Tag Archives: Greg Grease

Greg Grease On Eschewing Escapism on “Down So Long”

Greg Grease

The working title for rapper Greg Grease’s third album was So What—as in, that’s how he imagined people might react to music that didn’t serve as an escape from these dark times. But for Grease, “escape” is not the solution. Inspired by artists like Common, Goodie Mob, and even Curtis Mayfield, the forthcoming album, now titled Down So Long is a challenge to Grease himself—and to hip-hop at large—to keep sight of why they might seek that escapism in the first place. It’s also a reminder of why Grease has been a reliable voice in Minneapolis music over the past five years. He continues to embody the underdog perspective, similar to scene king Atmosphere, for whom he will open on tour later this year. Down So Long also features Grease’s bandmates in futuristic funk outfit ZULUZULUU; the end result, which Grease is still tweaking, is ambitious in both its lyrics and instrumentation, another potent salvo from an enlightened artist.

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Eight Artists At the Forefront of the Twin Cities Hip-Hop Charge

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Finding Novyon

The leading lights of the Twin Cities hip-hop scene haven’t had a lot of time to worry about chart status or mainstream fame—even when it arrives. Instead, their DIY work ethic, community-minded focus, and everybody-knows-everybody support system has resulted in one of the most distinct and tight-knit indie rap scenes in all of North America. A haven for the nonconformists, Afropunks, backpackers, and cross-cultural iconoclasts that keep the indie-rap fires stoked, Minneapolis and St. Paul have nurtured the venerable label Rhymesayers, their affiliated record store/rap-nerd Valhalla Fifth Element, the long-running destination festival Soundset, and a number of renowned artists from Atmosphere to Brother Ali to Doomtree.

And while there’s been no shortage of recent success stories—pretty much all of Minnesota is pulling for Lizzo to blow all the way up—there are still a crucial number of artists who have set up shop in the Twin Cities and made their names by staying there to find a career-sustaining niche. A few of these artists go way back, and some are just establishing themselves, but they’re all contributing to—and advancing—one of the most eclectic, loyal, and adventurous indie scenes going.

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