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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