Grip – 5 & A F*** You: Review

Georgia Rapper Grip came soaring exponentially with 2021’s I Died For This?! after a great mixtape the year prior. He continues to persevere and establish himself as one of the better lyricists Eminem has signed under Shady Records. And as told by the lines “Might just pull a DMX and drop two in a year/More truth to spew in your ears in lieu of my peers/A loose screw in the mood to ruin careers,” Grip brings the heat, delivering fortitude that speaks further toward his future with his hunger surpassing many young guns, even if the numbers don’t show. Compared to his contemporaries who are more trap driven, there are layers of grit, excellent song construction, and potently emotive flows that make Takeoffs flow on the opening track of Only Built For Infinity Links feel like a distant memory. Albeit fantastic, there is a rawness to Grip that makes 5 & A F*** You a superb follow-up that sees fully developing the craft of the hook as he continues to offer rhythmically resonant flows and some evolution past the know.

You can chalk the opening track, “Cook Up,” as a lyrical exercise that goes through bullet points that will either work or not based on one’s feeling toward the style, but as it progresses, you’ll notice Grip’s someone to keep those ears perked on. Think how Curren$y and his fandom ride through his style and find the brilliance in the bars he spits–here, Grip flexes hard, weaving crazy double entendres between the quality of his craft behind the microphone and stove. It may not be the most profound, but when “‘94 Flow” kicks in, you hear this rework of lines from “Scenario” by A Tribe Called Quest over these nuanced 90s, dark–tone kicks and gritty layers pushing it further. There is usually something different going on with the beats, and it’s working exponentially. It reminds me slightly of the Amine tape, onepointfive, which was a shift from the more poppish, fun hip-hop work of his debut, Good For You. Here, Grip isn’t changing much from the known, but he’s still crafting and evolving past normative styles we’ve heard since he started becoming more prominent in 2020, like the bombastic, rhythmically destructive “The F Word.” 

5 & A F*** You is a personification of Grip through the turbulence of his post-success life. Some reflections are lighter, barely retreating toward darkness, unless that darkness gets imposed on by his powerful, confident appeal leveling the confidence with humbling lyricism. “Many Thanks” is Grip delivering a beautiful message that speaks to you like he won an award, and his speech is this spirited performance that makes it feel grounded. Even when Grip is flexing, it feels grounded with relatability. In “Da Benzo,” Grip notes he is dropping money on a Benzo and demonstrating other personable issues pointed from the choral lines, “5 Series just got swapped, needed a Benz/My girl say I’m fuckin’ on thots, she leavin’ again (Where you goin’?).” That’s who he’s been as a lyricist, continuously finding ways to evolve and give us greatness. It’s dependent on the production’s tone and the core percussion that paves the field for Grip to rap.

Using status and the tools at his disposal, Grip brings back collaborators from his major label debut to put in the work on this follow-up. Noting it in “Many Thanks,” Grip says in the outro, “Shit, how ’bout we make a project in a week/Like a EP in a week, so, you know, I hit a couple producers/Man, um/Yeah, it was just like, “Yo, I’m tryna do somethin’ in a week”/You know what I’m sayin’? Like, quick, quick as hell type shit.” With it, we hear these crisp beats that add to his credentials as Grip flows remarkably, like the uniquely moody drum and piano patterns as he comes at the music industry and how they care more about a trending song on TikTok over the world around them. How Grip switches flow throughout with finesse, allowing it to be the emotional ship that delivers his true feelings. It isn’t like “Cory N’ Mel” and “Value Mall,” which have more rudimentary, trap-like flows that aren’t so captivating. But as it rounds out, the continuity is fantastic, and ​​5 & A F*** You is another to add to his repertoire of easily replayable albums.

There isn’t much more I can say, really. Just go and seek out this tape and Grip’s other projects cause I guarantee you’ll have a killer time listening.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

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