Celebrity Favorites: Grafh
Grafh just wants to spread the love.
But the Jamaica, Queens, rapper's longtime affiliation with Black Hand Entertainment has spawned rumors that he was being blackballed by 50 Cent due to the G-Unit honcho's rift with Black Hand's Chaz "Slim" Williams. Grafh recently left the Black Hand fold, but insisted it's still all good between him and Williams.
"We have a mutual respect for each other, we're like family," Grafh told Mixtape Daily of his and Chaz's decision to separate on the business front. "It was never a thing where he don't want to see me succeed. I have his blessing. He was like, 'Go make your money, do what you do.' Really, if he can't do what I need done, then he's like, 'Go get it done.' "
As for 50's role in the mix, Chaz was the "In Da Club" rapper's manager back when he was signed to Columbia Records. But Fif left shortly after he was infamously shot nine times in 2000. Since then, the two have not been on the friendliest of terms.
"I can't really speak on the situation too much 'cause I was young," Grafh said. "I was around but not in they business. I know Chaz was managing 50 before he was managing me. After the shooting, when 50 got shot, I guess he felt Chaz could have stopped that maybe 'cause Chaz got a lot of power in the 'hood. However Chaz involvement may have been, I don't even want to speak on none of that 'cause that ain't any of my business."
The "power" in the 'hood that Grafh alluded to is Williams' reputation as an OG on the streets. Williams' former life as a bank robber was the subject of an episode of "Notorious" on the Biography channel. In 50's street classic "Many Men," he refers directly to what he believes is a betrayal by his ex-manager: "Slim switched sides on me, let n---as ride on me/ I thought we was cool, why you want me to die, homey?"
Despite 50 and Williams falling out, Grafh insisted that the latter still has respect for 50. Grafh just hopes that their lingering issues won't pose a problem for his own hip-hop ambitions.
"All I know is Chaz's part, and Chaz speaks very highly of that man," Grafh insisted. "He's a fan of [50's] music and a fan of 50 Cent and speaks highly of his character. Whatever feelings they may have ain't got to do with me 'cause I wasn't around for that [conflict]. So if any blackballing is occurring, I'm like, 'Easy, bro. Easy, Joe, just let me get my money. I ain't got nothing to do with nothing.' [That's] why I don't even want to entertain that in the interview, if there is any blackballing going on — which it feels like that 'cause every record I got, it's shot out the goddamn sky — then pick it up, so I can eat," the rapper said of the tendency of his records to lose steam after gaining street buzz.
Grafh also told Mixtape Daily he would be down to work with 50 Cent if the opportunity presented itself. Despite any Black Hand vs. G-Unit drama, the former Epic Records artist said he is above any beef since he knows plenty of Unit members, including Lloyd Banks, having personally come up with them in Queens too. In fact, at one point, Grafh was so tired of all the blackballing rumors that he dropped in for an impromptu meeting with 50 at the mogul's New York City offices.
"The tension is thick in the room," Grafh recalled, describing what it was like waiting in the lobby of the G-Unit offices to see whether 50 would take a meeting with him. "I see them looking out the window, they treating me like I got a bomb on me. I'm like, 'It's love on my side, homey. I just want to holla at the homey and let him know it's love, and I want it to be love, if it can be.'
"They did what they supposed to do. His man came at me like, 'What you doing up here, young?' " Grafh said he responded, " 'I just want to holla at the homey. It's love and it's no problem.' If I could talk to him, I would like to 'cause he was there."
However, 50 never did accept Grafh's offer to chat that day. "I was hoping he was going to come out and holla at me, but he didn't," he said. "So if you see this interview, holla at your boy."
Grafh's EP, The Rule, features a collaboration with Joe Budden and is set to drop soon.
For other artists featured in Mixtape Daily, check out Mixtape Daily Headlines.