Happy Wednesday Son!!
In case you missed it, Tuesday’s ‘What’s Good’ with our very special guest, MF Grimm was absolutely riveting. We were joined for the hour by a true legend and pioneer. A man who’s life has taken so many amazing twists and turns it makes a soap opera seem boring.
Percy Cary was born in New York City’s upper west side. As a boy, he lived just a couple of blocks from Children’s Television Network where ‘Sesame Street’ was filmed. He was lucky enough to be featured as a cast member on the show for several seasons. He’s even credited for being the first child to actually ride ‘Snuffleupagus’
After leaving Sesame Street, Percy was engrossed in the hip-hop movement that had consumed the city thanks to Radio D.J’s like Cool Herc who offered an alternative to the exclusive Studio 54 scene that defined NYC in the 1970’s. In the 1980’s, hip-hop offered a sense of community and belonging to those who were shunned by the fancy downtown clubs. Like Studio 54, hip-hop too had a drug culture. In order for a young man to make money and finance his musical needs, the drug trade offered a quick and easy solution to that problem… But it comes with a price.
Each borough of New York had its own distinct sound. And battling was a way to get those sounds to travel across rivers and state lines alike. Grimm’s poetic and precise smoothness on the mic garnered respect from emcees throughout Gotham. By 1993 he competed and placed in The World Supremacy Battle. He was an established battler and poet who was poised and ready for a record deal.
Later that year, Grimm was en-route with his brother Jay to sign a record deal when out of nowhere, shots rang out. By the time the onslaught ended, Grimm had been shot seven times. His brother Jay died on the scene. Grimm was rushed to the hospital where he was clinically dead. He was blind, deaf, bleeding profusely and not expected to make it.
When he awoke from his coma, he had to slowly regain all of his functions back. He wouldn’t make a full recovery however, he is left a paraplegic as a result.
Upon leaving the hospital, he is minus his brother and the use of his lower half. He is all apathy. Not caring whether he lives or dies, he rejoins the drug trade. It isn’t long until he finds himself in trouble with the law and having to stand all before the feds. He is then imprisoned for narcotics distribution and other felony charges. Before beginning his 15-life sentence, he records an album… In 24 hours. “The Downfall Of Ibylis: A Ghetto Opera”. He releases it while in prison and moves a respectable 30,000 units world-wide.
While in a maximum security prison, Grimm makes a decision to align himself with those who are helping themselves rather than hurting themselves. He meets a gentleman who encourages him to study law and to review his own case. Always up for a challenge; Percy obliged. Resulting in a reduction of his sentence from 15- life to just four years.
Upon his release from prison, Percy was approached by a friend to do a comic book/graphic novel. Percy, a fan of Batman and Superman wanted to pay homage to those super heroes. But his friend insisted the book depict Percy’s life as it was far more harrowing than any Batman tale. So he agreed and the graphic novel “Sketches” was released under Vertigo and D.C Comics.
All the while, Percy had been working on music… Even while locked in solitary confinement he was able to sneak a drum machine in with him. After his 2003 prison release, he dropped “Digital Tears; E-mail From Purgatory”, “Special Herbs And Spices” Vol. 1, “Scars And Memories”, “American Hunger” – 3 disc set, “The Hunt For The Ginger Bread Man”, and “You Only Live Twice”: The Audio Graphic Novel
Today, Percy has his own distribution company and is constantly working on a slew of new projects. It was an honor and privilege to have him join us on ‘What’s Good’. His life story is truly amazing and I get the feeling he’s just getting started. Look for him to jjoin us on our next episode and many more to come. In the meantime, do yourself a favor and research his music and his story. He is a hip hop hero and a renaissance man in it’s truest form.