SENTENCED TO LIFE :: MF Grimm - Life and Death

MF Grimm Life and Death Barrel dEM

Sometimes a song or an album has a great story behind it. In this case, it's the story MF Grimm or MF Grimm Reaper a.k.a. Percy Carey. He grew up on Manhatten's Upper West Side, the neighbor to Morgan Freeman who arranged to have him cast as a child actor on Sesame Street, which he did for four years.

In the early nineties, he formed a DJ/rapper group called The Gravediggaz (not to be confused with the Gravediggaz) and through the mid-nineties worked together with Roc Raida. In 1993, Grimm placed at the World Supremacy Battle, already known as an experienced battle rapper. That year, he released his first 12" single, So Whatcha Want Nigga? and performed at the Jack The Rapper convention on Execution Night, sharing the stage with Lady of Rage, Tupac, and Dogg Pound, in Atlanta. He also collaborated with hip-hop legends like Kool G Rap and KMD.

In 1994, Grimm survived an attempted murder where he was shot seven times by rival drug dealers, and three times in an earlier murder attempt in 1986. As a result of the 1994 attack, he was deafened, blinded, paralyzed from the waist down, and comatose; Doctors predicted that he would suffer nulled senses and be paralyzed for the rest of his life. Grimm recovered full vision, hearing, and speech ability, but still uses a wheelchair.

Grimm went on to release several 12" singles on the Fondle 'Em label and started collaborating extensively with label mate MF DOOM whose debut album Operation Doomsday Grimm served as an executive producer on. The pair also released a collaborative EP on Brick Records entitled MF EP. Grimm founded label Day By Day Entertainment in the late-1990s. At around the same time, he put together his Godzilla-inspired MC collective, the Monsta Island Czars, which at the time also featured MF DOOM.

Facing narcotics and conspiracy charges, Grimm was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2000. He paid a one-day bail of $100,000 recording The Downfall of Ibliys: A Ghetto Opera, which features Life and Death, in those twenty-four hours. During his stay in jail, Grimm studied law. After filing many appeals, he was able to reduce his sentence to three years and he was released in 2003.

You can certainly hear it in the lyrics of Life and Death ... the uncertainty he was facing, a man sentenced and yet a plan of escape.

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