Phenomenal hip-hop artist Grieves returns to the area on Wednesday, Nov. 6 as part of his Back on My Grizzly tour. Accompanied by Vancouver hip-hop collective Sweatshop Union, Minneapolis-based DJ Fundo and local legends Kipp G and Tony the Butcher, this is a show not to be missed. HPR had the honor of catching up with Grieves front man Ben Laub, who’s quite a talented and funny guy.
HPR: What’s it like being signed to the Minneapolis-based label Rhymesayers? Is it hard not living where it is located?
Ben Laub: Being signed to Rhymesayers is -- I don’t know … kind of been like a childhood dream. Well, I guess not exactly like a childhood dream but I grew up listening to all of those guys. Being in a position where your idols are your peers is definitely a rewarding yet motivating feeling, I’d say.
Not being in Minneapolis I don’t think affects things very much. There’s a lot of people out in Seattle that are also on Rhymesayers like Grayskul (performing at the Aquarium on Nov. 8), Boom Bap Project, Vitamin D and Jake One. So there’s quite the community over here that is attached to Rhymesayers – so it kind of feels like a sister city.
HPR: You are just about to head out on the Back on My Grizzly tour with Sweatshop Union—are you getting excited?
BL: Now it’s finally starting to bubble over that it is really happening. It will be exciting. I haven’t gone out on a full headlining run in a long time. Getting to do this tour, and going through Canada will be really nice for me – it feels like I am getting the wheels back in motion.
HPR: Do you like playing in Fargo?
BL: Fargo? I love playing in Fargo! First time I came there I met a fellow named Kipp G. He is a goober and I love him. He walked right up to me and I had no clue who he was and he just was like “Hugz!” and I was a little taken aback by that because a strange man had just come up and hugged me but we have just been buds ever since. Going to Fargo is not just going to play a show, it’s going to see a friend. I’ve played Fargo a bunch. Last time I played Fargo I believe it was with T-Pain so, this will be my redemption.
HPR: We were sorry to hear that you recently had a fire in your studio. Are you recovering from that OK?
BL: I am … you know, after dealing with insurance companies and liability companies we finally have started rebuilding. They said it would be done by the end of next month so when I get off tour I’ll be able to get in there and start working on stuff.
HPR: Awesome. What’s next for Grieves in the future? Do you have anything lined up for after the tour?
BL: I was thinking about making hardcore Russian trance music -- maybe German trance music, there’s a little bit more structure there.
IF YOU GO:
What: Grieves with Sweatshop Union, DJ Fundo, Kipp G and Tony the Butcher
When: Wed, Nov. 6, 9 p.m.
Where: The Aquarium
How much: $13 advance at jadepresents.com
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