1 January, 2002@12:00 am
The story of Percy Carey is a disheartening one. Pronounced dead on the scene from the infliction of 8 gunshot wounds to the body, Carey who’d recorded arguably the most memorable verse of his career (that being, KMD’s “What A Niggy Know” remix) only days before the shooting was faced with frighteningly never being able see the fruits of his artistry grow. Miraculously brought to life by medics, only to be bound to a wheelchair for the rest of his life, the artist then regarded as Grimm Reaper would return to Rap, recording and releasing a bevy of material throughout the major-label decline and indie-rush of the mid-to-late Nineties. Appearances on albums from Kurious to Kool G Rap garnered massive attention outside of the tri-state, which would then be parlayed into a handful of singles (released namely from longtime NYC radio supporters Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito) all characteristic of the venom-spit born on that KMD b-side so long ago. But as fruition came to be, no sooner, does the re-christened MF Grimm find himself incarcerated in an upstate New York penitentiary.
Without divulging further into the personal life of Carey, this, his debut full-length, marks the steady work of Grimm’s step past meager 12″ fame. Fans of his shared namesake, MF Doom, will gravitate towards the metal-fingered touch upon the album’s production bulk, and while others contribute, it’s the two together that create the wildly vivid successes of this album. “Life And Death”, a mild musical rehash of the title cut from KMD’s catalog, finds Grimm flexing poetic about his metaphorical pull-push relationship with Life, Death and mistress Coma – a wonderfully written fable only sadly sweetened by the sorrowful history of both Grimm and Doom. “I.B.’s” another Grimm/Doom connection sizes up similar concepts of love lost atop an oddly emotionally backbeat. As Grimm ponders the faithfulness of a lover while behind bars the lingering Audio Two snippet (“I stole your girl while you was in prison”) only ads insult to the penned injury. With 8 songs produced by Doom and a handful more co-produced by the Villain, musically you may be able to gauge the variety found throughout. That’s not to take away from other contributors behind the board, Dr. Butcher and DJ Eli make noteable appearances yet for outsiders it’s dminor and Count Bass-D that take precedence. dminor’s wrapping pianos atop “Together” roll Grimm along superbly for his “story about retarded nigga”. As The Count (who just also released an album through the rising Day By Day imprint) equates the Doom atypics with a powerfully soulful Stevie Wonder chop on “Words”, as Grimm sums these equally wildly emotional albums with “Lord why do you love me? I don’t even love me. Doing things forbidden. Giving into temptation. Murdering your creation. Breaking bread with Satan. My soul feels so cold…dancing with the devil, music feels so evil”. The world is a cold place, yet from prison Grimm reminds his listener the possibility of happiness through music.
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