Grip – “I Died For This!?” review

Grip is a 32 year old MC from Atlanta, Georgia who came up in 2017 off his debut mixtape Porch. This was followed up a couple years later with the full-length debut Snubnose but after dropping 2 EPs in 2020 & signing to Eminem’s very own Interscope Records imprint Shady Records earlier this summer, he’s ready to make his major label debut by putting out his sophomore album to a wider audience.

After the “Enter Stage Right” intro, the first song “And the Eulogy Read!?” kicks things off with a boom bap banger recapping his career up to this point whereas “Hands Up!” serves as a spacey shot at the system. The title track takes a turn into trap territory saying he waited his whole life for this certain moment just before “Momma Told Me!” is a ghostly look back on his mother advising him to get that paper.

Meanwhile on “Placebo”, we have Grip & Royce da 5’9” jumping on top of a trap instrumental that later switches into boom bap turf to compare this song to a substance or treatment that has no therapeutic value leading into him proclaiming he’s larger than life for the chaotic “Gutter!”. Things take a much more melodic turn for “JDDTTINT!?” saying he doesn’t want to die, but then “A Soldier’s Story” has a psychedelic feel saying what he writes is like a zeitgeist for life’s highs & lows.

Eminem of course tags along for the bassy, organ-laced “Walkthrough!” saying they can’t save the world whereas “The Lox!” with Tate228 starts off with a nocturnal boom bap instrumental before switching up into a trap beat saying he wants a check. “Enem3” with Big Rube had a more settler tone telling their old friends to meet them at the middle just before “ConMan” is a piano ballad saying he has a date with destiny.

“Glenwood” serves as a synth-laced freestyle about the titular city in Georgia while the song “At What Cost!?” somberly opens up about depression. The penultimate track “Patterns?” harmoniously apologies for letting his partner down & finally, “Pennies / Exit Stage Left!?” ends the album apocalyptically asks if you’re not entertained.

Even though I still prefer Snubnose, that’s not to say I Died For This!? isn’t a bad entry point for anyone new to him. He manages to stay true to himself rather than selling out now that he’s on a major label & still manages to do a fine job at carrying the hunger from his previous efforts onto this.

Score: 3.5/5

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