This year was the coming out party for Tee Grizzley and his hardcore rap delivery. His single “First Day Out” became an international phenomenon, earning him the attention of millions of fans across the globe. He didn’t stop at his first taste of success; he kept pushing, releasing a steady stream of music for fans, carefully making sure not to oversaturate his growing pool of art. As 2017 closes, we look back at some of his best releases that truly show his ability to craft quality music.
A quality piano riff can make for an incessant earworm of a song, one that causes tracks to play endlessly in the head for days at a time. This is the case with “Win” with the piano serving as a backdrop for Tee Grizzley to unleash a verbal assault like he usually does. Grizzley’s vocals help to offset some of the repetitions in the beat but they also compensate for it as well. He spits a dizzying assortment of bars spun in all directions, detailing his life and situations that make listeners nod their heads in agreement.
Anyone who’s been to Detroit and has gotten a taste of its street life knows of the horrors that many people have faced within. Grizzley chronicles these terrors, and the city’s bloody history, in “Teetroit.” The solemn single is dark, mysterious, and downright brutal. Its feature on the soundtrack for the film Detroit, which tells the story of the Algiers motel incident during the 12th street riot of 1967, indicates the power of music to intertwine with real events.
It’s rare that we’re exposed to Grizzley’s more melodic side. On “Secrets” from his debut project My Moment, Grizzley croons about the skeletons in everyone’s closets; how do we keep them? This question manifests itself through a helping of verses where Grizzley tells about the secrets he’s holding and just how hard it is to live with that burden. The silky-smooth production sits back and lets Grizzley paint masterpieces with his words as the tools to do so.
Beef (ft. Meek Mill)
Meek Mill’s energetic appearance on tracks only elevates the power of the main artist(s). Tee Grizzley wisely enlisted the Philly-native to boost his own lyrical prowess on a cut that details what beef is and what happens to those unfortunate enough to partake in it with the two emcees. It’s a brisk cut that’s risky but ultimately works out fine. Both give standout performances that show they aren’t the people that you’d want to mess with.
From The D. To The A. (ft. Lil Yachty)
Being able to connect with a rap superstar, whilst you’re still coming up, and showing out over the same record can be a daunting task. In this case, Grizzley’s light years ahead of Yachty in terms of sheer rapping capability. How could he tame his self not to slaughter Yachty on the same track? Grizzley manages to succeed and pulls off the ultimate balancing act; not too excessively lyrical, but not streamlined enough to be considered mediocre. The track works to perfection as both artists play off of each other effectively, creating one of the best overall releases of 2017.
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