18 June, 2010@8:46 pm
You remember the 90s right? The classic east coast rap video images: flaming trashcan, circle of jeeps underneath a train track and it was always nighttime. This was the era MF Grimm came out of the era he was made for. His last album featured classic east coast production along with Wu-Tang samples and angry, yet real, lyrics.
On You Only Live Twice MF Grimm is back for more. Grimm’s been gone for a few years, but he’s back with Kung Fu skits, Looney Tunes samples and an album length story that’s a lot more digestible than the Gingerbread Man persona on his last record.
Grimm’s never been the best rapper. but he’s a good lyricist. The man raps with anger and you can hear the fierceness in his words. He believes in what he says. He’s not doing it for Cristal and Cadillacs, he’s doing it because its what he does. On the track “I Am King” he spits like he believes it over bursting horns and bass beats.
The production on his album stands with the best on American Hunger, Grimm’s triple disc epic from a few years back. That being said, it’s a still a ways away from Just Blaze or Kanye, but there’s still room to grow. Halfway through the album, “Medicine” stands out as a sample, as it is stretched out hauntingly over a sparse beat. The drums could use some more life on this album, however.
Grimm’s familiar theme of life after death comes back on “Waiting”. Heaven and Hell is something that’s been in MF Grimm’s lyrics more often than not. On “Waiting” he raps over a beat that sounds like angels flying over hell, rising up through the rocks in the ground. He continues with his theme on “Angel Without Wings” rhyming confidently about his skills, but still not happy in his lyrics.
“Last Days” is probably the most upbeat song of the whole album. Over a electric guitar sample and some loose vocals, Grimm speaks about the “Last Days” like a man ready to embrace them, or perhaps not.
Grimm has a great voice and believes in what he says. He’s one of the most confident MC’s alive and its easy to see how he came back from being crippled to put out three albums, a comic book and start a record label. He talks about being shamed, being in prison, being shot, but the man keeps coming back, Grimm can’t stop, won’t stop.
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