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.
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