By Steve Weinstein
By Bryan Bierman
By Lindsey Rhoades
By Chaz Kangas
By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Jena Ardell
By Jesse Sendejas Jr.
By Katherine Turman
To Whom It May Concern is an elusive documentthe Holy Grail of underground hip-hop. Its initial 1991 run of 500 cassettes and 300 vinyl LPs is a faint memory; rather, its legacy depends on generation upon generation of dubbed copies passed along like gifts. Now on CD for the first time, To Whom stakes its claim as the blueprint for not only the L.A. independent scene, but for those of the Bay Area and New York as well. The nonlinear narratives of Aceyalone, Mikah 9, P.E.A.C.E., and Self Jupiter took cues from improvised jazz and scat cadences, creating rapid-fire tales of transglobal transcendence and cultural affirmation that spurned the era's prevailing antivalues. On "7th Seal" Mikah 9 warns of "schemes of global subjugation"; on "Legal Alien," J. Sumbi invokes black science fiction, railing against those who "call me a trespasser. I was first on the planet, but now I'm last on the poles of progress."
In their quest to "take
rap music to its threshold of enlightenment," the Fellowship fell on many deaf ears, yet
their vision is still heard today re-imagined in the progressive sounds of groups like Company Flow and Styles of Beyond. Be advised.
To Whom It May Concern
Beats and Rhymes
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