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July 19, 2005

FEED THE BABIES: AMERICAN HUNGER








I'm honored to be writing for a new digi mag entitled "American Hunger". The publication, the brainchild of Percy "GM Grimm" Carey, is a testament to his struggle and hard work. Please visit WWW.AMERICANHUNGER.COM 'cause you hunger for more.

I have a long history of business with Grimm, and the best way I can sum it up is to share with you, dear readers, an open letter I wrote some years ago...

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE MUSIC INDUSTRY AND FANS OF HIP HOP
From: Miranda Jane
9.27.2000


Peace. My name is Miranda Jane, and I am a freelance journalist, writer, B-Girl, music aficionado, and a fellow human being. For the past 17 years of my 26 on the planet, I've been a devoted and devout fan of Hip Hop music. Since birth I've been a child of music - my Jazz-playing bassist Father and bad-ass female drummer Mother made sure of that, holding jam sessions in the basement with my bassinet next to drum sets, speakers, and all sorts of sounds. Hip Hop music in particular has been a beacon of light in my life. I've learned from watching breakers, graffiti artists and DJs, however the MC has been my most prominent teacher, caregiver, and backbone - even surpassing my Father in that regard.

There is an MC known as MF Grimm who has changed my life recently, when I thought that I had grown so much, his life experiences show me each day that I have so much to grow still. Grimm's own life is imbibed with Hip Hop - having worked as a "ghostwriter" for Geffen back in the day, written as a journalist and correspondent for Right On! Magazine, placing 2nd in the MC "Battle for World Supremacy" against freestyle king Supernatural, and as a part of the group KMD - Grimm (or Grimm Reaper as he has also been known) lives and breathes Hip Hop. While a lot of cats are out there "keeping it real", Grimm's real life story is mega real - he was shot numerous times in an obvious attempt on his life some years ago, losing his eyesight, his hearing, and becoming a paraplegic confined to a wheelchair. Chances for Grimm's survival were given by doctors as slim. Not only did he survive, he showed and proved that the mind is very powerful, regaining his ability to see and hear. Gradually, surgery after surgery having bullets removed from his body (of 10, 1 remains lodged within his stomach), Grimm began to have increased feeling in his upper body and through rigorous physical therapy, with superhuman strength and stamina - mentally and physically, Grimm began to move his fingers, hands, arms, and upper body again. Today, he is finally regaining feeling to his lower torso and legs, and he's confident he'll walk again.

It is not the "handicap" or "disability" in his life worrying Grimm. Although he struggles through many of the trials and tribulations facing a rap artist, particularly one so long-overlooked, unsigned, and independent as Grimm, it is not the music business that is his trouble. Today he sits, in his wheelchair, inside a jail cell sentenced to 15 to life. But Grimm is not any inmate - he is confined to a wheelchair, and he needs a lot of medical care - from physical therapy to massage therapy to regenerative exercise to nutritional support, he has many needs. Inside the wall, most of these needs will be met with a heavy resistance, whether his neglect is intentional or brought on by a purported lack of funds within the system, Grimm will suffer.

The first day I met Grimm, he was recording tracks in Los Angeles with MF Doom (Zevlove X) of KMD. Doom and Grimm flew in from Georgia and New York, respectively. My first time seeing Grimm he was crawling along the floor freshly dressed and showered. My reaction to this was so natural - I kneeled on the floor next to him and gave him a huge hug. I watched in awe as he dragged himself with his arms, legs in front of him on the floor, about 30 feet from the bathroom to his wheelchair. He then placed himself in the chair, and adjusted his legs with his arms. Later, I saw him use his arms to leverage himself out of the chair and onto the couch. I was amazed at his physical strength. I thought back to our telephone interview a few weeks prior to this, and how impressed I'd been with him as a person, and how amazing his story truly is. Meeting Doom and Grimm, and getting to know them a bit as people, we kept in touch. Within a few weeks Grimm told me some hard truths about his life in 2000. He told me a little bit about the climate in upstate New York where he had a house, home, car, and a life once.

Sometime shortly after that, I interviewed Doom and Grimm for STRESS Magazine. Grimm was impressed with my story, and he respected me and understood me due to the years he spent as a writer with Right On! Magazine. He taught me, even more than I already knew, that the physical and tangible things in life are not always the most important. He reinforced my belief that you can't judge a book by its cover, and that the pages inside are always more intriguing than the cover regardless to whom or what. Grimm's problems made my problems seem small by comparison, and he opened my eyes to the world of the disabled. When I sit at a restaurant today I eye the layout, the proximity of the tables to walls and other tables, the restrooms, the width of the doorways - the whole nine. I am changed.

Flash forward to 2005 and Percy Carey is home from the belly, and his corporations are in full effect. It's all gravity. Half the greatest story never told will be later unearthed like Sanskrit letters, cuneiform, and Dead Sea scrolls; and they can only see us in Dogon gazing down from Sirius...word to Enki.

7 Comments:

At 5:59 PM, Blogger DVD said...

MJ,
This was a really good piece. Can I get a mention on the blogspot? I signed up for a blog, so I should have some mind trips on here soon. You know how I like to talk, well, my typing's about the same.

DVD

 
At 11:16 AM, Anonymous mohamed said...

That letter is classic!!! It's still makes the internet circles. That's like one of the most memorable articles in hiphop history. It always around somewhere. It's actually how I found out about you a few year back also.

 
At 1:48 PM, Anonymous RAVAGE said...

whoa.. not even hearing the music.. this article was the first time i heard about MF GRIMM outside of tick tick

thank u for putting this up!!!!
definitely brings back memories..

peace MJ
thank u

 
At 12:24 PM, Blogger princess of the poem: Desdamona said...

thanksa for this one Miranda. Keep em coming. :)

Desi
p.s. hope you are doing well in Cali.

 
At 12:04 PM, Anonymous Rayna Shine said...

This was the first time I heard that MF GRIMM was in a wheelchair and incarcerated. I vividly remembered this letter from the moment I read it. I used to look it up from time to time on Insomniac just to read it again. Thanks MJ.

 
At 2:29 PM, Blogger NYCGuy12 said...

Very nice blog, hard to come by these days,

If you have a chance, can you visit my Sign Language for Babiessite


Thanks

 
At 1:22 AM, Blogger Jkimbo said...

Enjoyed your blog! I have bookmarked it.
babies

 

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