A fresh and brutal, full album release from Graves just hit and it's blistering raw energy is unstoppable to say the least.
Loaded with an array of lyrical attacks, If You're Listening is a massive record with classic hip hop sounds and a whole lot of fire.
Graves has a shit ton of gusto as he squeezes a virtual cornucopia of words into a single beat and it's so fun to take in, you often find yourself repeating each song even before you go to the next one.
Each track has something new to offer as he brings some fresh choruses and hooks in-between the blitzkrieg of raps dropped seemingly effortlessly.
This record is in true underground rap form and is a contender with some of the greats.
With such a huge record, we had to have a chat with Graves to find out where it all came from.
RAG: Okay so let's start with "If You're Listening". The album beckons some classic style hip hop and rap and has a ton of energy. Where did this record come from?
Graves: Well, I’ve loved old school east coast hip-hop forever. The sound and style is timeless. However I am influenced from everything from Johnny Cash to Old thrash metal, to Yelawolf and Struggle, Jedi Mind Tricks and Wu-Tang. I feel like the music that I sit down to make is kind of a melting pot of all those artists and genres. I write lyrics based solely on life experience. If I’ve never done it or had it, I don’t talk about it.
RAG: How long have you been doing this? How did it all start for you?
Graves: I started getting into hip-hop after seeing kids freestyle battle on lunch in high school. I’ve made numerous attempts to get further into making music, be it in meta or punk bands, and hip hop, but it never really worked out for all kinds of reasons. Mainly people’s commitment.
I was really heavy into making hip-hop music about 6 years ago, but lacked the money to really get my stuff recorded properly and promoted etc. It was really discouraging at that time. So I gave it up for about 5 years. One random day last year, a good buddy of mine (Raizo) and I got to talking about music, he mentioned he was kind of secretly into making rap music, and I told him about my past with it etc. Raizo asked me if I would make ONE song with him, which I was hesitant, but I did it. We clicked really well surprisingly and ended up making an entire EP together called Rust Belt Devils. After that he was just explosively making music. I was originally just going to quit making music after we did the EP, but Raizo convinced me to stick with it and I decided to put together an EP for myself.
RAG: Did this record take a long time to complete?
Graves: It wasn’t too terribly long to actually record, although I work full time 60hrs a week and have kids, so the time frame I have to work on music is small
However “Pop Off” and “G.” Were finished a year ago, after we did Rust Belt Devils, but I was going to throw them away, because I didn’t really want to pursue music anymore.
RAG: I hear so much heart in the record. Who are some of your biggest musical influences? Graves: The list would be so long. BIGGEST influences tho I would have to say: Yelawolf, Struggle, Jellyroll, Wu-Tang, Jedi Mind Tricks, Three 6 Mafia, Johnny Cash, The White Buffalo.
RAG: Have you played live shows before? Do you think you'll be performing live when the time comes?
Graves: I played shows back when I was in metal bands, I did a few rap performances at parties, but nothing huge. I really like the energy of live shows, I’m hoping that 2021 will chill with the Covid and live shows can become a thing again. I’d be down to do some live shows absolutely but I have to build a band up. Because I really love the idea of having a live band play my music with me. Not just me standing in front of a kid on a podium pressing play on a computer.
RAG: What's next for you as an artist?
Graves: Well, I have another new album coming in a week or two, it’s in final mixing stages now. Then i plan to make videos off of both records, I have a few collabs in the works, then in the spring I’ll start working on a new record.
RAG: What are you doing when you're NOT working on music?
Graves: Mainly just working all the time and being a Dad. I had a small company that I am closing to focus my time more on being with my kids and making music. I was just spread too thin, which is why I wasn’t so set on pursuing music.
RAG: What are your goals for your music?
Graves: I can’t say TOO much, but I have my records in the hands of some people on my influence list, and I’m hoping they can take me under their wing. So I can obtain the resources to really push myself to the depths of my potential.
RAG: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music?
Graves: Really just Thank You, I appreciate every single person who promotes my music, give me feedback, purchase the records and encourage me to keep going.