This month Grieves is dropping his third album with Rhymesayers, Running Wild. In its essence, Running Wild is Grieves’ way of taking sounds and themes and just running with them. Every few years Grieves has pressed a project with his soulful melodic vibe. He has always been known for his highly poetic lyricism…
“I was listening through the wall when you met your monsters
Heard ’em break the closet door and take you away
Hoping you would change like the color of the moonlight
Bouncing off the rain
I, I heard the devil in you that day
Watch the world around you cascade
Laughing like you would have fed your family to the serpent
You got something that the world won’t talk about
They walk around it
It’s deep sleep, crawling in the street
Pushing the bayonet into me”
– Serpents (2014, Winter & the Wolves)
…and his instrumentals. As a musician himself—though he says he plays “keys and guitar like an asshole”—his music has always had a rich musicality to it.
Running Wild was created as a collaboration between Grieves and a Swedish producer, Chords (a.k.a. Jens), whom Grieves linked up with back in 2009/2010 when he was on tour with CunninLynguists. Chords is a highly eclectic musician and has stacked collaborations with European artists from multiple genre, including Swedish rapper and reggae artist Timbuktu.
“Jens learns from music…he listens to everything and takes what he likes out of it instead of approaching what he hates…I know that I [Grieves] want that.”
In terms of Grieves’ process, songs get written while the music is being created. He makes music as a whole rather than just writing lyrics. Thus, came seven or eight trips to Sweden in 2016 to fully co-create the album in the studio with Chords. In the mornings they would listen to music together and try to capture that vibe. The two decided to focus on the sonics of hip hop and organic un-sampled instrumentals. In the best sense, this album “has me [Grieves] challenging my process as a musician”.
Grieves has released two singles (RX and Gutz, stream below) from Running Wild as well as several visuals, including an ongoing docuseries on the creation of the album.
When Grieves and Chords were working on the beat for RX, hearing the beat come together for the first time, the thought running through his head was “this beat is tight, but at first I thought I couldn’t rap to it”. RX wasn’t like his previous work, and it would rattle people’s”expectations of his style—expectations being the key there—then he realized,
“I can’t push my boundaries without upsetting people.”
So he rapped to it – and it’s dope.
Here it is, just for you.
RX (Stream, visual & verified lyrics)
“I can feel it my chest, feel everybody’s watching, I don’t think that I can stop it, they put me on the pills, they just make me feel lethargic, I don’t take them anymore, I’m medicated with some vodka, put it in my cup, sedated dedicate it to a ghost, blurred vision, I’m surrounded by the smoke, I ain’t breathing right I feel like I could choke, and it’s hard to climb around it when you’re running out of rope, and it feels like
I’m standing in a puddle of gasoline with a match and a Polaroid of the city lights, trying to a get ahold of myself with a bit of help, from the bottle has been a tricky flight, feeling like the key to it all out in a thunder storm dangling from a little kite, every drop blood in my body is turning into a tittle wave of the killing kind
Don’t forget to breathe out though
You keep pulling me down,
Pulling me down
Pulling me under the water
You keep calling my name
Calling my name
Calling me back to you
I ain’t got the answers I’m a man that’s trying make it on his own with out a hic up, and they don’t understand it they just looking at me probably thinking I’m a fucking slip up, and everyone around me actin like they got better way to settle when it kicks up, the venom only going to take a minute till it sink into your system, and it feels like
All the little the tremors are starting to shake a part of me loose that I need to make it out, something is calling me to the depths and I’m pretty sure that I let it keep taking me down, nothing is ever on solid ground anymore and I feel it rumbling fading me out, every drop of blood in my body was turning into an avalanche when it came around
(Chorus Repeats)” – RX (2017, Running Wild)
Where to find Grieves:
- Seattle (click here for directions)
- Grieves’ BandCamp
- Twitter @Grievesmusic
- IG @grieves
- On tour with deM atlaS