Grieves returns


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Rapper Grieves is no stranger to Iowa City. He has performed here numerous times and has had his fair share of experiences with the city’s famous nightlife. The first time Grieves visited, he played with the hip-hop group Atmosphere, but after, he had a wild ride that he doesn’t fully recollect.

“First time I played there, I actually think I got roofied because I woke up in a sorority house completely naked, not knowing where I was or how I got there,” Grieves said. “I had to call a cab and have her take me to every hotel in the town to figure out where my van was parked.”

Grieves is looking for a less reckless night when he performs at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 10 at Blue Moose, 211 Iowa. Admission is $13 to $15.

After being born in Chicago and moving to Colorado for his teenage years, Grieves now resides in Seattle. The diverse range of cities he has been a part of influences all of his music, but he said he considers Seattle the biggest contributor and labels it as his home.

“I think it is a great place, because those rainy winters influence me to stay inside and stay focused,” he said. “It’s kind of like a spiritual place.”

Grieves met one of his best friends and current tour manager Colin Papworth while attending high school in Colorado. Papworth, who has known Grieves since the beginning of his music career, said he has not let much affect him on his road to rap.

“He’s still the same dude, crazy positive; it’s great to be around that, and he’s a great morale booster,” Papworth said.

Local Iowa City hip-hop duo Fast Break has taken a similar path, the two having been friends most of their lives, which they say is a crucial factor in their music.

“Our friendship with the whole crew since Day One has directly influenced and inspired all of our tunes,” said member Jaw Benjamin.

The camaraderie that Grieves and Papworth have shared since their high-school days has affected Grieves in a similar way and helps keep him  and his music grounded.

“It’s more of a melodic down-to-earth version of indie rap,” Grieves said. “It’s just an expression of one’s soul, but if I had to explain it to you, I guess I’d have to say hip-hop, but there is so much more that is up to you as listener to decide.”

Besides his hometown, Grieves said, another influence is the independent record label he is signed with, Rhymesayers. He grew up listening to it, and when he signed with the label in February 2010, he considered it a dream come true.

“I grew up listening to Rhymesayers, and it was a huge inspiration of mine,” Grieves said. “But also being able to be honest with your music, like Marvin Gaye and Al Green [is important].”

As soon as Grieves signed, he knew the label was the right fit.

“Rhymesayers opened that honesty in hip-hop for me,” he said. “Being able to be a part of that now is a full circle thing for me.”


When:  6:30 p.m. Nov. 10
Where: Blue Moose, 211 Iowa
Admission: $13 to $15

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