Myka 9

That LL Cool J story is funny. Be sure to cop his new solo album “1969” in stores now. link

You mentioned rapping over LL Cool J instrumentals earlier. Was he a big influence?
Yeah, I even had fantasies to battle him! I remember one time I met him because he was hanging out with one of my homegirls, and I was the kind of dude that would be like kamikaze, you know, just start rhyming, no warning or nothing. So we’re in a home environment, a living room, and they’re like, “Yo, yo, this is L.” And I was drinking this juice and an ice cube got caught in my throat! I was about to say something and I chucked up this ice cube! He was like, “You rhyme?” I was like, “Yeah, I rhyme.” He was like, “Yeah, that happens a lot! I can tell a lot of people are MCs because they want to battle me, but they get choked up!”

So at what point did the Good Life Cafe come into play?
Good Life was late-’80s. It was the first open mic I’d heard of that allowed people to rap. It was about as big as a small bar, with a small stage, maybe fit a hundred people. The first week, maybe five people were there. But by the end of the month, it was thirty, forty people. And by the end of two months, it was so big they had to put the speakers outside.

What was your most memorable night there?
Probably before Freestyle Fellowship when I got a single record deal with Arista Records—I did a remix for a girl named Carmen Carter, ended up rapping on it, and the label liked the song (“Always”) so much they decided to put us on a nationwide tour. So before I left I performed that song at the Good Life and everyone was really congratulatory towards me.
Also, there was some cats—I forget their name—and they were kinda weird: a heavy metal band who painted their faces white, like the opposite of Kiss—the Black Kiss—and they would come and rock and roll, but real slow. They stood out!