Myka Nyne: Nynth Wonder of the World
Wear this PURE JEWELRY while reading this... and enjoy the higher vibrations...
Myka Nyne - Nynth Wonder of the World
By Addi “Mindbender”Stewart
Amidst the typical barbershop, living room, random public gathering and internet conversations about “who’s the best MC?/ Biggie, Jay-Z or Nas?” (which has ostensibly evolved into “Lil Wayne, Kanye or Jay” in 2011), there are always dozens of contenders that, on any given night, might certainly be able and willing to snatch the crown off the head of the master of ceremonies occupying the so-called “Number One spot” in the rap game. Let’s explore this nebulous notion a bit further than usual. Millions of people worldwide are still hardcore believers in the revolutionary rap history and the unsolved mysteries of Tupac Shakur, so does that crown him as the greatest rapper of all time, by virtue of his unparalleled post-humous legacy? But alternately, how much, or little, of the astronomical ascension of Marshall Mathers depended on his pseudo-non-threatening complexion? And how do we quantify the sonic awesomeness of Andre 3000, in earth terms, and decide if he is superior or inferior to the awe-inspiring phenomenon known as Pharoahe Monch? Furthermore, for every mob of fans that proclaim T.I. the king, there’s a few other stalwarts emphatically stating their case for us to not forget about Scarface. For all the lovers of Busta Rhymes and Ludacris, there’s some kid out there screaming about the underrated greatness of Ras Kass, or Canibus, or some other underground king. What is the current consensus about the classic rap cinematics of Kool G. Rap and Ice-T? And where does the God Rakim now stand in the discussion of all-time greats? Plus, we know we can’t forget the mind-blowing legacy of Blastmaster KRS-One. And honestly, what can be said to all those other hip hop heads who think and emphatically feel that Big L, Redman, Black Thought, E-40, Too $hort, Big Boi, Common, Lauryn Hill, Snoop Doggy Dogg, or Ghostface Killah are actually the best of all time? The Wu-Tang Clan fucks up the whole conversation, alone. If someone wants to say that Ol’ Dirty Bastard was the best MC of all time, on certain levels, it’s a hard argument to dispute, my NUH.
Can they all be compared, contrasted and quantified to calculate a single, undisputed champion? Realistically, probably never. But it’s always a fun conversation to have with friends, nah mean? This tradition shall carry on and on in hip hop culture, as it should. As the artform expands and new chapters and new levels of the game are added on, the arguments will go to new levels (as in, ‘Are YouTube views the new first week Soundscan numbers?’ and such other crazy criteria). Yet, we collectively know that commercial success certainly cannot be the only equalizing measure for timeless rap greatness, or else MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice would leave almost all of these artists in the dust… and we know that’s utterly fucking insane. Or is it? Someone has every right to make that argument if they want, though… but it certainly won’t be me.
I have another MC I’d suggest is the greatest of all-time. Yes, it’s an eternally subjective scenario, in which we individually decide what appeals to us most in an MC, and their music, their character and the way they represent for the culture, and we simply connect to the movement, and don’t let go (until they fall off, retire or die… or none of the above, word to the “Tupac Shakur is Alive in Cuba” heads, keeping hope alive, worldwide). I say all this to say: even though there is a slight possibility you have never heard of him before, I personally believe with all of my heart and soul that Myka Nyne is the best hip hop vocalist of all time. OF ALL TIME!
This serpentine excursion down memory lane might help you see why Los Angeles’s Myka remains one of the most invisible, yet ultra-luminescent lights in hip hop history, and a crucial component in (arguably, of course) the greatest creative rap quartet of all time. For decades, he has been persistently creating, while patiently waiting for the stars to align in his favor. It seems plausible, if not inevitable, that Myka Nyne’s time on a much higher plateau than underground god, will come one day soon. But today, I ask you to consider the possibility of him being the greatest rhyme instrument ever sent to earth… especially if you have never heard the indescribable rhyme greatness created by Michael Troy. Read the history of the future of rap created by Myka Nyne, and act like you already knew.
Myka Nyne: Is this Professor Mindbender?
Ha ha, yes it is! How you doing, brother?
Myka Nyne: Man, it’s all love. What’s the good word, jack?
Those are the magic words I wanted to hear, ha ha! So how is Cali right now? How’s LA?
Myka Nyne: It’s good man, the weather’s good. It was a sunny day, and I did a song today… I was recording...
Do you record every day?
Myka Nyne: Nah, I record when I get a chance and I’m so inspired, and things of that nature. I SHOULD be recording all day every day. But every other day seems to be more the schedule.
Yo, straight up, I been listening to your rhymes since 1991. I’ma start off like this: so, imagine you just met ‘the Mikah Nine’ in 1991 that just finished recording ‘7th Seal’. What would the Myka Nyne of today tell that little Mike who just finished making ‘To Whom It May Concern’?
Myka Nyne: I would say: “Rock that project, rep that project, rock those songs, rep those songs… but also put together a solo demo and shop your own shit. Ha ha ha ha!”
Word. Nobody knew the business back then…
Myka Nyne: I had a single deal with Arista, and I put out a song with Calvin Carter during that time, and then I did a remix for the Wailers with Greg Royale, Gregski around that time, then I toured the nation and did a damn near 40-city tour, then that’s right when I came back around 1989, 1990, and recorded that joint.
Damn, that’s one of the illest songs ever. So, what are you bringing to the stage these days when you are performing? Do you approach shows different, do you want to showcase the old material more or do you want to push new boundaries more? What’s in a Myka Nyne show these days?
Myka Nyne: Well, it consists of, in general some kind of trippy intro, and then mainly a chronological sprinkle of different projects group and solo, from Fellowship, to Magic Heart Genies, to Haiku De Tat, to earlier solo projects then I do like a medley form, then I rock whatever my latest album is, a couple songs, then I do a lot of freestyling between, and smart acapellos, you know… Then if I have a band, then I just do more solos and scat with the band, then if I have background singers too, I harmonize and give everybody a solo. Then, if there’s video Serato or video backdrops, I try to make that as cohesive as possible.
Excellent! I can’t wait to see it. But, in 2008, there was a Haiku De Tat tour with Busdriver, and you were supposed to come to Toronto, but they didn’t let you over the border. Not only was I heartbroken as a fan not being able to watch you rock, but you actually have a song about border issues, ‘I Must Cross’, and I think it’s brilliant you rap about stuff like that. These days, some heads say ‘There’s nothing left to rap about anymore’, and I’m like ‘Are you crazy? There’s so many issues still not spoken on’, such as this one. What do you think we as citizens can do against immigrants not receiving equal rights?
Myka Nyne: I know my last look was either at the SR or the HR paperwork that they had for migrant workers and pass for citizenship. And then you got people who wait in line, and then you got people who just come over and never get caught, and granted, like I said in “I Must Cross” , these people sustain our economy, they are fruit and vegetable pickers, carwashers, they are also doctors, lawyers, construction workers, contractors… and mainly, they do this just for the children. They are working to support their children. They are concerned for the children and their citizenship they have on the other side of the border, you know. And if it’s part of the economy generating, then I’m all for it. I’d also like to see people go overseas to those borders. I have to cross borders all the time when I’m on tour.
For real. They don’t treat people like property and treat their areas with the same bullshit politics that we seem to in North America. So, what do you think it is, just capitalism? White supremacy? World chaos?
Myka Nyne: Overzealous nationalism. We don’t need these borders. These borders are bullshit.
Mother nature didn’t make those borders.
So, Pound is doing an issue called ‘The White Issue’, and it’s an analysis of any and all ideas related to the concept of whiteness in hip hop, on any level. What do you think are some of the best and worst things white people in hip hop have come up with?
Myka Nyne: The best? Well, I think in hip hop culture, to me, the first thing that came to mind, other than just supporting it through the years and all that good stuff… the Beastie Boys, ‘Paul Revere’. And not to mention also the investors and the people behind the scenes that have done videos and films, the label owners and stuff, power players have been on the creative level in every aspect. Album artwork, fashion, design, imaging, some of those early hip hop films… Rick Rubin, all kinds of stuff, Eminem. Shit. My mom is white, I don’t got any problem with anyone’s race, or anyone of mixed race… that’s how I got here.
I feel you, man. We don’t play that racism shit here either. But so what’s been one of the more ridiculous things in white people in hip hop?
Myka Nyne: Ok. Well, we had, uh… let’s see… obviously, you know, what comes to mind are some of the more spoofy kind of white groups, ha ha…
Young Black Teenagers?
Myka Nyne: Ah ha ha hah! You know, we had some kinda like spoofy soloists as well, and some interesting turns and twists on the business sides of things of some of these signings of well-pronounced pro-Black brothers by well-established White entrepreneurs, and I think it’s all fun now, you know… especially in realm of style, certain hairstyles were only made for… certain white hair grades, heh heh! Those futile attempts to produce, without the right coarseness of…you know… people’s hair with certain designs. I remember seeing a few mullet fades back in the day, ha! A mullet hawk, or high top hawk fade mullet. I don’t know…
Myka Nyne: Yeah! That kind of science, ha ha! But yeah, there has always been at the forefront of hip hop some soulful whiteboys, at the forefront of music, that flew in the face of this being an all-this color or all-this-culture sort of specialty, or not necessarily, as if you had to have this or that amount of melanin to achieve a certain amount of virtuosity on the music scene… and that’s not the case.
At this point in time I have to say: I personally believe Myka Nyne is the best vocalist in all time in hip hop, and I continue to. But I gotta ask, what do you think of Eminem as an MC? Some people say he’s the best MC in hip hop history, and I think he’s incredible, but I also think you are doing things vocally that he has never done. What is your opinion of Em?
Myka Nyne: I admire Eminem tremendously, because he has this discipline in most of the songs that I hear that he does, of maintaining a specific pattern, if not keeping the pattern for his verses in arrangement, and his compositions cohesive, in that: he’ll keep a pattern locked line for line, and turn his words around. Not to mention the dynamic, whether it’s a choppy flow, or a more, slow methodic flow. He doesn’t, in most cases, do that much melodic deviation or dynamic... there isn’t that much of a wild style approach to his verse matching, as opposed to it being more of a two bar or a four bar rhyme pattern that goes over and over again per verse, and then he might do that same pattern in the second verse, similar to De La Soul, when they used to run their patterns… You know, even Ludacris does that. You know, so however you have a dynamically straight ahead sort of verse, and then you double the entire pattern of that verse and all of its quirks and turns… that’s a little more interesting to me, as well as if it has some sort of melodic sensibility and some sort of pitch changed involved. And you know… still: Em’s a beast, period! Ha ha. An entity. I love his shit. It inspires me to keep going, and keeps the door open for cats like us. Him and Busta Rhymes especially, and Ludacris, to be in the pop arena and have such incredible flow, even Jay-z when he wants to push it a little more. He definitely has a strong flow. Bone Thugs and them. These popular artists in the pop arena have such a strong rapid fire flow or whatever kind of flow they got, it’s so impressive to me right now, you know what I mean? Tech N9ne, Yelawolf, even some of the brother on Xzibit’s last album, with the choppin’ and everything, that definitely impresses me, because that’s not only what we… uh… pretty much invented…
Myka Nyne: You know. It should have hit the mainstream. Artists respect us, in the underground. It shows the fanbase: “Yeah, you can follow these flows,” and open more doors, and keeps the doors open for cats like us, once again. Because, you know, people are going to start wondering: “Okay, where do these styles come from?” when they hear other artists, other than them. And they are going to wonder “Do other artists rap this way’?” They are going to discover some of us out here. Especially if I start doing more videos, and start getting more interviews like this, ha!
Absolutely. To me, this is eternal. It doesn’t matter how old you are. The styles you created, the music captured them. One day, when some new school people discover this hip hop shit isn’t something they just started downloading two years ago, and it has really deep history, some people will start to hear “Wow, Freestyle Fellowship was doing that 2011 new school style of rap, in 1991, on a cassette called ‘To Whom It May Concern?’”
Myka Nyne: …or they get “Innercity Griots” and they say “holy shit!” They could go from that era, or they could go to the Good Life, or they could go to the MCA shit if they are digging really deep… And this place called the Radio, or the Radiotron, which was another open-mic graffiti artist breakdance workshop that Mr. Carmelo used to run in mid-Wiltshire downtown area.
Wow. And that’s when?
Myka Nyne: That’s like ‘83 to ‘86, ‘87.
Word. So, when did you start rapping?
Myka Nyne: The first records I bought in ‘81 were electro records. I started rapping on the back of the bus, when they started the mandatory bus rides. I started making up my own raps, seriously. Then I remember I met Aceyalone, when he was like in the fifth grade… and he was rapping too! Somebody introduced us like “You guys should meet!” That’s a cool little story with me and that brother… but anyway, the first record I bought was ‘Electric Kingdom’, I believe, or ‘Tour De France’, or ‘Planet Rock’, I’m not sure… it was like ’81 or ’82 if I remember. So, my electro roots came out through the house music and the dancehall. Then, I started coming out to New York in the mid-80’s, in the summer. There’s a family out here in L.A., the Earl’s Grill family. They are a pillar in the community off of Crenshaw and Exposition. A family from Trinidad, they would take me to New York and help me when I was there… I started going back, travelling, doing my thing, every year. And I would flow in NY, flow in LA, started chatting, then mixing in with the jazz, a little jazz dancehall style, then all through the early 90’s, I first heard the jungle music, the drum and bass on a pirate station on a tour in the UK with the Freestyle Fellowship, all through the years, late 90’s, early 2000’s there was concrete jungle with the drum and bass and in the last six or seven years, I been rinsing dubstep with my man Audio Dice and Gino Pachino. And now I do a weekly where I resident MC with Daddy Kev, Nobody and Sixblock, with visuals by Strange Loop, and this guy named Oizo, every week. Our thing is called HeavyLA. I got an imprint, my own label, that I started with my bro Max Marv, and my man J the Sarge who I’m in a group with with DJ Drez called Magic Heart Genies, and we did a single on Medusa, we got a punk rock rapper named Dave Dub, and we did an album with him… right now, we anticipate to release Windstrong, who is our dancehall rapper… well, he’s more than that, he’s a singer, an entertainer, and that’s an honor and a privilege to be associated with that release. And I leaked a song called ‘Delusions of Grandeur’ that’s gonna be on my upcoming LP, “Grammaphone” and that’s gonna be out first quarter next year along with the third Magic Heart Genie album called “Pulmonary Artistry”. The first was “Heartifact”, the second was “Cardiac Arrest”... but “Pulmonary Artistry” is dope. It’s really good. And with that, “Mykology” represents a better sonically produced project than some of my previous works, but each work stands on its own. “1969” was fantastic for its simplicity. “Citrus Sessions” was fantastic for its musicality. “A Work in Progress” was great for its rawness. “Timetable” was great for its classic archival conservatoire aspiration. “It’s All Love” is great, ‘cause it’s just straight up and down classic in any form, whether you have the original master of it, or you have a dub from a tape to a tape to a tape. And this new album, “Mykology”, which means the study of mushrooms, is… less psychedelic and more introspective, yet it has a classic kind of quality where it can’t be time-stamped. And I’d say it even leans more towards acoustic and/or organic musicality, than it does the digitalis. But the DJ work is great, and it has segues and interludes, and it has a good flow to it. And I’m excited about the Freestyle Fellowship release, “Promise”, because we haven’t recorded together in quite a while, and we haven’t put out anything in a while. And you know, when we record and come together, we are less interested in what everybody else is doing, and are more interested in what we can still do. We caught the spirit on some of the songs, and we worked with different producers and kind of kept it underground sounding, but there’s definitely bright moments.
Word up. Well, I was just jamming to ‘Why?” and appreciated that it has this kind of Motown classic instrumentation. The singing on the chorus was hip hop meets maturity and musicality, and I thought it was very interesting how all four of you came in dropped these short and sweet verses, made your points and bounced out. But I’m also thankful of the personal history journey you took me on. I’m a big fan, but I can’t even say I own all your albums…
Myka Nyne: Well, “Mykology” is my 6th release. The first is “Its All Love” (1999). The second is “Timetable” (2001). The third is “Work in Progress” (2003). The fourth is “Citrus Sessions” (2006). The fifth is “1969” (2009). The sixth is “Mykology”(2011).
So, you said it was the study of mushrooms. But if you could redefine it, what would it be? If Mykology was a way a life, would it be a religion or a science or an artform? And if Mykology was your approach to life, what would be the commandments or laws? Besides “it’s all love”, ha ha. I’ma just throw that one in there. But what other laws guide your life and your creativity?
Myka Nyne: Okay. It would be one love… yeah, there’s always gotta be love in it. Can’t forget that. “Mykology” would also represent, before I go into the izms… you could have mentioned an anthology of styles, and not necessarily songs, but biology, so any and all of the ‘ologies. You know, once again it’s sort of introspective because it’s biology, but Mykology, one of the tenets would be: freestyling with a sense of focus that might come across as contradictory or hypocritical even or diametrically opposite really just represents a wider range to be open to what’s better in the face of rejecting or being rejected, is really the tricks and only makes room for something better in the face of this or that change. Maintaining the policy of doing your best to not talk about who fucks who, who does what drug, who has what money, cause it keeps you out of that Jerry Springer/Maury Povich bullshit, and let’s see… using that love power. You know, looking people in the eye, even if you have on sunglasses, just to give that spiritual download, that soul-to-soul, eye-to-eye vibration. Being aware of different changes going on in our existence, as well as in our minds, and other people as well. And you know… times are hard, man. It’s really hard these days. We could use all the help we can, as artists. If we are doing something good for you, chances are that I anticipate maintaining being one that reciprocates.
Wow, that sounds like a beautiful religion. I’m a believer. And will be even more of one when I get the album.
Yeah, enjoy that album, man!
Yes, and I’m also glad that Freestyle Fellowship continues to record and carry on tradition, without that talk of retirement. The group is so important, and whether it’s now, twenty years from now, or twenty years ago, people will continue to discover the creativity of the group. But let’s talk about “The Promise” a bit. What can you possibly bring to the table that you guys haven’t before? You guys were rhyming in complex time signatures and brand new harmonies a decade ago. Do you not even approach the new material with a hip hop sensibility anymore? What do you want to do on this album?
Myka Nyne: I think the name “The Promise” means – ‘we haven’t stopped rapping’. And, you know, we want to come with slightly different approaches than we had on the last LP, and maintain some of the tenets of any of the LPs. Like “The Promise” has an intro that’s similar “To Whom It May Concern”, and doesn’t have songs like “To Whom”. And it doesn’t have hella the DJ work of “To Whom”. But we kick styles like on the songs “We (Are)”, where we kick the good old fashioned early 90’s style group mentality kind of thing. And on the song “This Right Here”, it kind of takes it to a more of a “’98 Sessions” Fellowship album. And the song like “Popular”, it’s like Jupiter’s “Park Bench People” off “Inner City Griots”. Granted, I’m personally into more like producer kind of beats on a jazzy, electro-dubby-type of vibration. It’s good to rock with the Fellowship and it’s good for me to release “Mykology” because it keeps me in my lane, hip hop wise. And that’s the shit that’s soulful in and of itself. I could put the vocals out, release the acapellos and have everyone have at it, remixing it. But I like what Villainous did on my album, and I like what the collection of artists did on the fellowship album. On “The Promise” album my favorite track is “This Right Here” just rap-wise, cause it’s like just us in a cipher, kicking our bars and shit. I like “Introspective”… I like “Candy” cause Jimmy James just sings the shit outta the chorus. Oh yeah man, and I don’t know if the Fellowship ever recorded a verse with a female singing the chorus. Other than that song “Why?” that we leaked… that’s not going to be on the LP. I’m not sure. But on the follow-up LP called “PowerPlant”. It has this smoker on it “Party Crasher”. And I know I’m marketing and promoting my current “Mykology” album, but I’m talking about “Grammaphone”, and my current LP “Promise” and I’m talking about “Power Plant”, but it has some bangers and some interesting joints on it as well. And there might even be some preliminary copies floating around, if you are a lucky fan…
So, if you could indulge an optimistic dreamer like myself: what do you think would have happened if Freestyle Fellowship signed to Death Row? I heard Lady of Rage talking about that and it blew my mind. If you don’t mind, can you imagine what it would have been like if you got a chance to work with Dr. Dre and Tupac and them during the beginning of the West Coast g-funk days?
Myka Nyne: I got a history with Dre that goes back to Uncle Jam’s Army. With like King Boulevard on Santa Barbara. And I’d see Warren G, and we’d look at each other and we’d decide if we were even going to get up on the mic they would have a set up on a flatbed truck. That was definitely in the 80’s. But then cats would begin at the swapmeets and stuff. And I would fuck with Eazy-E. And back then that’s when I wrote these two songs for Rappenstein that they put on “N.W.A. and The Posse”. They took Rappenstein out the group and kicked out some more people that made some more songs. They basically kept the same album cover, and it made the album “N.W.A. and the Posse”. Back then, you could still hear the style. And I remember when Eazy first played me the Bone Thugs demo and asked if I liked them. And I said “Yeah, I like them… they kinda sound like us!” Of course I’ma like them. I feel like this was a movement. Then from Dre I remember going to the studio and hang out with RBX. We wrote a couple songs together, and kept the connection. He was doing his thing and started scooping people up, and this lawyer had a convention in his hotel. And I remember Suge was giving out the jackets and the chains, and they were like “Yo Myka, we got a jacket and a chain for you downstairs in the car!” I remember they had one for me and one for P.E.A.C.E. I don’t know if they approached Acey and Jupiter, but I remember going to the studios when they were tracking and recording and vibing out getting ready for what would become the historic album, “The Chronic”. And they would have rhyme sessions in their studios, and shit. And right at that moment, the day before, we had clicked up and decided that solemn oath: “We never will fall the fuck off, we promise as Freestyle Fellowship”. And we, at that time, were on pretty even ground, but we didn’t map out the production value history and quality factors that Dr. Dre did, along with Suge. I think the Fellowship would have added a nice even balance to the whole Death Row vibration, and even bring some life into the situation. But it is what it is. And since then, I’ve seen Dre in the studios, in between times when I’ve been in jail or whatever, and I’ve worked in videos with Dre, and we have some personal friends in common. And you know, it’s nothing but love and support for everything that these people have accomplished and achieved. I think that everybody serves a purpose, and feel that my purpose at that time, or anytime, as Freestyle Fellowship, is to kind of go there, and open things as far as hip hop progression, or at least as far as alternative hip hop is concerned.
Well, I dream that you make a record with Dr. Dre one day, no matter how long it takes for it to come together. He could use a next level MC like you on his enormous G-Funk bangers. So, what does the term ‘underground’ mean to you these days? Because for some so-called underground MCs, they have toured the world, like yourself, have songs in commercials, showed up in Hollywood movies. So how do you define the business you do, being an unconventional, non-traditional artist doing what a mainstream rapper does, but what might be perceived as underground. How do you define these terms? Or do you care, and does it matter?
Myka Nyne: In one aspect, it’s a style of rap, that is connected to freestyling, and as you know, we helped get the world to freestyle. It’s also in your subject matter and approach, as well as a certain dress code that’s more like a writer or tagger dress code, kinda like the backpack. It’s a worldwide community and hip hop outlook that’s not corporate, not just pumping money or materialism. It pumps other subjects and sounds and beats and other musicalities. It also exemplifies the independent and alternative business model of stacking backs. Selling CDs hand to hand, giving away CDs, or cassette tapes, or t-shirts printed back up, and building relationships between other independents and bossing up to where they may just take a look at you, or they are going to have take a look at you because you’re getting your burn anyways, especially in this day and age of viral and social networking and what not. It still represents people that pay dues… and also a certain level of, I dare say, gruntwork, which is gigging before you’re ready for the big time. And within that frame, you interact with artists with bigger or smaller names or draws or follows or fans. Certain artists may not have that many skills, but they have more videos so they have more fans, different aspects. So you know, just kind of like doing your own thing within the midst of all of that, navigating through that and keeping a sense of who you are. I believe it is “underground” or “undercurrent”, because it doesn’t necessarily flow with the mainstream. But the mainstream itself now has become underground style, just as it had become gangster stylee at one time, and of course with the hybridization of hipster kind of vibrations into it, as well as electro vibrations into it… it’s taking on a thing where…. I feel that, me as an MC, I feel underground, because I don’t have a manager, and I don’t have a formal booking agent, but I’m working with people now and romancing that stone. You know, and having my own imprint now, I’m putting out other artists, with my partner Max Marv and J the Sarge, it’s been interesting… and challenging. But to be considered an underground artist, that’s an artist that still hits in the places where he came from, not only for substance, but to keep it real, with a certain style, which may be reflected by rapid-fire cadence, rapid-fire delivery, or using your finger to point out the style as you’re flowing, using hand gestures to kind of pantomime or hand-sign your style as you’re rhyming… to be the maestro to your own style, your orchestra. So you know, that’s something that we focus on. And being just more of a virtuoso in a jazzy sense kind of keeps you underground, cause it’s not in the pop arena. You’re not getting major radio play or major video rotation. But at some point, it does maintain a certain credibility because if you have these artists that are let’s say, part of the underground scene that’s part of the ‘b-boy renaissance’ sound that was so cleverly captured by Jurassic 5, even though they eclipsed some of us by doing gigs with let’s say, Jimmy Kimmel, and what not. And then you got cats used to rap in the basement on the subways with Talib Kweli, you can [now see him] on ‘30 Rock’, you dig? And the brother Snoop, you know RBX is his cousin. I been writing rhymes with him, and you know, back then, Snoop was just starting to rhyme actively. And he called us on the three-way and asked us if he liked his rhymes, you know it would be nothing. We’d all kick it, crashed and chilled in the early days. This was when RBX was signed to Bulletproof. I’m just saying these artists, and the wisdom that they have to deal with the right people have positioned themselves in very successful situations. That doesn’t meant that none of them aren’t real MCs, cause I’ve had ciphers and mock battles with Busta Rhymes in the East Coast, and I’ve had ciphers with Divine Styler. You know, and heads have skills. But some heads you hear more about, and some heads, you don’t. But that doesn’t mean they’re not earning a living, or making music, or living good… or bad. You know? But they are still doing music in one way, shape, form or fashion, whether it’s behind the scenes, or in front of the microphone. But I prefer to keep it on the business end of the microphone. And I prefer to dibble and dabble with production, musicality, and different instruments and singing. But my mainstay is a microphone. And also I like to whistle, ha ha ha! I got a cold whistle, jack. A cold whistle.
Myka Nyne: "LIFE OR DEATH". This is one of the best displays of rhyme flow I've ever heard!
Word up. Well it’s been a wonderful conversation to share with you, brother. Last question: how did you hook up with Factor from Saskatchewan, and what do you think of Canadian hip hop?
Myka Nyne: Well, I have to credit Ceschi Ramos [of Fake Four Records] for hooking me up with Factor primarily, and Factor, he’s just a genius. What started as just a song or two for hire, I envisioned becoming an album, so then it just became that manifestation. It started with the song ‘Smokey’ [aka “Good Old Smokey”], and I was thinking to myself, “What if I did a video for this song?” And it ended up I did a video for that song. In that cipher, I must say that whatever I thought of, has come to fruition. I look forward to working with them, and I REALLY, really look forward to coming to Canada. And I know they have different ways to get me in... I really need someone to help me get in. They tell me that there’s a way I can probably pay to get into Canada, because it’s a just, you know a felony gun charge from when I was a kid, but… I know they have the proxy program and different things, but I really, really want to come to Canada and just perform and circulate the love, and really go in there, and run my rap routine for my die hard fans out there, you know?
Recommended YouTube listening – Myka Nyne 101: Ten Myka Nyne slappers to expand your awareness:
“7th Seal” by the Freestyle Fellowship
“Its All Love”
“Life or Death”
“Chopper” featuring Busdriver
“Non Compos Mentis” featuring Abstract Rude and Aceyalone(Haiku De Tat)
“Sea of the Infinite Wave” by Noah 23 featuring Ceschi Ramos and Myka Nyne
“Closer” by the Magic Heart Genies
“I Must Cross”
(If you need more evidence of Myka Nyne excellence, check for “First Things Last” “Citrus District” “Park Bench People”, “Don’t Start None”, “Agoraphobia”, but there’s so much more…)
The defense rests, your honor.
By Adhimu "Mindbender" Stewart