Percy Carey (born 11 June 1970), also known by the stage names MF Grimm, Grimm Reaper, GM Grimm and originally Build and Destroy, is an American underground rapper, music producer and Eisner Award-nominated comic book writer from New York City.
Percy Carey grew up in the Upper West Side section of Manhattan. His neighbor, Morgan Freeman, helped arrange for him to be cast as a child actor on Sesame Street, he first appeared in Season 7, Episode 0806. He appeared on the show from Age 5 to around Age 9.
"One episode, I lost my tooth, and me and Big Bird had to go through Sesame Street and try to find it," Carey remembers.
During his teenage years Grimm became involved with the hip hop community and decided that he wanted to be an MC. His mother supported this dream and bought him turntables and a microphone.
MF Grimm's career began in the late 1980s where he performed in New York City. He later went on tour with MC Lyte as well. Into the 1990s Grimm continued to perform at freestyle competitions and performed alongside rappers Lord Finesse, GZA and Large Professor, amongst others. Despite setbacks throughout the decades, he has continued to release music and has found stability since the early 2000s.
Early 1990s, California, Ghostwriting:
In the early nineties Carey moved to California where he worked as a ghostwriter for a number of artists. Amongst these artists was Dr. Dre, who had him ghostwrite for his now-classic album The Chronic. He later formed a DJ/rapper group called The Gravediggaz (not to be confused with the Gravediggaz) and through the mid-nineties worked together with Roc Raida. In 1993, Grimm placed third at the World Supremacy Battle, already known as an experienced battle rapper. That year, he released his first 12" single, So Whatcha Want Nigga? (later released on the Scars and Memories album in 2005) and performed at the Jack The Rapper convention on Execution Night, sharing the stage with Lady of Rage, Tupac, and Dogg Pound, in Atlanta. He also collaborated with hip-hop legends like Kool G Rap, Kurious and KMD.
In 1994, Grimm survived an attempted murder where he was shot seven times by rival drug dealers, and three times in an earlier murder attempt in 1986. As a result of the 1994 attack, he was deafened, blinded, paralyzed from the waist down, and comatose; Doctors predicted that he would suffer nulled senses and be paralyzed for the rest of his life. MF Grimm's half-brother Jay died in the attack. As a result of this attack, all the music labels interested in Grimm's music cut all contact with him. Grimm recovered full vision, hearing, and speech ability, but still uses a wheelchair.
Grimm went on to release several 12" singles on the Fondle 'Em label and started collaborating extensively with label mate MF DOOM whose debut album Operation: Doomsday Grimm served as an executive producer on. The pair also released a collaborative EP on Brick Records entitled MF EP.
Grimm founded label Day By Day Entertainment in the late-1990s. At around the same time, he put together his Godzilla-inspired MC collective, the Monsta Island Czars, which at the time also featured MF DOOM. However, to pay for the extensive medical bills from his hospitalization, Grimm had to turn back to drug dealing. This lifestyle eventually caught up with him again when his organization was taken down by the police.
Life in prison:
Facing narcotics and conspiracy charges, Grimm was sentenced to four years to life imprisonment in 2000. He paid a one-day bail of $100,000, recording The Downfall of Ibliys: A Ghetto Opera in those twenty-four hours. During his stay in jail, Grimm studied law. After filing many appeals, he was able to reduce his sentence to three years and he was released in 2003.
After his release from prison, Grimm completed his second album Digital Tears: E-mail from Purgatory in 2004 under his Monsta Island Czars moniker Superstar Jet Jaguar. The album's lyrics as well as drum beats were all created while in prison using a portable drum machine that Grimm managed to hide from the prison guards. Following that release he and MF DOOM collaborated once more for his third album, Special Herbs and Spices Volume 1, also released in 2004. This album featured MF Grimm freestyling over MF DOOM beats featured in his Special Herbs instrumental album series.
Falling out with MF DOOM, American Hunger and Sentences:
In 2006, MF Grimm released a 60-track, triple-CD album, American Hunger, the first ever in hip hop on his Day By Day Entertainment label. The album also featured members of Monsta Island Czars. Included on the album is the track The Book of Daniel, a scathing diss track recorded in response to MF DOOM's diss against Monsta Island Czars (referring to them as "midgets in crunk").
Grimm's life story was retold in a graphic novel autobiography illustrated by Ronald Wimberly, Sentences: The Life Of MF Grimm, which was released by DC Comics' Vertigo imprint in September 2007. Two months later, MF Grimm appeared on National Public Radio to relate his life story and future plans. That year MF Grimm also released the concept album The Hunt for the Gingerbread Man, with a mixtape The Order of the Baker Mixtape released as a prequel.
In 2008, Grimm, under his real name Percy Carey, was nominated for two Eisner Awards for Sentences, Best Reality Based Work and Best Lettering. He was also nominated for, and won, two Glyph Awards for Best Cover and Story of the Year.
In 2009 Grimm released a free EP on his website called Story as a promotional freebie preceding his work in the new decade.
In 2010, Grimm released his seventh studio album You Only Live Twice: The Audio Graphic Novel which was accompanied by a 13-page comic book based on the album by Jim Mahfood.
In 2013, he collaborated with underground producer Drasar Monumental and the Vendetta Vinyl label to record a series of releases. The first release by the duo was a mixtape entitled Preemptive Strike followed by the very well received Good Morning Vietnam EP. The duo followed up their success by releasing a full length sequel Good Morning Vietnam 2: The Golden Triangle in November 2013. This release further explored the Vietnam concept, and introduced heroin as a theme as well. The duo are currently working on the third release in the Good Morning Vietnam series and have suggested there may be a summertime release.