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MF Grimm

The Hunt for the Gingerbread Man

(Class A; US: 25 Sep 2007; UK: 24 Sep 2007)

The Candy Man Can

You know that we truly live in a sad world when Kevin Federline’s rap debut gets more press ink than any release by MF Grimm. Over the years, Grimm has established himself as one of the premiere go-to backpack rappers, blessed with a flow that’s average but a sense of lyricism that’s absolutely spectacular. The Hunt for the Gingerbread Man is an odd yet intriguing album, with half the tracks being dedicated to Grimm’s Candy Land alter-ego Gingy. With tracks that are often filled with sugar/candy imagery, you’d expect the gimmick to wear thin mighty quick, but by displacing this supposed “concept album” with regular thug/street tracks in between, Grimm somehow makes it work. The beats—handled almost entirely by the excellent Stricknine—are very gritty yet surprisingly effective. 50 Cent only wishes he had this kind of swagger, and—oddly—Fiddy’s presence can be felt all around the album. For one, the title track cops the same sample that “I Get Money” uses, and Grimm seems more-than-eager to outwit the multi-platinum rapper when it comes to the “Candy Shop” analogies as sexual metaphors (most notably on the “Half Baked”, in which a girl gives him “Blow Pops, gumballs and Hershey kisses”). The album only falters during the less-imaginative hood tracks (most notably with “Gingy”), but it still remains yet another amazingly strong album by a rapper that’s deserving of a much wider audience. Here’s to hoping that this is the disc that gives him a taste of sweet success.

Rating:

Evan Sawdey started contributing to PopMatters in late 2005, and has also had his work featured in publications such as SLUG Magazine, The Metro (U.K.), Soundvenue Magazine (Denmark), the Daily Dot, and many more. Evan has been a guest on HuffPost Live, RevotTV's "Revolt Live!", and WNYC's Soundcheck (an NPR affiliate), was the Executive Producer for the Good With Words: A Tribute to Benjamin Durdle album (available for free at GoodWithWordsAlbum.com), and wrote the liner notes for the 2011 re-release of Andre Cymone's hit 1985 album A.C. (Big Break Records), the 2012 re-release of 'Til Tuesday's 1985 debut Voices Carry (Hot Shot Records), and many others. He currently resides in Chicago, Illinois. You can follow him @SawdEye should you be so inclined.


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