Grafh's on that long list of "next wave" rappers who were supposed to blow up, but for whatever reason, never did. I was one of those that truly thought he was gonna deliver on the hype and be one of the dudes that would "bring NY back". His mixtapes were always more than entertaining, his flow and delivery were unmistakable and backed by that voice, no one couldn't that say he wasn't at least doing his best to stand out from the pack. His label, Black Hand Entertainment struck up a deal with EMI/Virgin and things look to be set. However, when his debut Autografh finally dropped, shitty promotion pretty much guaranteed that it bombed. The fact that it kinda sucked didn't help either. The sound that he had been cultivating of big drums and unconventional synths was watered down and sandwiched amongst poor attempts to crack the commercial market. After that, I forgot about him.
Recently, though, a mixtape collaboration with DJ Green Lantern along with new tracks surfacing have put him back on the scene. "Hard Living" is the standout of the new material. Cool and Dre provide a beat that's equal parts New York and Miami. It's upbeat but there's something rugged beneath all that sheen. Coupled with Grafh getting all introspective and waxing lyrical about life, it's a treat from the current rap climate.
Just to provide a contrast to the sound on "Hard Living", I'm also throwing in one of the few tracks on "Autografh" that actually struck gold. Bun B, Shalone and Grafh couldn't be anymore different but combine their styles with that pounding, stop and go rhythm and the pieces fit.
[Listen to and buy his music from grafhonline]