MF Grimm, Grimm Reaper, Manhattan’s Finest, his name is synonymous with hip-hop, comics, producing, and the birthplaces of New York’s premier cuts of music. While never catching a serious mainstream attention, Grimm was able to wreck microphones while simultaneously being able to illustrate a true sense of pride behind his words. On his 2007 release, The Hunt For The Gingerbread Man; Grimm is a lyrical genius that describes the very real sense of danger in the world. There is a constant confliction of reality behind Grimm’s literal, real world of stories and the child-esque wonder of the instrumentals that Grimm presents on The Hunt For The Gingerbread Man. It is nihilistic and abrasive, but still colorful enough to stand proudly and exclaim that Grimm is still an Underground King.
From the earliest self-titled cuts on The Hunt For The Gingerbread Man, to the later tracks where Grimm is spilling his personal story into the track that acts as a therapist, Grimm is hellish in his approaches and the lines are fruitful for schemes, but have underlying styles of depression and confusion. MF Grimm is a storytelling rapper, a lyricist who can contain a narrative behind his word choice and his samples. In the track, “Gingy”, Grimm rhymes quickly while the production behind him is a boom-bap, relating back to his New York roots, percussive beat-down with piano that plays sadistically in the background. Even as Grimm moves progressively through the track, he explains, “V.I.P. Treatment, hit with the nine, twisted, sadistic, statistic of crime. Gingerbread rule world, there’s no negotiating, send you a bomb in the mail like Kaczynski”. His wordplay is the focal point of Grimm’s attraction, the fact that he can rhyme through rough and raw themes, while keeping a consistently destructive tone behind his production. His is a lyrical boxer that goes head-to-head on the following track, “Fame”, where he is rugged, but realistic behind his motives and his approaches.
Grimm opens with a sample from the 1992 film, Trespass which explains, “That’s the beauty of gold, it never tarnishes. Lasts forever too, you can melt it down, pound it, twist it, piss on it, but it’s always the same gold”. Then as Grimm begins his first verse, he describes, “Mental kickboxer, still test jaws, I’m Grandmaster Grimm Reaper, feds snooping at door like Mr. Roper… A man with a dream with plans to make cream, I want the money fuck the fame”. Grimm shares no remorse and covers much different topics than his once MF partner, MF DOOM who is more comedic and less straight-forward. The two distinctive rhymers who rose in the 1990’s are the catalysts for how Grimm builds his tracks and how he can shake the Earth with his mighty verses. This is especially true on the following track, “Earth” which has a nursery rhyme styled over a boom-bap percussive beat with steel-beams for lyrics. Grimm proclaims on the hook, “Trapped on a planet of pain and perpetrators that you call Earth, but I call hells equator”. With his verses where he explains, “Chariots of fire, gunshots from the wheelchair, Nigga I’ll leave you there”.
MF Grimm is a quick-witted, MC that captures the fear behind the streets and puts the listener into a box of paranoia and thieves. The den that Grimm paints is not for everyone, his production is boom-bap at the core, but still prevalent today as a true classic of hip-hop music.