Grynch, Street Lights (out now, self-released, getgrynch.com)
With his fourth full-length album, Seattle rapper Grynch waxes nostalgic, keeping one foot firmly planted in old-school hip-hop. An even dozen tracks pine for the days of rap past while reflecting on the ups and downs of his own career. On “Carry On,” the first track (and first single), he brings up the success of 2009’s “My Volvo” as he raps, “The folks at Volvo said they’d get me a new whip/But here I am now two years later and they didn’t do shit/And for a while I had to struggle with the pen/Put it down for a second, fell in love with it again.” On “Unrequited,” he updates Common’s love letter to hip-hop, “I Used to Love H.E.R,” delivering the song’s original lyrics with a twist that reflects his early relationship with the genre: “I met this girl when I was 10 years old/And what I loved most is she had so much soul/She was old-school and I was just a shorty/Never knew throughout my life that she would be there for me.” The album features guest spots from Malice and Mario Sweet, Kokane, Slug, and Bambu, among others, and production from the likes of Jake One, D-Sane, Justo (of The Physics), and MTK. While it might not be musically groundbreaking, Street Lights is another thoughtful, solid offering from one of Seattle’s most consistent MCs.