacement” Conspiracy Theory Popularized by Fox News

The mass shooter who killed 10 people in Buffalo, New York, on Saturday posted a racist manifesto online before targeting a majority-Black neighborhood. His ...
realmuzik posted a discussion

Yaway Martian Releases Hot New Single "Precise"

Yaway MartianBest known for his creative and artistic approach to rap, Yaway Martian is a sensational Hip Hop artist. He released his first E.P titled, “Cetus Star” in 2015, ushiming him into the American indie rap realm. Yaway, popularly known as Yannick Bishop Mutombo was…See More
Editor's Pick posted discussions
Artistpr posted blog posts
Editor's Pick posted discussions
Artistpr posted blog posts
Editor's Pick posted discussions
May 12
Shirley Allen posted a discussion

Foodsaver V4445 Vacuum Sealer Machine

Vacuum sealing your catch with foodsaver v4445 vacuum sealer – tips, guides, andrecommendationsBeyond question, finishing is one of those rewarding and of course, relaxing activities to pass your time. However, if you do not understand the right approaches to preserving your catch, you may be left with unsavory and unusable fish in no time. Usually, fresh fish is only usable within two days in your freezer. Although this timeframe is just perfect for those who only catch a few, it can be pretty…See More
May 12

© 2022   Created by Ren the Vinyl Archaeologist.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service