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Grip Grand

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As far as the music goes, Grip and hip hop are about the same age, so his earliest influences outside of jazz and soul naturally include Eric B and Rakim, Masta Ace, Big Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap and the like. Like a lot of kids who literally grew up with hip hop, Grip started collecting records to sample at a young age, eventually got some equipment, and pretty much stayed in his room making 4 track beats.

Staying in your room, however, can be challenging when your family moves around a lot, as Grip’s did during the early years. Grip once had twenty phone numbers in just three short years and has lived as far north as Portland and as far south as LA, putting down roots in almost every major city in between. But he identifies mostly with the Bay Area, where prolonged bouts of unemployment in San Francisco and Oakland inspired his 1999 limited edition debut, “Welcome to Broakland”, a collection of rap songs for rap’s sake, music for the broke and the broke at heart. Which is how he came to be acquainted with San Francisco’s DJ Design, who heard that CD and tracked him down. So much for keeping a low profile.

Impressed with Grip’s gritty but soulful voice, and natural ability for timing and phrasing, Design envisioned working with him on a more elaborate, full-scaled effort; and so a super-collabo project was born. Grip and Design have embarked upon a partnership at Look Records, where Grip’s forthcoming LP will include production from the likes of Supa Dave West, Count Bass D, Design and others.

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