MF Grimm The Downfall of Ibliys: A Ghetto Opera

Damn. MF Grimm just can't seem to catch a break. He's been rhyming since the early '90s with well-respected artists like Kool G Rap, KMD/MF Doom, Kurious Jorge and the X-Ecutioners, but it's only now that the MC previously known as Grimm Reaper is finally releasing his debut full-length. It doesn't help that Grimm was confined to a wheelchair after a shooting in 1993 and is now confined behind bars, too. On The Downfall of Ibliys..., his struggles come out in the lyrics, but there's also a very strong "I will overcome" motif. Grimm's words are honest, heartfelt and have a good delivery but, like always, the production of Metal Fingers (aka MF Doom) is cheesy and only sometimes awesome. The successes are the previously released "Voices Pt.O" and "Voices Pt.1" (featuring MF Doom), the Megalon solo "Rain Blood" and the "Foolish" posse-cut, with its familiar beat. In addition, regular collaborator Dr. Butcher contributes two up-tempo standouts with "Freedom" and "Howl," while dminor's simple piano beat for "Together" and Protest's dramatic beat for "Teach the Babies" brings out the best in MF Grimm. Also, the bonus track with Grimm rhyming over a Dirty South ditty - dynamite! The gritty underground sound of The Downfall of Ibliys... will probably prevent the album from appealing to the mainstream, but MF Grimm presents a tragic tale that can uplift the spirit and could reward those who take the time to listen. (Day by Day)