Don't Sleep: Necessary Notables
Key Cameo: "Don't Stop" (featuring Bun B)
Real Spit: Grafh is on the road to reinvention. After splitting with Black Hand Entertainment, the company he had been signed to since coming into the rap game in the early 2000s, Grafh has been putting out new music at a torrid pace.
First, there was his Pain Killers mixtape, and then in September, he dropped his Rule EP, which he streams on his website for free and put up for purchase on iTunes.
"Rule's getting a good response, and I really appreciate it," Grafh told Mixtape Daily. "I worked hard on it, I put a lot of energy into it, and it's different coming from Grafh. I took a different approach. I attacked the music more laid-back, something you can ride to, smoke to."
Typically, the Queens, New York, MC employs a rapid-fire flow, but for Rule, Grafh slowed his complex bars down just a tad. "Stoned" moves at a syrupy crawl, while a mellowed-out Grafh raps about drinking and smoking. On "It's All the Same," he delivers a cautionary 'hood tale, and on the Too $hort-sampling "Don't Stop," the nimble lyricist teams with Bun B for a bouncy banger.
Though currently unsigned, the rap free agent hopes to broker a deal for himself in the near future. Rick Ross' Maybach Music Group and Lil Wayne's Young Money are attractive destinations. "I'm a free agent right now looking for that new money," Grafh said. "Rick Ross is kicking major ass. He's one of those dudes that break artists — so is Lil Wayne. He makes hella money and good music. I love what those dudes are doin'. I'mma fan of what they're doin'."
In the end, however, it is all about the connection Grafh is currently making with his fans. "Without the fans, I'm just a n---a rappin'. They mean more to me than people would imagine," he said. "The fans allow me to do this, or else I'd be doing something else that probably wouldn't be legal."
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