The album only falters during the less-imaginative hood tracks, but it still remains yet another amazingly strong album by a rapper that's deserving of a much wider audience.
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.