This week, Comprehensive Beatdown celebrates its 10th episode of the podcast with a little classic album retrospect. The end of April from 1992-1995 was a monster each year. Bloggy Bonilla and Silent G will take a listen to and discuss songs from Beastie Boys’ “Check Your Head,” Mobb Deep’s “The Infamous,” and Outkast’s “Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik.” The centerpiece of this week’s episode is “Innercity Griots” from Freestyle Fellowship. “Innercity Griots,” the Fellowship’s second full length, was released on April 28, 1993. The album in many ways served as a counterpoint to their West Coast hip hop colleagues who tended more toward the hardcore stylings of groups like Eazy-E. Freestyle Fellowship’s influence can be seen and heard through groups ranging from Jurassic 5, Pharcyde, Hieroglyphics, Anticon and many, many others. The guys listen to the album and talk about pretty much everything in this chattiest episode yet.
“If it wasn’t for a Mic Check you wouldn’t have a check at all” just as relevant today as 1995. Aceyalone broke out from The Freestyle Fellowship to drop his solo debut album All Balls Don’t Bounce in 1995 and it stands as one of the most original and under appreciated works in Hip-Hopdom. Then The Book of Human Language came out a couple years later and everything I thought about Hip-Hop music changed.
Freestyle Fellowship’s Self Jupiter & producer Bionik will be dropping an EP this summer. To keep the fans appetite quenched, they drop “Don’t Say Nathan”, a bass heavy deep track. Self Jupiter is in vintage form showing what makes him one of the best to call the west coast home. Groomed in the Los Angeles underground, Jupiter has been heavily influential in the hip-hop scene there. From Project Blowed to Good Life to Yoshi’s, there is not a stage that Self Jupiter has not blessed in the city. Bionik has been working with Jupiter’s bandmate, Aceyalone, bringing his own distinct sound to the cityscape.
West Coast veteran, Aceyalone aka Acey The Faceman aka Ace One, takes a stab at the “Draft Day” beat crafting a verbal resume for all the young bucks out there who might not be up on game. Ace has birthed more styles than just about anyone else in the brief history of this thing we call hip-hop music. His ability to ride over any beat in virtually unparalleled in the game.
Self Jupiter (Freestyle Fellowship) & Kenny Segal (Team Supreme/HellFyre Club) are known collectively as The Kleenrz and they create great music. Jupiter is a seasoned veteran who can rhyme over anything with a beat and teaming up with Kenny Segal has brought out some of the best in the Project Blowed OG. L.P. coming soon. This is Los Angeles hip-hop music.
Freestyle Fellowship/Project Blowed/Good Life veteran P.E.A.C.E. freestyles over a trap beat proving why he is the very embodiment of an EMCEE. If you are not up on P.E.A.C.E. or the FF or PB, then once again Google is your friend and be prepared to dig deep. These cats influenced some of your favorite emcees in the game. And by influenced I mean birthed their styles.
Aceyalone’s second album Book Of Human Language sticks in my head as one of the most highly revered albums of all time, regardless of genre. Each composition is independent yet fits snug within the pages of the novel which was being spoken. Each song represents a chapter, each verse a paragraph and each word is a sentence. Aceyalone’s lyrical genius is on full display here. Reinforcing what most everyone knew from All Balls Don’t Bounce and his Freestyle Fellowship contributions, he was at the apex which rappers could only hope to come catch a glimpse. It baffles the mind the number of different styles he seems to create and then disregard as easily as it was created, leaving the waste to be scooped up and used by some emcee bystander. Very few albums, and even fewer rap albums give me the filling I got from the first listen of Book Of Human Language, for that I am grateful and saddened at the same time. I wish other artists, who might be equally talented if they applied themselves, would take the approach to their craft the way Ace did.
ACEYALONE spits his Dart verse accapella
Self Jupiter also spitting his Dart verse accapella
Myka 9 accapella version of “This Right Here” verse….WHAT!
P.E.A.C.E. verse from “Step 2 The Side”, alos done accapella style
These verses accompanied with beats can be found on the brand new Freestyle Fellowship album The Promise