MF Grimm – “Scars and Memories” Review
Wednesday June 22nd 2005,
Filed under: Albums,Reviews
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Grimm Label

Having performed under a number of handles, from Build and Destroy to Grimm Reaper, which then evolved to MF Grimm and eventually GM Grimm (the full story can be heard in the interview snippets throughout the album), Percy Carey has endured a near-fatal shooting that left him in a wheelchair, extended jail time and major label woes without losing his passion for rhyming. His first official album was The Downfall of Ibliys, recorded in the 24 hours before he served a bid, and he dropped a second long-player (Digital Tears) when he was released, but he already had a rich history in the rap game through a string of 12″ releases and guest shots. Many of his cameos were assembled on the Best of MF CD for those of you playing catch-up, and the proper release of Scars and Memories (Day By Day Entertainment) finally collects many of his old vinyl classics with a healthy assortment of previously unreleased material.

This is the kind of shit that I fiend for, so when I first heard about this project I was chaffing at the bit. Having already snatched-up all the old MF Grimm records, I was particularly amped to check out the “lost” material, and there’s enough quality exclusives on here to satisfy even the most diehard of Grimm fans. “Crumb Snatchers” and “King of New York” stand out in particular as vintage slices of downtempo brilliance. His first record – 1993’s “So Watcha Want?” – still sounds great lyrically, and some of his best Dolo and Fondle ‘Em singles are also featured. “Take ‘Em To War (Original Version)”, which he remade on Kool G Rap‘s 4,5,6 album with B-One, enjoyed a very limited pressing through Bobbitto‘s indy imprint under the tile of “WWIII”. The song is nothing short of incredible, as Grimm’s top-notch vocals ride a tidal-wave of distorted bass, cinematic strings and keys (courtesy of MF Doom, who’s in fine form here).

“Get Down” remains as the possibly the slowest, most unorthodox club song ever released, as Grimm details the nights activities over a moody Dr. Butcher production which seems more suited to a late-night weed session than an evening of elbow-throwing debauchery. The original 12″ release of the song seemed to acknowledge this fact, as Fatman Scoop was recruited to inject his trademark “party animal” energy into the remix, which actually turned out to be pretty good. The b-side of that record, “Emotions” is another one of the Reaper’s finest moments, as he and B-One proceed to tear the show up with the assistance of a superb “Time’s Up” hook. Rob Swift contributes some impressive production work on many of the tracks, and it’s great to finally hear the proper version of “Do It For The Kids” after the wrong mix was released on Fondle ‘Em by mistake (minus the chorus, back-up’s, intro and outro!). In case you haven’t gathered by now, this album is nothing but certified dopeness from one’s of rap’s most slept-on deep thinkers. Pick it up.

Here’s some audio of Grimm wrecking shit at the Rocksteady Anniversary Jam in ’94.

Review copy supplied courtesy of Shogun Distribution.

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10 Comments so far
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This and Cormega are my favorite albums of the year so far. Sure they’re the only two albums i’ve bought and both old material but that’s not the point, is it?

Man, i’d been waiting on this one for a few years and, as you say, it was dope to get some tracks we’ve never heard before but whatshisname from Day By Day said it was gonna feature the B1 track with Grimm, Finesse and Foxxx and it wasn’t on there. Bastards. Plus they changed the beat on “dedicated” and messed with the beat on “emotions” and it doesn’t sound right.

Anyway, minor gripes, agreed on “ww3″/”take ’em to war”. Stunning. Definately his best track and one of the grimiest tracks you’ll ever hear. Nice for me to finally have a good quality “aids”/”stay strapped” too. And i’m lovin’ “king of new york”. Love the two samples in the chorus.


Comment by Brian Beck From Wisconsin 06.22.05 @

thanks for the heads up, i’ll have to keep my eye out for the new Grimm stuff. I remember picking up Landslide years ago on fondle’em. still play it every once in a while. maybe i should through it up on the ol’ blog one day.

Comment by marco 06.22.05 @

“messed with the beat on “emotions” and it doesn’t sound right”

Yeah I thought something was different on that one.

“maybe i should through it up on the ol’ blog one day”

Good idea, since they didn’t include it on the album.

Comment by Robbie 06.22.05 @

the albums awesome

Comment by Air Alex 06.22.05 @

They made the bass and drums too prominent in front of the piano sample on the version of “emotions” on the album and took the piano out of the beginning 10 or 20 seconds of each verse.

Comment by Brian Beck From Wisconsin 06.23.05 @

yea that landslide beat is bananas! please post it and the instrumental too! thanks!

Comment by neil nice 06.24.05 @

Thank you for writing this exceptional review. Build or Destroy, Grandmaster Grimm, MF, however you want to call him; he’s one of the most instrumental and influential MCs on the planet. I hope one day he’ll write an autobiography, ’cause half the story has never been told and Grimm has been responsible for a lot of your favorite MCs’, producers’ and DJs’ careers.
Love is Love,
Miranda Jane

Comment by Miranda Jane 06.25.05 @

does this have the alternate verse version of take em to war w/b-one and g rap where grimm uses his verse from so whatcha want nigga[i believe] over the ill axelrod loop? is that wwiii?? it’s a bit confusing…

Comment by thesurgeongeneral 06.25.05 @

“the B1 track with Grimm, Finesse and Foxxx”

That song’s called “Takin’ Niggas”. It was on the B-1 demo that RapPages reviewed once. If anyone has a copy, please let me know.

“does this have the alternate verse version of take em to war”

Nah, “WWIII” is just Grimm.

Comment by Robbie 06.26.05 @

as a fan.. i can’t say.. how impressed i am that.. Grimm work got out and was put together so well..the pictures on the insert..the front cover and the album snippets of interviews really set the tone.. i can’t believe that this wasn’t out years ago.. things would be sooooo different..that king of NY track was bananas..wack emcees..repeatedly destroys my hearing cuz i pump it sooo loud..big up my mentor. MF GRIMM.. next up is that “american hunger” album dropping september… keep up to date at
thank u.. for the dope review
RAVAGE aka MeccaGodZilla of M.I.C and Day By Day Ent.

Comment by MeccaGodZilla aka RAVAGE 07.04.05 @

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