Grynch - "My Volvo" X "That's Hip Hop" X "Memory Lane" Feat. Sonny Bohono

Grynch is one of those rappers that I'm not sure whether or not to feel guilty about liking him.  As a white kid from North Seattle, the King of Ballard is able to speak to me with knowing songs like "My Volvo" in which he raps about the love of his '86 Volvo (I've laughed in that car/ Cried in that car/ Knock on wood, man I'll probably die in that car), but is this true to hip hop culture or something targeted towards the largest consumer of hip hop (Caucasians).  Afterall, mainstream hip hop culture doesn't particularly value a beat up Swedish-engineered automobiles (Kanye West, though he might not be the best example considering recent events, even rhymed on "Run This Town," I bought my whole family whips, no Volvos).  But this also begs the question, do rappers like Mr. West, who coincidently is chopped and screwed on the hook of "My Volvo," represent the true spirit of hip hop, one that originated as a political movement for those who often had no other outlet for their voice.

I won't comment on this debate, as it isn't my place to say what is/is not hip hop, but whatever you think about the commercialization of hip hop, Mr. West, and Grynch, you must recognize that they represent a diversification, for better or worse, of the genre.  Grynch offers a different perspective on hip hop, but he spits in the revered traditions of the genre and isn't just a conscious white kid from North Seattle who picked up a mic.  Yes, you won't find another emcee rhyming about his '86 Volvo, but it is songs like "My Volvo," "Memory Lane," and "Tomorrow," that let you view Grynch for the person that he is (much in the way that introspective songs like Hov's "Song Cry" and "Regrets" and Big's "Juicy," which "Memory Lane" reminds me of, let you view them as a person and not just the hardcore thug image they often display).  Songs like "That's Hip-Hop," "The Life I Chose," and "Bar Time" (in which he raps over a Dre beat), also show Grynch's respect for the traditions of the genre.

Grych isn't trying to change hip hop, he's just trying to spread his love for the genre that he cares about with every fiber of his being.  Real recognizes real and Grynch has collaborated with some very highly respected artists.  Grych dropped by for a verse on Kyle Lucas & Captain Midnite's I Brought Dead Flowers to a Funeral and be sure to check out his two free EPs (available here) in which the likes of One Be Lo, Geologic of Blue Scholars, and Tunji of Inverse and their own verses (I love the Geo/Tunji/Grynch collab "Smoke & Mirrors" off of the Chemistry EP).  Also, if you haven't already, I recommend purchasing his sophomore album My Second Wind (one of the better albums of '08).  Grynch is definitely going places, but he recognizes where he's come from and gives props to those that paved the way for him.  The Chemistry 1.5 drops soon.  Keep your eyes (and ears) out for it.

Peace, Love, & Hip Hop,
Nomadic Noah

"My Volvo"

"That's Hip Hop"

"Memory Lane"

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