Question from Philippe: “I’d like to know what happened to Mike Zoot, that NYC MC that released records on Guesswhyld Records, Tommy T Records and recorded with Mos Def, Shabaam Sahdeeq? I asked Bam and Spinna but never got any reply.”

Answer: As with Diverse, also file this under “I have no idea.” The thing is, there will always be generations of “lost” artists who, despite brief moments of prominence and productivity, will fade from view as the music changes and new artists come to the fore. If I can be really blunt: I thought Zoot was a decent MC but not exemplary and not someone who, in 2013, I find myself ever thinking about.

Personally, I’m actually more curious as to the current whereabouts of Guesswhyld’s founder, Matt Fingaz. I met Matt, once, in New York, visiting him at his parents’ place. This was in the “golden days” of mid/late ’90s indie renaissance. I remember Matt as being surprisingly young, bubbling with energy and ambition, but also part of that wave of indie record dudes who were putting out tons of product, not aware that the bottom was about to drop out in a few years. Of course, I didn’t see it coming either. Guesswhyld, to me, was interesting because Matt and/or his partners had their pulse on the right talent to work with and often, I’d look at their upcoming releases and thought, “damn, they look like they have some heat coming out.” But even by 1999, it felt like things were quickly coming to an end for labels like Guesswhyld and others.

I still ride for this release from Zoot:

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