What do MF Doom, The Grateful Dead, and Grip Grand have in Common?

As a fan of Danger Mouse’s The Grey Album mashup of Jay-Z’s The Black Album and The Beatles’ The White Album, my mouth dropped when a visual artist friend turned me onto Grateful Doom, a five track mashup of MF Doom acapellas and some of the best Grateful Dead tunes. At first thought, I expected a similar Grey Album type mashup between 60’s rock and contemporary hip hop, and that’s exactly what it is — but more niched classic rock, and relatively underground hip hop. Honestly, it’s perfect.

First of all, Doom’s beats are always incredible. There’s hilarious sketch samples as well as low down devious melodies. There’s lots of instrumentation one wouldn’t necessarily expect in a hip hop track, like ‘Accordion,’ but it’s dope nonetheless. Utilizing The Grateful Dead’s massive catalogue of gnarly tunes to repurpose into hip hop beats is plainly genius. Their catalogue is so diverse to begin with, and secondly there’s countless versions of any one song over years of live recordings that are often better than the studio in many respects.

So to extract and recycle some of the best versions of Dead songs and match them seamlessly to awesome MF Doom verses has got to be quite a feat. So who made this music? Drumaddikt. Obviously, he’s sick at what he does. You can find him on Youtube and Soundcloud. Right. Boss. Moving on to some more recent beats involving the Mask…

Not too long ago, Grip Grand, a West Coast Rapper/Producer/Gentleman/Scholar, released a tribute to one of his heroes: none other than the grievous and devious MF Doom. Entitled GG Doom! But How? this seven track remix EP is the sickest thing I’ve heard since, well, Grateful Doom.

Grip Grand, hailing from the legendary San Francisco Bay Area, has a lot to live up to when being categorized by his location. The first thing that comes to mind, for me, when you say “Oakland Rappers,’ or ‘Bay Area Hip Hop” is immediately Hieroglyphics Crew: Del the Funky Homosapien. Souls of Mischief, etc… Those are some tough acts to follow, but there’s not even a hint or glimmer in Grip’s beats or verses of ever even having thought about that. It’s just pure swag. Some have compared him to a less egotistical Kanye West, and I can see that.

So what about the beats? They’re sick. Grip Grand’s production is unbelievable. For those already familiar with some of Doom’s work, it’s common knowledge that his beats are not average in any way. There’s almost always a jazzy sample creeping around, a clandestine-sounding riff, or just a cacophony of eccentric samples mashed up together to create the impression that you’re a fly on the wall in an evil rap genius’ beat laboratory. Grip Grand did not fall short of this in the slightest. In fact, I’ve got to wonder why Doom and Grip Grand haven’t worked together before.

For a very limited time, you can cop a free download of Grip Grand’s GG Doom! But How? here. I highly suggest clicking that link. Also, don’t forget about Grateful Doom!



3 responses to “What do MF Doom, The Grateful Dead, and Grip Grand have in Common?

  1. While i dig these mixes, guy is saying DOOM’s people “made [him] delete” them all of a sudden. LEGAL ACTION, haha. right.

    …it’s kinda obvious doom’s people didn’t make gg pull this stuff, it’s all a publicity stunt so he can promote his own music. first of all, doom’s people couldn’t care less about fanmade mixes or else half the fucking internet would be deleted. second, i highly doubt doom even knows about this album, let alone cares about its existence. it’s a free mp3 album so why would he give a shit? but instead of being doom remix album # 43364646, it happens to be “the ONE and ONLY — EVER — that Doom had deleted!” so blogs would write about it. and it worked.

    still good mixes though.

    • I wrote about this because they’re sick mixes. I didn’t read about any legal issues until after I had posted and revisited Grip’s facebook profile.

      I think you may be right that Doom probably doesn’t know about these mixes. I doubt he would care. That doesn’t mean his legal team doesn’t. To the best of my knowledge, Grip Grand does not own any Doom verses, so he has no right to sell (without a contract kicking back to Doom) these songs. It makes sense that Doom’s label/lawyers/minions would insist that Grip Grand stop selling these tracks.

      You have to understand that making/selling sample-based hip hop as a DIY producer exists in the limbo between being unknown and getting cease and desist notices. It’s not without potential copyright infringement suits for famous producers either. While Grip Grand isn’t Jay-Z famous, he’s not unknown. So it’s within the realm of possibility that Doom’s label/legal team was made aware of these mixes and acted to keep someone else from profiting off of what is not (totally) legally his.

      Selling “But How” could lead to costly and ultimately pyrrhic lawsuits. Giving “But How” out as a limited time free download is a different story all together that both parties can live with…I would venture to guess.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s