Michael Troy, better known by his stage name Myka 9, is a rapper and producer from Los Angeles, California. He is a member of Freestyle Fellowship, Haiku D'Etat and Magic Heart Genies. Known for years as Mikah 9, he changed the spelling to Myka Nyne with the release of A Work in Progress in 2003. Since Magic Heart Genies' album Heartifact in 2008, he has been credited as Myka 9.
Originally known as Microphone Mike in the 1980s, Myka 9 was a member of the MC Aces with Aceyalone and Spoon Iodine. He stated that he ghost-wrote two tracks on N.W.A.'s debut album N.W.A. and the Posse in 1987.
As a co-founder of Freestyle Fellowship, he was instrumental in the scene at the Good Life Cafe in the early 1990s.
Released in 1993, Freestyle Fellowship's second album Innercity Griots is one of the landmarks of Los Angeles hip hop. Their videos for "Inner City Boundaries" and "Hot Potato" brought them to the attention of a wider audience. Myka 9 was also featured on two tracks on Project Blowed compilation in 1994. In the late 1990s, Myka 9 came together with Aceyalone and Abstract Rude to form Haiku D'Etat. In 2008, Myka 9 formed Magic Heart Genies with J the Sarge and DJ Drez.
Myka 9 has collaborated with The Wailers Band, Prefuse 73, Daddy Kev, Busdriver, Blue Sky Black Death, K-the-I???, and many others. He has worked extensively with producer and trumpeter Josef Leimberg, who produced the majority of It's All Love: American Nightmare and A Work in Progress. He has released two albums with Canadian producer Factor.
As one of the most stylistically advanced rappers at the Good Life Cafe, Myka 9 has had a profound influence on Los Angeles underground hip hop and freestyle rap in general. Discussing the influence of Myka 9's song "7th Seal" on Freestyle Fellowship's first album To Whom It May Concern... (1991), Ellay Khule said, ""7th Seal" blew everybody's mind for at least 2 years straight. People studied that shit backwards and forwards--even we don't know all those words. That made everybody say like 'I gotta get a tape out' or 'I can't rap like so-and-so no more. I can't be in 80s, now we movin' to the 90s.' That totally transferred our musical thought." Drummer and producer JMD said, "Mike was like the Charlie Parker of all these motherfuckers."
Myka 9's style has been an influence to musicians far beyond the West Coast. In an interview, Pigeon John said, "For me Mikah 9 was like Miles Davis. He was a tall good looking dude, the girls always liked him and this dude just went on stage and there was no effort in him. He was a genius in what he did. He effected and influenced so many people in hip-hop including Mos Def, Talib Kweli, that whole scene. Years before Leaders of the New School, there are stories where Freestyle Fellowship, when they first came out and they went to New York. That whole shouting stuff, they had this ingenious way to do it and they had a backing jazz band before Digable Planets. Busta Rhymes ran up to him (Myka 9) afterwards and said "dude what kind of style is this," and then low and behold Leaders of the New School came out. So there's plenty of stories like that, but that's just like a taste of how potent that scene was at the Good Life."
Myka 9 is known for rapid-fire, jazz-influenced, melodic rapping, often incorporating singing and occasionally scatting into his songs. Myka 9 has said of his style: "My rhymes take the direction of a jazz trumpet or sax solo, like Miles or Trane, if I was to rhyme in the same meter as those notes... that's my concept."
Myka 9 is featured in the documentary Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme. He is also featured in the award-winning documentary This Is the Life, chronicling the music movement that was birthed at The Good Life Cafe in South Central, Los Angeles. The Good Life Cafe is the open-mic workshop where he first performed with Freestyle Fellowship in the early 1990s.
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license