By Corrine Cassels
Grimms & Blacknight are a dynamic “dreamhop” duo based in Chicago consisting of Jamal Semaan (Grimms) and Rob Lorts (Blacknight). With the unique combination of storytelling rap from Grimms and the dreamy experimental backdrops from Blacknight, the pair have earned their place in Chicago’s ever-evolving music scene. Currently working on their second full length album, which will be released in 2018, G&B have plenty of already released work that we can enjoy. Their single Grimmtopia|Think was realeased on Halloween of last year, so while we anxiously await their new album, let’s visit Grimmtopia again…
“Grimmtopia” is a manic soundscape that immediately hits you with hazy layers of dreamy sounds that quickly lead into Grimms' distinctive rhymes. The beat is infectious and consuming while Blacknight’s tones blend into a circus-type atmosphere as Grimms’ voice is a beacon in the background. Every second on this track is occupied, yet nothing is filler; every note has purpose and intent. The result is the best kind of clusterfuck. Grimms’ haunting line “All thought no talk” repeats while you get a glance into his twisted mind thanks to Blacknight’s vivid interpretation.
The b side “Think” is the perfect counterpart to the mania of “Grimmtopia” with a mellow vibe and funky undertone. Grimms’ words “Someone I think about, whether I’m sleeping or daydreaming” are repeated while surrounded by a staccato beat. Blacknight’s backdrop is the musical equivalent of a meditative state, the foggy waves slowly build while Grimms’ lyrics become more and more provocative until they “make a loud mouth hush and a white girl blush”.
Grimmtopia/Think are the perfect tracks to showcase Grimms’ unique folksy style and Blacknight’s smart production. This duo has a sound that stands out and a vibe that pulls you in. Fans of hip-hop, experimental pop and even rock n’ roll can find something appealing in G&B’s unique style. These boys ain’t got time for labels, they’re too busy taking you places you’ve never been before.
~ Grimmtopia|Think Album Cover by Ethan Barnowsky