I first found out about Seattle rapper Grieves when he put out his first Rhymesayers album, Together/Apart, in 2011. The same year I saw him live in Hamburg with fellow Rhymesayers artists Atmosphere, Evidence, Blueprint, and Brother Ali. His second album on the label came out three years later, and, in August, he finally released his fifth album, and third with Rhymesayers Entertainment, Running Wild.
This album was produced in Sweden with the help of Swedish producer Chords. As the title suggests, Grieves is running wild with subject matters and sounds, ranging from dark melancholy to cheerful, entertaining rhythms. Grieves is known for his emotionally intense lyrics which have sometimes wrongly given him the label of emo rap. In order to break free from such limitations, he has started to show a more humorous side of himself on recent releases, such as the CunninLynguists track Drunk Dial on which he makes an appearance. However, he still didn’t let anyone discourage him from dealing with topics such as mental health on the 15 tracks on Running Wild. That makes the album a very genuine portrayal of the struggle people with anxiety deal with when they also want to have a good time.
The soulful production on this album is stellar. While many Grieves fans have had a hard time getting into Running Wild, I consider this his strongest release by far without a single weak track on it.
3. Boop Bop Da Willy Willy [featuring Paris Alexa]
4. Chillin’ (Ice Cold) [featuring Romaro Franceswa]
5. What It Dew
7. Roses [featuring Fearce Vill & Davey Jones]
9. No Sleep [featuring Paris Alexa]
10. Bonnie and Clyde
12. Night Shift
13. Cloudless Sky (Interlude)
15. 5,000 Miles
Let me know what you think about the new Grieves album in the comments below.