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11 October, 2005@12:00 am

     Young Philip Bernard experienced more than his fair share of crime and heartache growing up in Queens, New York.  Losing his father to gunfire at an early age, he had plenty reason to turn his heartache into negativity.  Fortunately, Philip channeled his energies into creative outlets and birthed the monster known as Grafh, a track rippin’, microphone monster. Traveling the mixtape circuit for the last couple years, Grafh has finally seen his hard work pay-off in the form of his first release, titled Grafh Presents: The Preview – Official Mixtape. Though The Preview is billed as an official mixtape, it’s far from mixed songs and freestyles.

     Preview begins with “Rep Ya Set,” a teeth chattering aural exam provided by producer Levelz.   Here, Grafh’s rough past shows in his aggressive delivery and sets the tone for the rest of the LP. Grafh further displays his menacing flow on “Get Shot Boy,” where he warns chumps that he ain’t the one to be played with. But the jewel of the album has to be “I Ain’t Playin’” featuring Stat Quo.  Over a menacing synth lick, both artists get their rhyme on, but it’s Shady Records upcoming talent that really shines, flowing over the beat effortlessly (“still grain grippin, lane switchin, never trickin, raw spittin, wig splittin, corner dippin, track rippin, skrilla flippin, me slippin?, ya’ll trippin”).

     One attribute that sets Grafh apart from fellow up-and-coming rappers is his unique flow.  Throughout the album he displays this, at times rhyming double-time (regardless of BPM), while on other tracks his delivery is sharp and precise.  Though his wordplay at times gets lost in his delivery, their are numerous quotables to be found on Preview.  On “Get It”, Grafh nimbly shuffles over Scram Jones’ hyped-up drums, rhyming “It’s fucked up that I’m the guy that kids idolize/around here the bad guy wins and the idol dies/But it’s good cause I’m the bad guy, so I’ll survive.”

    In totality, Preview is just what it is meant to be; a lead into Grafh’s official debut, which should wet the appetites of Grafh fans and expose himself to Hip-Hop lovers previously unaware of his lyrical prowess.

  Mixtape D.L.
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