Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Rhymesayers Entertainment has been at the forefront of independent Hip Hop since 1995. Label owners Sean Slug Daley (one half of Atmosphere) and Brent Siddiq Sayers have stuck to their guns and built a huge and loyal fanbase whilst operating largely under the mainstream radar. Now Carhartt is proud to present some of their top artists to Europe for one of the biggest Hip Hop line-ups of the year: Atmosphere, Brother Ali, Evidence, Blueprint, and Grieves & Budo. We spoke with the arriving artists to see how they feel about Rhymesayers Entertainment, the upcoming European tour, Hip Hop, and life itself. Here is a short interview with Rhymesayers artist Grieves. Stay tuned for more chats with Brother Ali and Slug of Atmosphere over the next couple of days.
(Photo by Jason Tang)
The Rhymesayers camp is coming to Europe for the first time with a big collective of artists. What do you expect?
Grieves: This is a super cool experience for us. I know personally I don't have a lot of experience touring over seas so the only expectation that I have is to walk away with a new experience under my belt. The only time I've ever been over seas was with Brother Ali in 2009.. So I'm excited to re visit some of the cities that we passed through on our travels.. Especially Paris!
What is your opinion about the European Hip Hop culture? Do you have any favourite artists from France, Germany, or the UK?
Grieves: I'm not too familiar with the crews/artists in Europe.. But I am very close with the Looptroop Rockers. Those are my dudes! Big shout out to them and Bad Taste Records!
How do you see the future of Hip Hop music in general?
Grieves: Not sure.. I know personally I'm leaning heavy back into substance, melody, and that blanketing feeling music used to always provide for me. Some of this new stuff now a days does nothing for me. That doesn't mean it's not good or that these people aren't talented.. It just means it doesn't strike me, personally.
What advice would you give to producers, rappers, DJs who are just starting out?
Grieves: Make sure this is something that you really wanna do and that the music you make is YOUR music. This market is flooded with people that wanna do what they see other people doing. Then they get upset when things don't work out. Stay true to yourself and make sure that it continues to make you happy and I think people will catch on.
Image #66384 (Photo by Jason Tang)
What are your hobbies beside music?
Grieves: Cooking, making love, hedge sculptures, spelunking, dog fighting, rescuing historic artifacts from villains who seek and plunder for a dollar sign... Those artifacts belong in a museum! Sweat lodges, feeding my sea monkeys, break through medical discoveries, and extreme unicycle racing. You know.. Regular guy shit.
What is the most obscure record you have in your collection and why?
Grieves: I got a bunch of Mandré records.. That shit was nuts!
Who are the top 5 artists you are listening to right now?
What was the last amazing show or party that you went to and why?
Grieves: I just saw a band called Steel Panther an I gotta tell you.. If you like to Rock... And laugh... You NEED to see these guys! I couldn't stop laughing.
You come from Seattle. What are your favourite spots and secrets in your hometown that you can't find in any travel guide?
Grieves: There is a restaurant in the pikes place market called Il Corvo that my friend Mike Easton started... It's by far the freshest and most delicious lunch you will find in Seattle.. The menu changes every day and it's hard to find.. But god damn is it delicious!
When do you feel most at peace?
Grieves: In my studio.. Lights off.. Just the glow of the gear lights and the music pouring from those monitors. That's my place.
What is the most valuable thing you own?
Grieves: My soul... That.. Or my mason jar full of dead moths.. You be the judge.
Can you name us some things that you haven't done yet but you always wanted to?
Grieves: Hell yes I can!! You ready? Catch a salmon, get in a hot air balloon, kill an alligator, make wine, fuck in a Nordstrom dressing room, get certified to dive, get wasted at a Nascar race, fight a wild animal, make a neo soul record, punch an evil doer, learn to surf, and everything else!
What is the best thing about being a part of Rhymesayers?
Grieves: Honestly?... Nothing is ever gonna beat being a part of one of the most amazing collective of creative artists in the world to me.. This is a dream come true.
(Photo by Jason Tang)