Today we are chilling with a new up and coming rapper named Grimez. He comes from Charlotte, North Carolina and has been making a name for himself by being the official rapper on the Mac Attack show on CBS radio and dropping his video for “Raise Em Up”. Not too mention making tons of appearances on the Digital Dynasty mixtape series over the last 4 years. Grimez has an agenda to get many things before the end of 2012 and with that said we got to chop it up with the wild boy and it went a little something like this…
HipHopLead – Grimez is an interesting name. For starts where did the name come from?
Grimez- I came up with it before I even wrote my first rhyme, when I was starting out on the production side. It comes from Grimes Street in uptown Charlotte, where I got my introduction to the grimier side of life with my boy SB, currently incarcerated, who I started my label, Grind It Out Records, with.
HipHopLead – We know you rep Charlotte, NC all day. Have you always lived there?
Grimez- Born and raised, I grew up a few miles outside of the city limits. But I’ve bounced around all over the city for the past 10 years. I’ve seen it come from nothing to what it is now.
HipHopLead – Lets clear the air .. you have a WuTang tattoo and love the NY Jets …. are you sure you are living in the right state? (laughs)
Grimez- Charlotte was way different when I was growing up. This was before the Hornets, before the Panthers, and before the whole Atlanta music scene. But yeah, I was into Wu-tang heavy in high school. My nickname was even “Chef” after Raekwon. I’ve always had a facsination with New York tho.
HipHopLead – What made you wanna get into HipHop?
Grimez- Honestly I made my album because I was sick of the shit I was hearing on the radio and I really felt that rap was dying. I didnt make this album for the masses, I made the kind of music I like to listen to. Simple as that. I never grew up wanting to be a rapper. I never even knew I had the talent. I was pissed off at some girl one day and sat down and wrote my first verse in like 15 minutes. That verse made the album. I don’t write just to write. I always write to music and I rarely, if ever, freestyle. I don’t force it. But 90% of all the verses I’ve written have been recorded, or will be. It’s a zone I go into, it’s hard to explain.
HipHopLead – Who were your influences to get into music?
Grimez- Needless to say my biggest influences are Wu-Tang Clan and 3-6 Mafia. I was hardcore, even into the spin offs like Killarmy and Lil Wyte. Wu-tang from 93-99 and 3-6 from 99 to present day. I’m big on 36 Mafia, not lyrically, but their consistency and the volume of listenable music they release. They’ve put out well over 50 projects collectively
and I can ride to almost all of them. Outside of hip hop. Bob Marley, Marvin Gaye, and Pink Floyd.
HipHopLead – A lot of people say the majority of the rappers in the South are not lyrical or lack substance. After listening to “All I Know” and “Raise Em Up” it seems like you have a dark story to tell and recognize quality lyrics are important to you. What makes you not want to not dumb it down?
Grimez- I think that comes from writing only when I have something on my mind to write about. I like to get as much info across in a verse as I can get without a bunch of filler or nonsense. I want every bar to make a point, to have a reason for being in there besides the fact it rhymes. Anybody can rap in one or two syllable words. i like to throw some 5 or 6s in there. And I respect other rappers who are passionate about their music
HipHopLead – What projects have you released to date?
Grimez- Pretty much every song I’ve ever recorded up to this year is on my debut “Actions Speak Louder Than Words”, which I’m debuting exclusively on HipHopLead.com. In my biased opinion there’s not a bad song on there. I recorded 25 songs for the album and 21 made the cut. I’m not the type of artist who’s gonna record 100 songs a year like 2 Chainz or Lil Wayne. I prefer quality over quantity. I paid for everything out my pocket for this so I dont like to waste my time. I do have 10 appearances to date on Advo’s Digital Dynasty series and did the “Tebow” song for CBS Sports Radio, here in Charlotte.
HipHopLead – Your new project, “Actions Speak Louder Than Words” is about to drop. Where did the title come from?
Grimez- It’s a saying I use in relationships alot. But its really just something I live by. You can say your gonna do something till your blue in the face or you can actually go out and make it happen.
HipHopLead – What type of music are the fans in store for with this mixtape?
Grimez- My music is very beat and story driven. I always write to music, and I won’t record a song unless im feeling the beat. But its really a journey through some of my darkest days. It all comes from the heart. I was dealing with some major demons during the recording process, and this album was my release, what kept me going, what kept me alive. I can promise you it’s like something you’ve never heard. Its definitely in your face. My real goal as an artists is to explain to the world what its like to be bi-polar/schizophrenic. And how my brain really works, which even I dont totally understand
HipHopLead – Which was your favorite song and why?
Grimez- The song that is most personal to me is “One of a Kind” That’s really what Im going for an artist. I explain what I go through mentally on a daily basis. A struggle to keep my sanity.
HipHopLead – Any new projects coming out after that? Any features?
Grimez- I’ve got an album in the works with Ben Freezy, who just signed a distribution deal with Island/Def Jam, entitled “Embrace the Madness”. He produced over half of “Actions Speak Louder Than Words” and is featured heavy on it. I’m also working on a project with Advo and his crew in NYC. I’m hoping to drop both in 2013.
HipHopLead – Speaking of that we heard that you have a song with Tha Advocate, J.D. Artist and Shawn Blayze coming soon. We know the details were scarce but Advo told us that the song is “A dark eye opener about life”. Can you give us anymore details on that song and how it came about?
Grimez- We getting deep now. The song is really just the next step I want my music to head in. My verse really comes off as a straight up suicide letter, which is something ive battled for over a decade. its another, deeper glimpse into the workings of my twisted brain. We got a tight ass video in the works for it this Christmas in New York City.
HipHopLead – Speaking of Advo he told us something crazy. We don’t want to put you on front street but we have to know .. is it true you drove all the way to New York to shoot a music video with only 2 dollars left in your pocket, while running thru EZ pass tolls and putting a $1.35 in gas in your car to make it over the bridge?? (laughs)
Grimez- (Laughs) Something like that. I’m a bit of a free spirit. my label’s called Grind it Out for a reason. I’ve put roughly $8,000 in my music out of my own pocket without dealing and I was fucking homeless for the majority of the recording process. I’ve had over 30 jobs since high school, but my condition and my personality makes it hard for me to keep a normal job. I’m a bit of a loose cannon. I go off my gut and feeling. I live my life day to day, no one is promised tomorrow.
HipHopLead – A lot of artists wouldn’t do what you did. Whether you call it poor planning or dedication its up to the person from the outside looking in. What made you take such a risky trip?
Grimez- It’s all perspective. Your reality is created inside your own head. I’m never gonna be content with a 9-5 job. That’s just not me. This is a fire thats in me. I’ve tried to put it out but its not goin away. Call it fate or call it destiny, this is what I’m here to do.
HipHopLead – Was it true some nights you even slept on the beaches and in your car?
Grimez- Oh yeah like I’ve said I’ve been homeless off and on for years. More times than I care to remember. I move around so much I usually dont know my own address, ask Advo if you dont believe me! (Laughs) Not the first time and probably wont be the last…
HipHopLead – What was it like meeting and working with Advo and Monstar films?
Grimez- It was definitely an experience. That whole trip was kind of surreal. It all still seems like a dream. I look forward to working with Monstar Films again this christmas for “End Of My Rope”. Advo was just as I expected, larger than life.
HipHopLead – Are you happy with the sacrifice you made to shoot your music video for “Raise Em Up”?
HipHopLead – How would you describe your style of hip-hop?
Grimez- Precise, militant, rugged, raw, emotional, passionate.
HipHopLead – What is a typical day like for you?
Grimez- Oh lord. Wake-n-bake, meditate, try to make it the rest of the day without killing somebody.
HipHopLead – Other then music what do you do to make that paper?
Grimez- Before I got back into this game, I was planning to move to vegas to concentrate on betting college and pro football. But I’ve bartended in Charlotte in 23 different restaraunts since I was 18. I was a pro wrestler for a couple years as well, but that didn’t really pay the bills.
HipHopLead – After hearing your music it’s no secret you struggled with addiction and had a hard life. In 2012 how are you coping with everything and are you staying clean?
Grimez- I got to a point in my addiciton to where I could only write when I was geeked up. And when I got clean I quit writing and was on heavy psychopathic meds, which made me like a zombie. I definitely lived a hard lifestyle for a few years. And in retrospect I was probably subconsciously trying to kill myself, which I came damn close to doing a few times. I’m coming up on my one year anniversary of being cocaine free. And I’ve done more with my music this year than I did in the previous five. Staying clean is all mental once you get past the first few weeks.
HipHopLead – What was your drug of choice when you were going thru all the crazy situations?
Grimez- Definitely cocaine I would spend at least $100 a night 5 or 6 days out of the week on that shit. But the bad started to heavily outweigh the good. The paranoia would consume me and I would have auditory hallucinations and shit. It got way out of hand for a while. But I still smoke weed like 6 times a day. I prefer it to prescription meds. I don’t smoke to get high, I smoke to maintain my sanity and try to live as close to an ordinary life as I can. You may think medical marijuana is a crock, but I believe its a miracle drug and is key to our future on this planet.
HipHopLead – How does being Bi – Polar effect your music, or the creative process?
Grimez- It’s where my music comes from. I’m really just starting to grasp how my brain really works. I wouldn’t wish my bad days on my worst enemy. But the high is like no drug you can buy. I’m starting to learn to control it without the meds, and that scares even me. There’s a thin line between genius and insanity and you’re looking at it. There’s a reason I’m here and a reason I’m like this. I don’t think the universe would have created me this way if I couldnt handle it
Here at HipHopLead.com we like to ask our features some questions that really are out of the norm.We do this because it gives the fans a broader outlook on you.So lets get it cracking ….
HipHopLead – What do you think about the Chad Ochocinco and Evelyn Lozado situation?
Grimez- I think he was set-up and provoked into it. It’s a he said-she said deal, and we all know who the authorities believe. She’s obviously a gold digger and attention whore and probably had it planned. Who knows how it really went down. But to end a man’s career over that? Come on. Alot women think they can say and do whatever the fuck they want without suffering the repercussions because they’re women. Look at the Dez Bryant situation. Another overreaction. He smacked her in the face with a hat for running off at the mouth. He supports her financially, he’s her meal ticket, he’s like the parent. Why you think she dropped the charges? And I’m not saying all women are like this but the fair share are. Yeah I’m single and plan to stay that way!
HipHopLead – Best Eminem album of all time?
Grimez- Marshall Mathers hands down, but I like his early underground stuff the best. I was force fed alot of eminem in the early 2000’s until the sound of his voice made me wanna puke. There’s probably less than five songs of his I’ve liked since the 8 mile soundtrack.
HipHopLead – It’s no secret you like Tim Tebow, you even made a song about him! But lets face it when you look at his stats can you agree the media over rates him?
Grimez- I never cared for Tebow before this off-season. I don’t respect him as a quarterback, I respect him as a football player and as a man. I wanted Tebow for his leadership and to light a fire under Sanchez’s ass. I respect how he handles the media and the constant scrutiny.
HipHopLead – Tell us one of the wildest stories of ya life?
Grimez- Okay my car note was behind, I been dodging the repo man for months, I’m living in a hotel. I had all my clothes in the back seat and threw a cigarette out the window, it blows back in and catches all the clothes on fire and sets the roof on fire, needless to say this car was fucked up. Anyway I’m driving home from a Christmas party in uptown Charlotte coked out of my mind and my boy is following in his car behind me. I’m driving down the road and one of my fucking tires comes off the car and passes me. I get out grab my shit and hop in my boys ride. A couple of crack heads are watching and come up to the car and say, “Hey we gotta get this out of the middle of the street.'” I give em a Tiger Woods fist bump and tell em “Yall can have it, I’m out” and leave that shit in the street at like 3 in the morning.
HipHopLead – WOW! (Laughs). Should Obama be re-elected..
Grimez- I pay zero attention to U.S. politics. I’m a bit of an anarchist and conspiracy theorist, but I think I’ve gotten in enough hot water from this interview. I’ll just say “Open your eyes people!” If I had to choose a canidate it’d be Ron Paul, Jesse ventura, or whoever is in the most favor of legalizing marijuana, which would be Obama in this case, even though he hasn’t totally kept his word on the subject.
HipHopLead – Who is the baddest chick in the game right now?
Grimez- I’m still on the Kim Kardashian bandwagon, sad but true.
Back To The Norm…….
HipHopLead – Name 1 song you’ve done that will have the HipHopLead.com viewers hooked!?
Grimez- Probably the most commercial song ive yet to release on Digital Dynasty from my album would be “Love da Greenery” The hook is catchy as hell
HipHopLead – Thanks for hollering at us and in closing give any shoutouts….links to your sites….F.U.’S or whatevers clever
Grimez- Shout out to Tha Advocate, Shawn blayze, Clock in Mass, and Ben Freezy and special shout out/ FU to everyone who helped inspire this album, you chicks know who you are. Add me on Facebook.com/johnnygrimez or on twitter @grimezbitch
O yea and download my newest mixtape “Grimez- Actions Speak Louder Than Words (Hosted By : Tha Advocate)” here – http://www.sendspace.com/file/4hv5ll